Saturday, July 16, 2011


I'll admit to being a tad ambivalent about the whole country-rock thang. On the one hand, just this morning I've been listening to stuff like the Byrds' The Notorious Byrd Brothers and the 'Mats' "Can't Hardly Wait," which to these feedback-scorched ears will always belong to Woodeye, the late lamented Cowtown cowpunks fronted by Carey Wolff, who has written more songs that can bring a tear to my eye than anyone else I now personally, and half of whose erstwhile bandmates are now in Hayes Carll's band. And I can't forget the months back around the start of the Millennial decade that I spent sweating it out in Frank Logan's music room or a piece-of-shit studio over on Craig Street with Frank and Nicholas Girgenti, practicing their 'riginals and songs by the likes of Wilco and the Bottle Rockets. But country-rock is one genre (like blues) that when it's good, can be very, very good, but when it's bad, is horrid. (Pure Prairie League, anybody?)

So along comes Badcreek, a Fort Worth outfit that my friend Frank Cervantez (Sub Oslo, Stumptone) sez sounds like "the Bottle Rockets [running] into Marc Ford at Ol' South and [giving] him a ride home while listening to Uncle Tupelo." Besides the recommendation of someone whose opinion I respect, what caught my attention about these guys was their lineup, which includes Linc Campbell (ex-Mockingbird Cartel, ex-Suiciety) on guitar, Bob Nash (Raging Boner) on bass, and Riyad Elmasri, whom I remember being ubiquitous on the set in the waning days of the Wreck Room and during the brief existence of the Fairmount, that bridge-too-far on Magnolia that had the misfortune to _just_ precede that 'hood's more recent resurgence.

I'm encouraged, listening to the rehearsal recordings they have online at Reverbnation. Frontguy Eric Waldron does indeed have the same deadpan delivery as the Bottle Rockets' Brian Henneman, and the band's sound is more in the messy, feedback-oozing rockaroll mold of Crazy Horse than the more stripped-down manner of many "Americana" purveyors. It's a dense, harmonic-rich sound, with the ringing overtones from the guitars reverberating over the riddim boyzzz' deliberate pace while Riyad interjects occasional Al Kooper-on-Highway 61 Revisited washes into the mix. Plenty of chances to catch 'em live in the coming weeks, too, with gigs booked at Lola's on July 21st, the Grotto on July 22nd, and Tomcats West on July 29th.


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