Sounds Good: Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang@Uptown, Truckstop Honeymoon@Replay, Reverend Horton Heat@Crossroads


This weekend is the calm before the storm…

The storm being next week, a holiday week that has killer shows virtually every night.

By virtue of the 4th being on Wednesday it seems like everyone is treating the entire week as a holiday, in particular the Crossroads.  They have a bunch of shows including Yonder Mountain String Band, Fitz and the Tantrums, Dark Star Orchestra, and Death Cab for Cutie. 

But that’s not to say there are no quality shows to check out before then. 

For example….

Wednesday, June 27th

Buddy Guy & Johnny Lang at the Uptown in KC

This old and new combo pairs a legend with a youngster who really seems like a seasoned vet. Probably because, at just 31 years old, Jonny Lang has been in the spotlight for nearly two decades. He exploded out of the gate at age twelve, signed to A&M Records at 15, and had a multi-platinum album at 16. He’s one of the premier axe-men around today, obviously, or else why would Buddy Guy be towing him around?

And of course, what needs to be said about Buddy other than he is a national treasure, one of the top guitarists of the last 50 years, and considered as THE influence for the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix. Do you really need more convincing?

Saturday, June 30th

3rd Annual Fish Fry at the Replay in Lawrence featuring Truckstop Honeymoon & Jason Eklund

Downtown Lawrence should be packed this weekend with the Tour of Lawrence bike race among other things. So if you’re out and about Saturday afternoon and in search of an ice cold beverage and a nice patio to relax on, look no further than the Replay, which boasts one of the best patios on Mass. Street. And probably the biggest one, too.

I’m told the fish will start frying around 3 and the bands will start around 6. Jason Eklund is a singer-songwriter type from Tennessee who has one of the worst websites I’ve ever seen. Check it: Maybe he’s going for that “I-don’t-care-about-promotion-let-the-music-speak-for-itself thing.”

And of course we’re all familiar with Truckstop, the husband-wife dirt duo with catchy songs about white trash livin’. But don’t let that fool you. Their songs are spit-polished to a shiny luster with spot-on harmonies and soulful yawps that have made these guys one of Lawrence’s best over the past few years. Best enjoyed with a cheap beer on ice with lemon or lime, right hipsters?

Reverend Horton Heat, Lucero, & Mountain Sprout at Crossroads KC

We all know the Reverend by now, right? He was in town this past February at the Bottleneck when I wrote this:

“How does one describe the good Reverend? It’s not as easy as you think. Well, let’s see, he kind of created the genre now known as psychobilly. What’s psychobilly you ask? Umm, it’s kind of a punk, country, swing, rockabilly, metal, big band type of deal. Got it?”

Needless to say the Reverend is truly an ORIGINAL, one that any real music fan needs to see live at least once. So there’s that. But I’m really looking forward to Lucero, a country tinged roots Americana band out of Memphis who released an album earlier this year called Women & Work. Now that is one grizzled album title.

Paste’s Kristen Blanton gave the album a 6.3 rating (do we really need the .3?) and had this to say:

“It’s been a long time since 1998, and with the growing years Lucero’s sound has evolved from their identifying restrained playing to a sonic layering comprised of vibrating guitars, joyous horns and quicktime keys… The six-piece has restrained its punk traditions on this 2012 album, bridging the transition between the shadow of the past and the prospects for the anti-pop future.”
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4 Responses to Sounds Good: Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang@Uptown, Truckstop Honeymoon@Replay, Reverend Horton Heat@Crossroads

  1. PB says:

    What Isn’t Mentioned Much
    In regards to Jonny Lang, is that that boy can SING! That’s what impressed me most upon seeing him open for George Thorogood a couple of years ago @ The Crossroads because truthfully, i had sort of just lumped him in with the endless stream of other young SRV clones like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Chris Duarte, Corey Stevens, etc. that came along during the 90s. Not really knocking any of those guys as I love that type of music, just think Jonny separates himself some from that pack with his incredibly soulful and powerful vocals.

    As for the Rev, his shows are ALWAYS stellar. He even won over the Motorhead crowd at the Midland a couple of years ago when he played before Lemmy and company. Lucero is the band that intrigues me and is what may drive me to go see this show. Have for the most part, dug their records (in fact “That Much Further West” might just be one the best records released in the last 10 years), but finally got to see them play live several years ago @ TwangFest in St.Louis and was hugely disappointed in their drunken, 80’s era Replacements-like performance. I know Ben Nichols is a fan of the Mats, but he didn’t need to channel the worst of Paul Westerberg on that particular night. Amazingly enough, the next day, a clearly hungover Nichols enthralled a small audience with a solo acoustic set at an in-store performance @ Euclid Records so I could clearly see he’s a very talented singer/songwriter. Hopefully the band has matured some since that Duck Room Debacle and they can officially win this “fan” over this weekend. Third time is the charm.

  2. Matt says:

    When I first heard Blue on Black…
    … I thought it was a 45 year old, whiskey soaked road warrior, not some skinny 16 year old punk kid. Lang’s voice is good and is certainly surprising when you see the person that it’s coming out of.

  3. Matt says:

    Whoops, wrong skinny punk…
    … I meant Lie to Me.

  4. PB says:

    You brought up that KWS record (an easy mistake as I think they came out about the same time) as although he and Lang will seemingly be forever linked, I think what vaults him over KWS is that ability to sing. In fact, that’s while I’ll never fully embrace KWS and to a lesser extent, Derek Trucks because something just seems missing from their performances w/o vocals (KWS actually does sing more now, but Noah Hunt handles most of the vocal duties). Unbelievable players both, for me just will always a notch below the real greats though.

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