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Thursday, May 23, 2013
Chucky Waggs CD Release Friday, and (if you dig old Stones you'll love this!) Deadstring Brothers return SaturdayPosted Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 1:47 PM
Deadstring Brothers, originally from Detroit, will headline a show at Chelsea's on Saturday night, bringing the sounds of old Rolling Stones and classic, gritty rock 'n' roll.
Chucky Waggs, which is actually Adam Wagner of Mountain Sprout fame, will perform with friends beginning around 9:30 p.m.
Chucky Waggs features upbeat acoustic guitar music with vocals in the style of traditional Americana, classic country, folk and blues, with a little bit of old punk flavor thrown in for good measure -- though the "punk" mostly comes through in the lyrical form, not the musical stylings.
Wagner explains: "The melody and chords and song structure are more rooted in old-time, traditional music, Americana, folk and blues stuff, while the lyrics are a bit more modern -- I still listen to a lot of the old punk bands I grew up with," he says. "One of my favorite songwriters is Shane MacGowan from The Pogues, because he has a way of writing songs that could be 100 years old or they could be current. I'm into that."
Still wondering if you'll dig Chucky Waggs? This might help: If you like anything about Bob Dylan's music or Arlo Guthrie's songwriting, or if you enjoy an energetic acoustic set that somehow never drags and features strong but beautiful male vocals and some gifted guitar-picking, you will love Chucky Waggs.
His new album is a pleasure to listen to. Track 2, "No One's Fault But Mine," has a Dylanesque sound to the music, likely aided by the harmonica heavy over the guitar. The lyrics are humorous. "I'm apologizing all the time" we can like all relate to, but apologizing for what he is apologizing for, not so much. LOL!
Track 3, "The Bottum," makes you feel like you are hanging out with some hobos having a jam session on guitar and banjo next to the train they're getting ready to jump, in the middle of the Depression. Yet somehow it's fun and upbeat.
The vocals on Track 4, "Pure Good Luck," are stellar, pure in tone and probably the best recording quality on the record. The song features just Wagner singing and playing acoustic guitar, and a backup guitar as well, but it sounds almost like a whole band -- a very full sound.
The fifth track, like the first song on the record, features effects on the vocals -- possibly through a special microphone or sound filter? -- that are not my favorite, because I'm a big fan of pure, beautiful voices, which Wagner possesses without any special effects. Still the music overcomes that, as does the excellent songwriting.
Track 6, "Dancin Shoes," is another favorite of mine on the album, with sweet story-song lyrics and a great up-tempo acoustic rhythm.
The lyrics on track 7, "Madam Rose's" are pretty ingenius, and the song is upbeat and lots of fun. Next, "Pretty Bones" features some nice finger-picking that invokes a feeling of a peaceful, sunny, country drive on a warm spring day. Good driving music. And the tambourine and banjo are great additions to the sound.
Chucky Waggs' show at Chelsea's Friday night begins around 9:30 p.m. Ages 21 and up are admitted. No admission charge.
Saturday night brings an excellent Detroit-born band to Chelsea's, one that played here last summer and blew the roof off the joint, I'm told.
From the classic rock echoes that hang heavy like the smoke in the rafters of Detroit's Cobo Hall, to the soul reflected in the alleys and small faces of London's Heavy Load scene to the exile off Main Street, few bands channel the sonic groove generated at the headwaters of our rock 'n' roll DNA like Deadstring Brothers. Check out this video:
They know that rock 'n' roll is both disease and redemption, penalty and reward, intoxicant and hangover. They know that a powerhouse hook exhilarates even as you're getting kicked in the heart.
Not unlike Exile-era Stones, Deadstring Brothers deliver a menacing sound that draws equally on the melancholy of country ballads and the abandon of rock and blues. The band's music is deeply rooted in the storytelling and instrumental traditions of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and the American Outlaw Movement, but is also informed by the song structure and understated aggression commonly associated with Detroit bands.
Their haunting melodies reveal the influence of early '70s rock icons like The Band and Gram Parsons and The Faces. Deadstring Brothers' live performances have the energy of guitar rock, but sophisticated arrangements, a Hammond Organ and a focus on traditional American music separate them from many of their contemporaries.
The band has been touring steadily since the 2004 release of their eponymous debut and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Shooter Jennings, Cat Power and Jesse Sykes to Giant Sand, My Morning Jacket, and Drive-By Truckers.
The group now consists of five members from Detroit and London and a rhythm and lead section from Alabama and Kentucky -- they joke that they are hoping to soon add a Japanese horn section.
