Rank and File

Somewhere in 1981 or so, Tony and Chip Kinman got tired of the punk scene and disbanded their 'communist' San Francisco trio, the Dils. Tony moved to Portland, Oregon and Chip moved to New York with Alejandro Escovedo, ex-guitar player for the Nuns, another San Francisco punk band. Then, about a year later, they all somehow got the idea to move to Austin, Texas - a liberal town for thereabouts - and with the addition of Slim Evens on drums, start a country band called Rank and File.

Why country? Chip and Tony explain that it's the music they've listened to in varying dosages for most of their lives; their parents often had the radio tuned to a country station. And it seems to be the one facet of our culture most people tend to scorn or neglect, at least until they are middIe aged; it begs for the respectability and attention that Rank and File are attempting to bring it.

In mid '82, an LP, 'Sundown', was recorded and released on local fave label, Slash Records. NaturaIIy, a video, complete with symbolic time-clock smashing, horseback riding, and cactus toppling came shortly after.


Subject matter for a typical Rank and File song includes illegal aliens -'Coyote'- trendiness -'I Went Walking', and man's darker side -'The Conductor Wore Black.' Live, such standards as Johnny Cash's poetic 'Ring of fire' are included.

'A lot of people still put out great records' claims Chip. But he and Tony would like to see more younger players start forming bands. Tony says 'It would be a shame to see this type of music die' referring to the raw, young, energetic form of country that bands like Rank and File and Lone Justice are 'reviving'.

The preceding text courtesy of More Mayo Magazine 1983.