So what kind of music do you listen to? Oh, you know… I like everything. Except Country. So you like alt-country? Ummm? What?
Yes. The correct answer to that question is a resounding yes. Not ‘what?’. Not no. Not a semantic discussion of what ‘alt-country’ means… just yes.
The Chop likes us some sonofabitchin’ alt-country, and we’re about to show you how much down to Sonar tonight when we go holler at Lucero.
The first thing any self-respecting alt-country artist will tell you is, of course, that they are not ‘alt-country’. Like emo and alternative rock before it, those who invented it are the quickest to disown the label. You’ve got to call it something though. It needs a name to set it above the flood of crap that passes for commercial country music. Call it honky-tonk. Call it Midwestern roots rock. Call it down home. Whatever you call it, acts like Drag the River, Tim Barry and Drive-By Truckers are making phenomenal records with the momentum of a bona fide movement. Even Barack Obama loves Wilco.
Lucero is at the forefront of that movement. The Chop has had the great good fortune to see them several times before, and we can personally attest to the fact that they are possibly the hardest working, hardest drinking band in the country. We’re talking about a band who spends 200-250 days a year touring, and makes damn sure every show is a full-on 2 hour extravaganza. That’s 2 hours of stage time. It doesn’t include drinking with fans, glad-handing, and impromptu acoustic or a capella sets in the parking lot- all of which are cornerstones of the Lucero experience.
Tonight’s show marks the first time they’re bringing a full horn section on the road with them, which should be an interesting addition to say the least. They’re also bringing fellow Tennesseans Glossary who, at their best, sound like a country-fied Billy Joel. (We mean that in a good way. Billy Joel was cool like 30 years ago.)
We’re also really anxious to check out the Desert Boys, who are actually not from the desert at all, but are Charm City locals of long standing.
You’ll recognize Ryan Shelkett from Blank and Cross My Heart, as well as from Liars’ Academy with fellow DB Matt Smith, who also played guitar in Strike Anywhere. There’s a couple of members of Squaaks. in that photo too. Shelkett ain’t never done no wrong in our opinion, so if he wants to start writing alt-country songs, we have every confidence they’re going to be some of the better alt-country songs you’ve ever heard. Especially if they’re produced by Brian McTernan.
Doors open up at 8. Show up on time, cause these guys have sold out bigger rooms than this.