A Street Called Straight
Originally released in 1983, this is Jeff Eubank's sole Kansas City private-press gem, originally produced only in an edition of 500 copies. Jeff Eubank is not a boner. A cursory read of the lyrics, printed in full in the space surrounding Mr. Eubank on the back cover artwork, more or less confirms this. They are literate and poetic without giving the reader anything to laugh at. At this point, any smart record digger will pull this particular title. A cursory needle drop may or may not reveal the album's potential. Depending on where the needle lands, it may sound like Crosby, Stills and Nash, or it may sound like the music we have come to know as "yacht rock," the smooth-sailing sounds of Christopher Cross, Hall & Oates, The Doobie Brothers, or Kenny Loggins. There's even a bit of the old, mellow, West Coast A.M.-rock canyon sound in there as well, with complex harmonies and a general hazy, lazy vibe. The truth behind this music's distinct sound is somewhere in between all this. There is an undeniably dated aspect to this music, an over-emphasis or over-reliance on being easy-going, but at the same time, it's wonderfully next to impossible to exactly pinpoint when or where this music was made. Like an '80s Tim Buckley on downers, Eubank's voice is smooth as silk, and there is no attack in his delivery; instead, his voice coasts along in a gentle, affable flow. But don't be so easily assuaged, when you get this album home and listen more closely, the conflict and rough edges of this music begins to reveal itself. Regarding the title, the artist himself explains it this way" "('rise and go to a street called straight' from Acts 9:10-19) finds Ananias being directed to risk harm and perhaps his life to help a man he knows to be dangerous. The implication of the fact that the name of the street was (and is) Straight (like straight and narrow) shouldn't be lost on someone who is reading carefully. As this relates to the lyrics of the song, we all have had to, at some time (or many times), move on in courage and leave the past behind (good or bad). In the case of these lyrics, there is hope: 'there is an end to this endless night... after all.'" Astral, unplaceable music that will fill your head-space, highly recommended for fans of Bobb Trimble, Robert Lester Folsom, and other purveyors of lost late '70s/early '80s music.