Regarding their name, Austin Lounge Lizards guitarist and founding member Conrad Deisler said: "I think it was a slang term I'd heard my grandmother use to describe gentlemen of easy virtue who hung around in bars. When we started out, that's just what we were doing -- hanging out and playing for beer and tips and stuff like that." The Lounge Lizards trace their origins back to the late '70s, when Deisler, then a Princeton student, hooked up with Hank Card to indulge their shared interest in folk and country by playing in progressive folk bands. The two landed in Austin in 1980, where they met Tom Pittman, a banjo and pedal-steel player who'd just moved to town from Georgia. They combined the sounds of Pittman's bluegrass heritage with the folk and country forms from Deisler and Card's college-band days up north. Unsatisfied with playing bluegrass and traditional country covers, the Lizards found they had a knack for writing bizarro social and politically themed songs, overflowing with tongue-in-cheek twang.
The band has gone through its share of mandolin players, bassists, and fiddlers, but the core of the group has remained Pittman, Deisler, and Card, with long stints from bassist Boo Resnick, drummer Paul Pearcy, and multi-instrumentalist Richard Bowden. Whatever its lineup, the Austin Lounge Lizards have long been known for their Texas-sized twisted tales and humorous songs, charming their fans for over twenty years. In their own words, "Our accents are the drawliest, our howdies are the y'alliest/Our Lone Star flag's the waviest, our fried steak's the cream graviest."
The group's first album, Creatures From the Black Saloon, was released in 1984, and was followed by 1988's The Highway Cafe of the Damned, 1991's live album Lizard Vision, 1993's Paint Me on Velvet, 1995's Small Minds, and 1998's Employee of the Month. Never an Adult Moment was issued in late summer 2000. They continued in 2003 with Strange Noises in the Dark and followed it with Lizards Times Twenty: Live at Antone's, a DVD officially commemorating the Lizards' 20th anniversary, in 2004. Drugs I Need arrived in 2006. ~ Zac Johnson
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