Twangville.com's critic Eli Petersen described Deadstring Brothers' music well: "You'll be hard pressed to find a review of the Deadstring Brothers album that doesn't reference the Rolling Stones. Fortunately, they are almost always referencing the Rolling Stones 1968-72 era, aka Beggars Banquet to Exile on Main Street. ... But they do it so damn well. And let's face it, the Stones haven't made music this good for decades."
The Austin Chronicle's music critic -- who heard the Brothers close up when they performed there at SXSW Music Festival -- labeled the Deadstring Brothers "Irresistible" and gave them four stars. And Honest Tune (The Southern Journal of Jam) wrote: "Detroit might be known as the city where the weak are killed and eaten, and if this standard is indeed true, then Deadstring Brothers must've skimmed past the musical carnage by abiding by their own rules of cool."
THURSDAY, JAN. 31
* Chelsea's, 10 Mountain St., 479-253-6723: Jazz Night, 9 p.m.
* Squid and Whale, 37 Spring St., 479-253-7147: Open Mic Musical Smackdown with Bloody Buddy & Friends
FRIDAY, FEB. 1
* Berean Coffee House, 4032 E. Van Buren, 479-244-7495: Live music, 7 p.m.
* Cathouse / Pied Piper, 82 Armstrong St., 479-363-9976: Fear the Beard, 8 p.m.
* Chaser's, 169 E. Van Buren, 479-253-5522: Dance Party with Tiny, 8 p.m.
* Chelsea's, 10 Mountain St., 479-253-6723: Chucky Waggs & Co. / CD Release Party, 9 p.m.
* Eureka Live!, 35 N. Main St., 479-253-7020: DJ & Dancing 9 p.m. to close
* Eureka Paradise, 75 S. Main St., 479-363-6574: Ladies Night
* New Delhi Cafe, 2 N. Main St., 479-253-2525: Anna Horton, 6:30 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Den, 45 Spring St., 479-363-6444: Jukebox Party, 7 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Tavern, 417 W. Van Buren, 479-253-8544: Rockhouse / Benefit for Humane Society's Berryville Doggie Thrift Store, 7 p.m.
* Squid & Whale: Slam Boxx, 9 p.m.
* Voulez-Vous Lounge, 63 Spring St., 479-363-6595: Big Bad Gina, 9 p.m.
SATURDAY, FEB. 2
* Chaser's: Pieces of Dreams, 9 p.m.
* Chelsea's: Deadstring Brothers, 9 p.m.
* Eureka Live!: DJ & Dancing 9 p.m. to close
* Eureka Paradise: Slam Boxx, 9 p.m.
* Henri's Just One More, 19 1/2 Spring St., 479-253-5795: DJ, 9 p.m.
* Jack's Place / Centerstage Live, 37 Spring St., 479-253-2219: Karaoke, 8 p.m.
* The Lumberyard, 104 E. Van Buren, 479-253-0400: DJ/Karaoke, 8 p.m.
* New Delhi Cafe: Mike Blackwell, 6:30 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Den: Skillet Lickers, 7 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Tavern: The Ground Rattlers, 7 p.m.
* Squid and Whale: Springbilly, 9 p.m.
* Voulez-Vous Lounge: Big Bad Gina, 9 p.m.
SUNDAY, FEB. 3
* Cathouse: Super Bowl Party
* Chaser's: Super Bowl Funday, all day
* Chelsea's: Chucky Waggs, 6 to 10 p.m.
* Eureka Live!: Customer Appreciation Night specials 5 p.m. to close
* Henri's Just One More: Super Bowl Party
* The Lumberyard: Super Bowl Party, all day
* New Delhi Cafe: Anna Horton, 3 p.m.
* Squid and Whale: Super Bowl Party, 8 p.m.
MONDAY, FEB. 4
* Chelsea's: Springbilly, 9 p.m.
Kristal's Northwest Arkansas Music Blog
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Carroll County News Managing Editor Kristal Kuykendall is a longtime music writer and live music follower in Arkansas. In addition to her full-time journalism career, as a hobby she has formerly has covered live music around the state for Citiscapes magazine in Fayetteville; the statewide Celebrate Arkansas magazine based in Rogers; The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas; Little Rock entertainment website Do501.com; LoveLiveMusic.com; KATV Channel 7's "Good Morning Arkansas"; and Nightflying, the statewide entertainment monthly; as well as her own music blog formerly located at http://mojo-management.com/kstarsmusicblog. With Kristal's Northwest Arkansas Music Blog, she now writes about live music primarily in the Eureka Springs and Carroll County regions, and includes major shows coming to nearby areas such as Fayetteville and Branson as well.
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