R. C. Banks
Conway's Corner
LHR 2001
Home | Main Catalogue Page | Loudhouse Photo Album | Jukebox | Links | Contact


If experience is indeed the best teacher, then R. C. Banks has earned a Ph.D. in real American music. From the time he hit his first stage with his accordion at the age of six in his native Lubbock, TX, Banks has cut a swath across the Southwest in a succession of bands playing a kaleidoscope of styles, often at the same time. Along the way, he has worked with such folks as former Small Face Ronnie Lane, a then 14-year-old Charlie Sexton and Austin legend Harvey "Tex" Thomas.  His songs have been recorded by Lane, Joe Ely - both on his own and in an as-yet unreleased duet with Linda Ronstadt - Charlie and Will Sexton, "Long Black Veil" co-writer Mary John Wilkins and Texas country-folk thrush Kimmie Rhodes. Yet he has remained one of the largely undiscovered treasures on the lively Austin and Texas roots music scenes until now, with the release of Conway's Corner on Loud House Records.

The disc has already been declared "one of the best albums I've heard this year," by Australian critic and deejay Eric Black, who notes how "every track on this album is an absolute gem." Likewise, Banks' hometown weekly, the Austin Chronicle, named Conway's Corner the #1 Texas Album of the Year, while critics have been running to the kitchen to cook up superlatives to describe its multi-stylistic, soulful musical stew and encapsulate the richness and heart that pervade the disc.

Austin American-Statesman critic Michael Corcoran likens Conway's Corner to a pot roast "that's sizzling with all sorts of chopped up ingredients like carrots, kale, onions, bell peppers and celery, plus a few bones of mysterious origin for a flavorful twist." He declares the tasty platter "one of the most invigorating CDs to pull up a chair and twist one off in a long time." Similarly, Rockzillaworld warns diners, "It isn't Lean Cuisine, friends, it is a smorgasbord of pickled pigs feet and hard boiled eggs, of collard greens, black-eyed peas, blood sausage and Tabasco sauce. If you're ready for a down-home, poor-folks Southern musical banquet, dig in."

Or in other words, Conway's Corner is a delicious musical repast that is ruggedly nutritious if also a bit dangerous - as the best genuine American roots music should be. It's rocking roadhouse Southwestern soul that is "a no-frills celebration of the good times, hard knocks and broken hearts of a Texas Saturday night," says the Austin Chronicle.

And if anyone knows the ingredients for a musical stew that transforms Saturday evening into the night of your life, it's R. C. Banks. After all, he's been doing just that for nearly four decades. Starting out with accordion lessons and performances at age six, teethed on his parents' affection for Lawrence Welk and the Ray Conniff Singers, Banks also lived and heard the music from the other side of life during his summers working as a cowboy on his grandfather's ranch outside Clovis, New Mexico. Then, on the radio, he heard Elvis for the first time, followed soon after by Ray Charles, which was a major revelation. "I knew he had something I wanted and that I wanted to be part of," says Banks.

In junior high in Lubbock, he began playing baritone sax in school bands while also borrowing a guitar and amp from a friend down the street to start his first rock 'n' roll group. Banks took up trumpet in the show band he played in during his college years at Texas Tech while digging on blues acts like Memphis Slim and the Butterfield Blues Band. His group Street Theater landed in Los Angeles for a stint, and later Banks played Louisiana music with some expatriate Cajuns in the Colorado Rockies before moving to Austin.

Once there, Banks embraced the eclectic roots music styles that Austin music is known for. Throughout the 1970s, he played in such reliable club acts as Showdown, The River City Rockets, The Blue Beats and The Texas Sheiks at such seminal Austin music joints as The One Knite, The Rome Inn, Soap Creek Saloon and the original Antone's nightclub on Austin's Sixth St.

At the dawn of the 1980s, Banks hooked up with singer and songwriter Harvey "Tex" Thomas to form The Danglin' Wranglers. The band's renegade country Sunday night shows at Hut's Hamburgers are legendary as some of the finest nights of music ever in that very musical city. He followed that with a stint in the Groovemasters, which introduced a teenaged Charlie Sexton to the Austin scene, and playing with his pal and Loud House Records label-mate, accordionist Ponty Bones, in The Squeezetones.

Banks then took his own accordion back up to form Zydeco Ranch and explore his love of Louisiana music while also playing with famed British rocker Ronnie Lane, who had relocated to Austin. Along the way Banks started releasing records of his own as well as waxing three albums with Zydeco Ranch.

The sum of all this considerable journeyman experience has imbued Banks with a musically rich palette that makes him "about as close as anyone in the state to what a space alien would call a Texas musician," notes Jim Beal, Jr. on the San Antonio Express-News. With Conway's Corner, Banks' fourth album, rapidly winning international acclaim, one of the best-kept secrets in the Lone Star State is now being recognized an avatar of genuine Texas music. As Michael Corcoran urges in the Austin American-Statesman, "Do Banks a favor. No, do yourself a favor and buy this."



