Roscoe's Return

Guitarist Eric Ambel, better known as Roscoe, has built quite a varied career for himself. Although he first came to wider attention as a member of Joan Jett’s Blackhearts, Ambel later went on to achieve what’s probably his best known gig, as part of The Del-Lords, the roots band with former Dictator Scott Kempner. Since the breakup of the DL’s Amble has had several bands including the Yayhoos and Roscoe’s Gang and has landed a high profile sidemans gig as part of Steve Earle’s backing band, The Dukes. He’s also become a record producer (Bottle Rockets, Nils Lofgren, Blood Oranges) via his Cowboy Technical Services Recordings, the 24-track analog/digital recording studio he opened in 1999 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He’s also owned a much beloved but now sadly shuttered bar in the East Village called Lakeside Lounge, from which he salvaged the name for his record label. Well recorded, particularly for a rock project meant to have a certain blurry heft, Lakeside, Ambel’s latest from Lakeside Lounge records, is nicely pressed on LP by A to Z in the Czech Republic. The vinyl was cut from Nashville mastering engineer Richard Dodd's audio master via DMM at the plant.

Roscoe, who handles guitar and vocals on most tracks, has here collaborated with Jimbo Mathus, formerly of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, on a set of short rock tunes that swing from sludgy and fun, “Hey Mr. DJ” to Ambel’s tuneful co-write with Charlene McPherson, “Have Mercy,” to the more driving, Ramones styled anthem, Mathus’ “Massive Confusion.” A rocked up version of the Gillian Welch/David Rawlings number, “Look at Miss Ohio,” which contains the great line, “I wanna do right but not right now,” also works well. The electric guitar heavy cover of Barrett Strong’s immortal “Money (That’s What I Want),” once so memorably howled out by John Lennon, is suitably raucous. There’s even a slow blues, “Buyback Blues,” which may be Ambel remembering his days running a bar. Overall, a pair of old pros at work. Lakeside can be ordered at and at

rschryer's picture

Bought it, love it. Thanks Robert.