As if Ryan Thomas Becker needed more outlets for his musical creativity, the prolific Dentonite has now added another entity to a stable that already includes his cherished solo eforts and his electrifying work in RTB2.
Well, kind of.
Becker's latest project, called Ryan Thomas Becker & Last Joke, has its toes in each of his other outfits: His RTB2 partner and drummer, Grady Don Sandlin, backs him up in this latest solo-driven outfit, alongside other previous Becker collaborators Tony Ferraro (of Eaton Lake Tonics) and Andy Rogers (Oso Closo). What's interesting, however, is that, thus far, none of the band's material is new.
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Tomorrow night, when the band takes to the stage at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton to celebrate the release of their new Justin Collins-produced Last Joke Band EP, they'll be celebrating an album featuring songs written not by Becker, but by his friends in other area bands (including Ferraro, charmingly enough). The six-track album features Becker and his band's takes on songs from other area outfits such as Eaton Lake Tonics, New Science Projects, Descender and even Austin's Leatherbag. And yet each song, of course, is given that taken Becker touch -- a gritty rock feel, some slightly lo-fi production and an innate ability to connect with its audience.
Given Becker's long-adored position in the area music scene, it's tough to think of this release as much of a debut, but in many ways it is. As Becker and his band told our friends over at Violitionist this week, they still be working out some directional aspects of their outfit, but they're fairly certain that this is an entity that will be sticking around for the long-term. Good thing, too; stream the album in entirety here and you'll see why. Or just hit the jump with us and check out our two favorite cuts from this reaffirming debut -- Becker's takes on New Science Projects' "The Train" (a song we've heard him perform before) and his feel-good interpretation of Leatherbag's "Tom Petty Summer" -- after the jump.