Steam Donkeys to Comply with Open Meetings Law
by Buck Quigley - posted 1:50 pm, April 15, 2011
Supporters of sunshine laws and officials in the local honky tonk community are praising the Steam Donkeys for adopting a new “full disclosure” policy. To that end, the band will perform tomorrow night (Sat 4/16) at 9:30pm at the Sportsmen’s Tavern. The show is open to all.
Despite the fact that they are about as far away from being a governmental entity as you can get, in recent years the 20-year-old band has come under fire from fans lamenting the slow, or non-existent release of records to the public. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one supporter asked: “When can I buy a CD with “Ukulele Baby” or “The End is Near” or “She Kept the Ring (And Gave Me the Finger)” on it? That’s what I’d like to know.”
“It’s not that we haven’t wanted to comply with calls for more transparency,” said lead singer Buck Quigley. “It’s just that we haven’t completed any new records in the past few years—so there haven’t been any records to release.”
The Steam Donkeys put out two well-received records in the 1990s on Atlanta’s Landslide Records. While some bootleg recordings circulate, the band hasn’t released a new CD since 2004—although much of the band’s catalog can be sampled for free on its website and Facebook page.
Still, some band supporters question why nearly half the current set list consists of songs—some nearly two decades old—that are still unavailable for purchase anywhere.
“It’s true that some of our tunes are very new, while others—if they were people—would now be old enough to drive a car, go to college, or serve in the military. But just because we haven’t finished recording them and putting them out on a CD, or limited edition colored vinyl, doesn’t mean they’re not cool songs,” according to Quigley. “Plus, doing all that stuff is a hassle. Even releasing MP3s via web download takes a little work. It’s just more fun to perform them live.”
While he doesn’t rule out the possibility of releasing more material in recorded form in the future, for now the only way to hear the unreleased stuff is by attending a performance.
“Besides, what could be better than going out to a genuine honky tonk to hear a live band, pulling your partner real close on the dance floor and shaking things up until your belt buckle shines? You can’t do that wearing goofy-looking earbuds plugged into an iPod,” Quigley observes. “Well, I guess you could, but why would you want to, given the alternative?”