Veteran singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer/raconteur Eric Ambel — known to friends, associates and bandmates as Roscoe — is the possessor of an estimable musical resume that's established his credentials as a deeply committed rocker as well as a witty and thoughtful songwriter. Between his current duties as producer, bandleader, studio proprietor, bar owner, member of uber-bar-band supergroup the Yayhoos and lead guitarist of Steve Earle's band the Dukes, he's found time to launch his own label, Lakeside Lounge Records, to redress the longstanding absence of Ambel solo product from the marketplace.
Illinois native Ambel first took up the rock 'n' roll torch in the late 1970s while attending college the University of Wyoming, where he formed the punk combo the Dirty Dogs, who released the cult-classic single "Sorority Girl" before changing their name to the Accelerators and relocating to Los Angeles. In L.A. the Accelerators recorded and released an EP called "It's Cool To Rock" produced by Danny Holloway (Plimsouls, Bob Marley), then after playing with Rik L Rik and Top Jimmy he began a two-year stint as lead guitarist in Joan Jett's original Blackhearts, touring extensively and playing on her "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" album. He exited in the early '80s to co-found the gritty New York foursome the Del-Lords, which also included ex-Dictator Scott Kempner and future Cracker drummer Frank Funaro, which released four highly-regarded studio albums and helped usher in the '80s roots-rock mini-boom.
While still a member of the Del-Lords, Ambel launched Roscoe's Gang, which began as an informal side combo but soon evolved into a serious vehicle for his songwriting skills and his less-is-more rock 'n' roll philosophy. That outfit's maverick spirit survives in its current incarnation, the Roscoe Trio. Meanwhile, Ambel built a prolific career as producer, overseeing albums by the likes of the Bottle Rockets, the Blood Oranges, Nils Lofgren, Freedy Johnston, Blue Mountain, the Backsliders, Go to Blazes, Tammy Faye Starlite and Mary Lee's Corvette.
Playing a variety of stringed instruments, Joe Flood delivers original material in what Karen Schoemer in the New York Times called "a gravelly voice that perfectly straddles the fence between country and the blues." His songs inhabit a place where folk and blues roots meet the craft of Tin Pan Alley and the soul of the street. They have been covered by artists as diverse as the New Orleans style jazz band The Flying Neutruinos and Alt Country Chanteuse Laura Cantrell. His individual style has made him a favored co-writer of Levon Helm of the legendary group The Band as well as producer/guitarist Eric "Roscoe" Ambel.