The previous Last Hombres drummer was responsible for a lot of the attention directed toward their second album and subsequent tour. Their current drummer is responsible for the band having a second life.
When concert dates in support of Redemption came to an end, The Last Hombres — whose lineup in the early 2000s included Levon Helm of The Band on drums — went their separate ways and pursued other projects.
Fast forward about a decade to 2012: Tom Ryan, a mutual friend of original Hombres Russ Seeger, Michael Meehan and Paul Schmitz, asked the group to play a set at a benefit show in Huntington, N.Y., with Ryan offering to sit in on drums.
They agreed, performing for about 30 to 40 minutes, recalls bassist-singer Meehan. His musical reunion with Seeger and Schmitz — and Ryan’s involvement with The Last Hombres — was only just beginning.
“After that show, we would get together, no pressure, and bring some songs to the table,” Meehan says. “Just sitting in Tom’s New Orleans basement and passing it around the room: ‘What have you got?’ The first song we did together was one of Paul’s called ‘Jenny Jones.’ As soon as we played that song, I felt, ‘Oh, this is going to be OK.’ ”
Several months later, The Last Hombres — also featuring keyboardist Chris James — headed north to One East Recording in Manhattan for the sessions that would result in the 13-song album Odd Fellows Rest, released June 24 via Louisiana Red Hot Records.
“We recorded all in the same room, eyeball to eyeball, watching each other’s hands,” Meehan says. “Tom’s basement, which we referred to as The Bunker, was very relaxing; we would have recorded there, but all this great gear was in New York City at One East.”
Schmitz has a partnership stake in One East, so that meant The Last Hombres didn’t have to worry about watching the clock, according to Meehan, who adds that there were no hard deadlines for the band to meet, either.
“It was a low-pressure situation, which we deal with pretty well,” Meehan says with a laugh.
— By Chris M. Junior
Photo by Ken Farrell