Bobby Gene McNelley - vocals, guitar; Terry Efaw - guitar, vocals; Steve Reis - bass, vocals; Stephen "Tebes" Douglass - keyboards; Dick Smith - drums; John Schwab - guitar, vocals
Originally broadcast as a WHM-FM concert carried over The Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio Series on Monday, March 30, this recording captured at New York's legendary Lone Star Café should have been this country rock band's landing party. Although they put on a great performance, the group never took off on a national level as they should have.
Named after a street in their hometown of Athens, Ohio, the group was hoping to cash in on the success of groups like Alabama, The Eagles and Poco, but they seemed to be dogged by changing public tastes and extremely bad luck.
The band had just released its third album, Let The Hard Times Roll, on Atco Records. Prior to this LP, the group had actually been marketed to pop audiences and had two minor pop hits with "Long Time Loving You" and "Start It All Over." The former had come from the band's self-released and self-titled debut album, which sold a respectable 40,000 copies before Nashville A&R brass bit and the band signed with a major.
Upon signing with Atco, and with the release of Let The Hard Times Roll, the group made a conscious effort to be marketed as a country group. The success of Alabama, whose style was similar, should have secured the band a much bigger response, but it was not meant to be. The show recorded here features several tracks from that album, as well as songs from the first two albums and others. Vocalist McNelley is solid in his performance, as is the dual guitar work of Terry Efaw and John Schwab. Among the highlights are "Doing It Right," "Don't You Think About Me (When I'm Gone)," and their cover of the bluegrass standard "Fox On The Run."
Shortly after this show was recorded, things started to unravel for the band.
They recorded Day By Day, the follow up to Let The Hard Times Roll, but just as the album was being completed, Tebes Douglass died in a car accident. The album faired poorly, sales-wise, and shortly thereafter McNelley left to become a Nashville-based songwriter. In early 1987, he had a heated argument with his fiance, shooting her, and then killing himself.
By 1990, McGuffey Lane had split up. It would be nearly six years before a new version of the band, spearheaded by John Schwab and Terry Efaw, resumed performing. They have since recorded two albums.