Not only did I have the whirlwind known as Shurlandez visiting this past week (OK, he's not so much of a whirlwind himself, but a Shurlandez visit inspires all of us other old-time Spotters into valiant action), but I had a bit of a car issue, and quite a bit of work.
But I did want to pause a bit and recap the live shows: Friday's Mudhouse Records showcase at Plush and Sunday's David Rovics show at Club Congress.
I think Mudhouse Records is on the verge of doing some great things for Tucson music. The label (founded and run by Jake Bergeron of the Deludes and Beta Sweat) has already put out the Sugarmama LP by Tom Walbank & The Ambassadors and they've just finished the vinyl pressing for Golden Boots' The Winter of Our Discotheque (Park the Van Records did handled the CD).
Coming up for Mudhouse are releases by the Fourkiller Flats, Chango Malo, and The Swim, which would make for one hell of a 2009.
So it's no surprise that Mudhouse collected Fourkiller Flats, Golden Boots & Tom Walbank for a excellent and versatile Friday night show.
The never-been-better Flats opened the show, putting together another teaser performance for their long-long-awaited new record. Their brand of gritty, twangy rock 'n' roll only gets better for me. The Fourkiller Flats are playing another show, at Che's Lounge on Saturday, for free as always.
Fresh off their new album release show with Bob Log III, Golden Boots sounded comfortable and relaxed, mixing their old and new in a tune-up for their trip to SXSW. Golden Boots will play the Rhythm Room in Phoenix on March 16, then they have four shows booked in Austin, including a Park The Van showcase with Dr. Dog and the Spinto Band. Then they'll spend April touring the East Coast (including Buffalo), Midwest and West Coast with Dr. Dog. Check here for tour dates, and don't miss out.
Tom Walbank closed out Friday night with his blistering harmonica solos and groovy Delta blues that sounds so perfect that you forget it's all coming from a British desert-dweller.
On Sunday, I caught an early acoustic show at Congress, arriving in time to watch Leila Lopez opening for David Rovics. I'd never seen a whole set from Lopez, who is an impressive acoustic guitar player as well as songwriter.
Rovics fits in somewhere along the spectrum of left-wing songwriters like Billy Bragg, Dan Bern, Steve Earle and Tom Morello. He's clever, passionate and dedicated, with rich and articulate songs that are history lessons as often as they are calls to arms. Stridently anti-commercial, Rovics gives away all of his music online, and bless him for it, because it's not as though sparsely attended gigs like Sunday's are earning him much to live on.
Fourkiller Flats - Never For Free
Golden Boots - Matters of the Heart
David Rovics - Minimum Wage Strike
David Rovics - New Orleans
David Rovics - I'm A Better Anarchist Than You