We’re An American Band, by Grand Funk Railroad

Welcome to the first “Four Lane Highway” edition posting of Tuesday Tunes.

For the tragically unhip, Four Lane Highway was a rock-country rock band I performed in long ago with Deven Atkinson (vocals); John Carcutt (drums, plus vocals); Larry Braniff (lead and rhythm guitar, some vocals); Doug Sagraves (lead and rhythm guitar, plus vocals). I played bass, and did some singing.

We often started our shows — which were at small-town bars, the American Legion, a high school stage or at private parties — with this rocker from Grand Funk Railroad. We didn’t look much like these guys, and we didn’t sound much like them, either, but we had a hell of a good time every single gig we played.

As I recall, John matched Don Brewer’s drum intro really well, and I kept up with Mel Schacher’s bass line for most of the song, too, believe it or not. I did something different during the section that starts “Up all night, with Freddy King …” but I liked it. It was funky and within my limited abilities.



11 thoughts on “We’re An American Band, by Grand Funk Railroad

  1. LOL .. I was in a music store a week ago and sat down on an digital drum kit, first time behind a set of drums in probably 10 years .. first thing I played was that intro … Like riding a bike.

    (btw, those Digital Drums .. thinking hard about saving up for one)


  2. You know, a while back Deven, Doug, Larry and I got together to fool around a bit. Larry didn’t bring a guitar, but we were able to jam a bit … and I was still able to play the bass lines on “American Band.” I could still handle “Horse With No Name,” too, which is one of my favorite bass lines that we did.

    Got any requests for next Tuesday’s tune?


  3. Out sick, and I miss the first FLH edition… better now.

    That section is where I played loose with the lyrics, too.
    Normally I warbled, “Up all night, so glad you came, I got to tell ya, Four Lane Highway’s here-to-sing.”

    Every version of the song I have ever heard, Don pronounces ‘thing’ like ‘thang’, so I figured it would rhyme with ‘came’. Also, there is a Grand Funk version where Don sings “Funk is here to sang”… so I felt justified, and no one complained.

    As for any requests, after “Tuesday’s Gone” how ’bout “Fool For the City”?


  4. Duane: Sorry. Different Larry Braniff … but ours is way cool, too.

    Deven: Glad you are feeling better. I was down a couple of days this week myself and I’ve been busting butt to catch up ever since. “Fool for the City” is definitely on my list. I recall the bass line on that being a challenge for me.


  5. Ok it looks like I have some catching up to do for sure. No Duane I am not the Cleve Elum music teacher but I am the one the guitarist of FLH. Wow what great times we had in them days looking forward in seeing what Steve continues to come up with on his journey of FLH favorites. But I think for the most part “We’re an American Band” was one of the whole bands favorite songs it did described who and what we were. A bunch of good old redneck boys playing music and having a great time. What great memories them days were. Still looking forward to another reunion and this time I will bring all my axes even the new Tele I just bought. Like I posted on my face book page I hope to add to my collection by the end of the year if all things work out. By the way I do still have the black Hondo II Les Paul copy and if all goes well I will have it back into playing shape soon as well. Yes I still do play some and hack at all the old stuff as well some things never will change with me hacking up all the songs we tried to play but we did have a blast.


  6. Larry! Cool to have you on here!

    Yes, FLH was tons of fun, and “American Band” pretty much sums it all up. I think I’m going to go for some Southern Rock next week, though.


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