As far as I can tell country music has been co-opted by yuppies. So I'm pretty suspicious of anything claiming to be country. Look, wrapping yourself in the flag as you burn rubber in your pick up truck on the way to see some cookie-cutter cowboy sing about his flag and his pick up truck, don't make you country, son... nor does it make the music country.
But thankfully country music is being saved by the alt-country mavericks (popping up in the least likely of places) and the long hairs. That's right: the original boil on society's ass, pot-smokin', draft-dodgin', middle-finger salutin' long hairs. Like Shooter Jennings.
Jennings comes from legendary outlaw country stock and treats his (seemingly) country music with the reverent hands of a southern rocker. Despite the bloodline, Jennings clearly has his own agenda --- "to put the 'o' back in country." Besides, to cop Waylon's wail would've been passé.
Jennings and his band unassumingly took the RIT stage last Friday night and launched into their guitar-heavy southern rock --- picture Skynyrd in its prime. It wasn't country, it was rock... big rock at that, with Jennings and his corduroy'd guitarist trading off solos and generally getting the crowd of about 3000 worked up. They veered into the real country at one point with a nod to the Possum when Jennings tagged the end of a tune with "He Stopped Loving Her Today." I think he was stoned. And there's nothing quite like hearing a real southerner cuss. Shee-it.
The Black Arrows are busy forging a new disc that has them a little more solidified in the unique sound they've created. Not louder, not heavier, just bigger. They proved it Saturday night at The Bug Jar with Tiger Cried Beef and Buffalo's Knife Crazy.
Tiger Cried Beef on the other hand was louder and heavier. Where'd this come from? The whimsical songwriting was still there but these guys rocked harder than they have in the past. Very cool. Their frenetic set made way for Knife Crazy's spastic indie-rock. A little manic and hairpin. It was certainly fun to watch.