1. I Got Love 2.45
2. Courthouse 3.48
3. Walkin' on Air 3.54
4. Jenny Jones 2.10
5. Lonesome Texas 2.48
6. More Than the World to Me 4.29
7. Great Scott's BBQ 4.22
8. Those Days Are Gone 4.26
9. Now's the Time 4.24
10. Pecan Trees 3.38
11. Until the End of Time 3.53
12. Bangin' a Gong 4.03
13. South Plains Panhandle Fair 3.48

Buy Conway's Corner now from

Lone Star Music
CD Baby


R. C.'s songs have been recorded by such artists as
Joe Ely
Linda Ronstadt
Charlie & Will Sexton
Kimmie Rhodes
Marijohn Wilkens







Rave reviews at home and abroad for R. C. Banks!

Texas can do without style frontiers. Wherever bands are able to cater for Blues, Polka competitions and accordion duels, the critics can only do a runner. R. C. Banks and Ponty Bone work out of Austin, and a decade ago, both of them played in The Texas Slim Chance of the unforgotten Austinite by choice, Ronnie Lane. Banks hails from Lubbock, he plays a dirty R&B guitar, organ and accordion. Also, he rasps a rough but heartfelt Blues rock, sings ballads, waltzes and good time-Country, sometimes politically inclined: "Courthouse" for instance criticizes the Americans´ alleged happy-to-sue mentality, musically inspired by Dylan's "Maggie's Farm", in "Great Scott's BBQ" sings about the joys of the Texan cuisine: "I'm talking about potato salad" - and the girlie choir can only sigh "Yum yum!".- Ponty Bone plays exactly what his friend and fellow Flaco Jiminez out of Ry Cooder´s clan likes to call "Soul Accordion", and he sings well, too. Apart from happy-go-lucky Rhumbas, Shuffles and Polkas, he lets his band The Squeezetones take turns alternatively as a coffeehouse combo, as The Sir Douglas Quintet or as Booker T. and the MGs which, thanks to the Hammond organ work by one R. C. Banks (!) works convincingly. - Good Times

There are two kinds of pot roast-one that's just meat and one that's sizzling in all sorts of chopped up ingredients like carrots, kale, onions, bell peppers and celery, plus a few bones of mysterious origin for a flavorful twist. R. C. Banks is, musically, the second kind. The Austin music veteran throws all sorts of nasty licks, like sweaty harmonica blasts and accordion notes that are almost drunk in their yearning, over his Waitsian observations on the new "Conway's Corner."

Structurally and lyrically, blues ballad "More Than the World To Me" is a musical figure eight, but there's so much invention between the notes that it sounds like nothing you've heard before. "If you know what love is, then you know what's right," Banks growls on "Now's the Time," sounding very much like he knows what's right. On "Pecan Trees," he sings about a girl who passes the tip jar without being asked and it sounds much more romantic than if he described her eyes as precious stones.

Do Banks a favor. No, do yourself a favor and buy this, one of the most invigorating CDs to pull up a chair and twist one off in a long time. - Austin American-Statesman

Conway's Corner, which incorporates blues, zydeco, roots rock, country and conjunto music, is an excellent example of the hybrid creation that the best Texas music has become. - Rockzillaworld

If you're the type who bets on everything, including what genre of song a musician will play next, you might well lose money betting on R. C. Banks. The San Marcos based guitarist, accordionist, singer and songwriter has long been one of the most eclectic and most in-demand in Texas.

Banks has shown the proclivity and the talent to move easily among blues; Cajun, zydeco, country and whatever else moves his spirit at the moment.

With several solo albums to his credit, Banks has deftly mixed and matched and left his mark on whatever he plays. Banks and his new band are working with a new Banks album, "Conway's Corner," which showcases a more introspective part of the man's character and music. - San Antonio Express News

Usually when I listen to a good new CD, I can find a maximum of 3 or 4 good songs acceptable to be broadcast; the problem is totally different with him: I have to find the ones I will not broadcast. This CD is one of the very good surprises of the new year. - ISA Radio, France

The music on Conway's Corner hits me 100%!!!... true/honest/real'n very down to earth…yeah REALLY my thing. Lord Dittmar - Berlin, Germany

WOW! Great CD, really like the different feels on it. Had to make room for it in tomorrow night's show. It's too good to leave till next week. 101 FM/Blue Country - Queensland, Australia

Think it's great. Raw, sloppy, and tight! - Rhythms Music Magazine - New South Wales, Australia

Recorded in Austin, this is a great, rockin' blues album. This Lubbock native, R. C. shows off not just his vocal skills but also guitar, harmonica, accordion, and Hammond organ. GREAT!!! - KEOS 89.1 FM - College Station, Texas

I love his songs, especially his blues titles. - Radio Rhein Welle 92.5 Germany

Long awaited release from R. C. Banks greatly surpassed the pre-release claims of greatness, which has flown through our hands. Raw and rootsy and wonderful, a friend from Germany was listening to it with us when it arrived and he said, 'this could get very big, you know'. We know. - Local Flavor - Corpus Christi, Texas



Read Roland Schmitt's
full length review in German



Recorded at Arlyn Studios
November 2000
Produced by Booka Michel
Andre "Screaming Lizard" Zweer
Judy Kircshner 

Artists featured on the CD include