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Knee-deep in the jazz fusion sound made popular throughout the city, Lights Out evolved into a synthesizer-fueled funk group fronted by vocalist Andy Stokes and featuring guitarist Greg “Gee Mack” Dalton. It’s this era of Lights Out that made converts of the haters and annihilated 800-capacity dancefloors. It’s this era of Lights Out that is being celebrated on this release.
Recorded in 1982 at Wave Sound Studios – a facility that housed local punk acts such as The Wipers and The Rats – the material on this LP was intended as a demo for Solar Records. As a touring trumpeter for The Whispers, Tony Collins was to pass the reel up the chain. When Solar fumbled it, Collins and Dalton left Portland for Los Angeles signaling the end of the group.
Forty years later, the legacy of this canonical Stumptown act has been remembered in devastating detail. The vinyl package includes a 12-page booklet of the band’s oral history and deluxe archival photography. With tape restoration and mastering by Gus Elg, this painfully obscure recording has been waxed and buffed by one of the reissue industry’s greatest.
Lights Out personnel have since made waves beyond the Pacific Northwest. Collins founded NDN Records in Atlanta. Andy Stokes has received the Grammy nod, releasing singles with Snoop Dogg and Battlecat. John Mazzocco toured with John Lee Hooker and was recently inducted into the Oregon Music Hall Of Fame. Damian Dillon went on to a successful radio career in Germany. And Greg Dalton has sessioned relentlessly, working with everyone from Patrice Rushen to Kamasi Washington to Tupac.
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