Longtime Albany music scene mainstays Tom Lindsay and Michael Eck first started playing together more than a quarter century ago – back in the early ’80s days as founding members of the roots-rock-and-beyond combo the Chefs of the Future, still one of the best Nippertown band names of all-time.
Years later, they re-connected musically as an acoustic duo with a mutual love of old-time gospel music. They called themselves Gospel Train, focusing their repertoire on a century’s worth of American spiritual and religious songs that spanned the Civil War to the Civil Rights era.
But then they started branching out. They put together a program of Civil War-era songs that they titled “Lincoln and Liberty.” They developed another theme program, “American Favorite Ballads: The Songs of Pete Seeger,” Then they assembled an evening of Carter Family classics, “Wildwood Flower: Songs of the Original Carter Family.”
So the three years ago, Lindsay and Eck decided to change the name of the duo to Lost Radio Rounders in order to encompass their broadening range of vintage acoustic music, which these days includes dipping into the musical legacies culled from the songbags of such iconic troubadours as Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Uncle Dave Macon, Pete Seeger, Grandpa Jones and countless others.
But the twosome has retained a particularly strong affinity for the classic songs of the Carter Family. Last year, they released The Sunny Side, an album of Carter Family songs that featured such nuggets as “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes,” “I Can’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore,” “Worried Man Blues” and, of course, “Keep On the Sunny Side.”
Now they’ve dipped back into the vast Carter Family catalog again for their new album, Heaven’s Radio, which will be officially issued on Friday (October 19) with a CD release party and concert at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany. But this time around LRR are once again focusing on their gospel roots, and, in fact, the disc is subtitled “Lost Radio Rounders & Friends Sing Gospel Songs of the Carter Family.” The whopping, 15-song collection includes “No Depression,” “On the Rock Where Moses Stood,” “Gospel Ship” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” just to name a few.