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“Until I Get My Fill” – Mitch Polzak & the Royal Deuces cover a rockabilly tune that was originally done by The Haywoods out of Santa Cruz. A pint of whiskey and a $100 bill promise a night of rockin’
“Red River Valley” – Brother Spellbinder applies its melodic and otherworldly sound to a country campfire classic with interesting results. Expect to be surprised by their unique approach.
“Tonight the Heartache’s on Me” – Urban Outlaws — With eight embers, six of them with vocal mics, this band has no problem getting the music off the stage. Here Jackie Outlaw lights up Jaxson in San Francisco which has live music every Wednesday night.
“Mellow Saxophone” – Slim Jenkins — A raucous cover of the 1956 song written by Roy Montrell and popularized by the Stray Cats. This was recorded at Slim Jenkins’ CD release in San Francisco with the crowd giving it full support.
“Red Headed Woman” – Royal Deuces featuring Pam Brandon — Pam was celebrating her 50th birthday when, after a few previous stops, she sat in with the Royal Deuces to perform “Red Headed Woman,” a song of truth, if not necessarily redemption.
“Rocket 88“- Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines — You don’t have to be a fan of old Oldsmobiles to enjoy Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines’ version of “Rocket 88,” but it helps. Several models, including Jay Leno‘s ’58, appear.
“Whole Lotta Lovin’” – Terry Hanck — September 16th was B.B. King‘s 88th birthday. Terry Hanck covered B.B.’s “Whole Lotta Lovin'” in honor of it.
“Jukebox Charlie” – Tom Armstrong and the Branded Men — Tom Armstrong plays with the Branded Men every first Saturday at Speisekammer in Alameda, where this video was taken. This crunchy old country tune is by Johnny Paycheck.
“Long Tall Texan” – Velvetta, — Velvetta (rhymes with “Loretta”) made their debut at El Rio’s Cowgirlpalooza, Labor Day 2013. This video shows them having fun with a Lyle Lovett song poking fun at his fellow Texans.
“Joline” – Three and a Half Dollys — Jessica Rose, Margaret Belton (The Patsychords) and Catherine Foreman (Moonshine Maybelline, which was also the backing band) sing at the annual Dollypalooza.
“Que Mas Quieres” – Rick Shea — Rick Shea sat in with Red Meat at Slim’s then played his own set. This song mixes in a bit of Spanish: “Que mas quieres? Que mas puedo hacer?” means “What More Do You Want? What else can I do?”
“Queen of King City” – Red Meat — Jill Olson, as the “Queen of King City,” tells the tale of a small town girl in L.A., “Where girls get paid for being pretty.” Alas, stardom is not for everyone.
“Get in Deep Water” – Red Meat — At Slim’s, with Scott Young on vocals and Rick Shea sitting in. The lighting had them looking like lobsters in color, but they still get it done in retro black and white.
“Road Warrior” – Joe New — This is a must for those with commuting experience. New’s songs have been covered by Nick Lowe, Bill Kirchen and Del McCoury to name a few.
“Lost My Gal in Memphis” – West Coast Ramblers — This is old school western swing where melody triumphs. This track also showcases uses two steel guitars, one with pedals and one without.
“Rock Me Daddy-o” – Golden West Trio with Miss Kaye Marie – Kay Marie now records under her own name offering up a mix of ballads, honky-tonk and old school rockabilly like this.
“Family Tradition” – Jinx Jones and the KingTones with the Bad Mommies — Hilarious cover of a Hank Williams Junior song as only the Bad Mommies could do it. And yes, they all have kids.
“The Ballad of Charles Whitman” – Kinky Friedman wrote this song in the ’70s after America’s first mass school shooting. He performed it in S.F. — 40 years later at Café du Nord, and three days after the Sandy Hook shootings — without comment, apology or regret.
“Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” – Moonshine Maybelline, a Warren Zevon song that was performed at the Riptide by Catherine Foreman before this band had chosen their name.
“Where You Gonna Be Tonight” – Laura Benitez & the Heartache sing about the hardship of living with a working musician. This band’s name is a true indication of their ability to deliver on country songs of the “heartache persuasion.”
“Bad, Bad Boy” – Jailbreak, which hails from Fresno, played a party at the 23 Club in Brisbane that was hosted by the Road Zombies Car Club. This video starts outside the club, working its way past vintage cars, live Road Zombies, the 23 Club itself, and ultimately to the band.
“Yes, Ma’am” – Gal Holiday — This is a song that a younger woman sings to an older woman who doesn’t like the singer going out with her son. This video mixes in stills and clips that enhance the song’s story.
“Goin’ Honky-Tonkin’/House of Blue Lights” – Lucky Tubb is ’50-’60s country star Ernest Tubb‘s grand nephew. It’s a pedigree that servers him well. This video was taken at the Uptown in Oakland, and it features a medley that’s ideal for honky-tonking.
“Don’t Drive Like an Ass” – Yard Sale — Melanie DeGiovanni wrote and sings lead. Recorded at the Starry Plough in Berkeley anddedicated to that one awful driver whom each of us seems to know.
“You’ve Got to Serve Somebody” – Whisky Pills Fiasco engages in rockabilly gospel while covering this Bob Dylan tune. This Marin-based band can be found every month or two playing at Pier 23 in S.F., though this is from a performance at Hotel Utah.
“Thriftstore Cowgirl” – Red Meat — Jill Olson takes the lead on this song, sung in first-person perspective, about aspiring to lifestyles that one has romanticized. Be careful what you wish for…
“Bottle Baby Boogie” – Lonestar Retrobates — This is an old country song about not wanting to have any more kids. Good idea when considering how excessive birth rates contribute to global warming (which western swing legend Bob Wills knew nothing about when he wrote this.)
“Honky-Tonk Playgirl” – Jinx Jones — Quarterman Jack Champion introduces Jinx in this video which was broadcast live from a former Mission neighborhood performance space. These days Jack’s radio broadcasts (Saturdays 2-4) and podcasts can be found at Radio Valencia.
“Yankee Go Home” – Jeanie and Chuck sing a country duet once done by Bakerfield’s Wynn Stewart with Jan Howard, wife of the song’s writer, Harlan Howard. Actually Jeanie Poling sings her part while her husband speaks the man’s part.
“Your Own Personal Jesus” – Christopher Ford Band — What do bluesman-turned-hillbilly Christopher Ford and the ’80s band Depeche Mode have in common? Only this tune, which sounds mighty fine with a twanging arrangement.
“Chicken Fried” – B-Stars offer us a thinly disguised yet clever song about desire (well okay, lust). Eric Reedy sings lead from the Verdi Club’s stage in S.F.
“Baby Its Cold Outside” – Shut-Ins with Gayle Lynn perform the brown paper bag, make-up-some-lyrics, forget-others version. This is the reason people who are otherwise tired of Xmas songs go to the Shut-Ins Xmas shows, like this one at Bazaar Café in S.F.
“KALX Station ID” – Jose Segue — This station ID for KALX, UC Berkeley, strays from the tradition of musicians ad-libbing a quickie with the station’s call letters and frequency by taking DJ Meaty Paws hostage then ransoming him to the student body for $1,000,000!
“Six-Pack to Go“- Lost Weekend – Pam Brandon, vocals at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. “Hey, Mr. Bartender, please don’t be so slow…” Hear this classic as it was performed by a 14-piece western swing band.
“Leave My Kitten(s) Alone” – Mighty Slim Pickins — A band of fun-lovin’ women take this blues classic by Little Willie John way beyond anything he imagined when he wrote it. Fun, fun, fun!
“As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone” – Rudi and Rudy send this Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn weeper up to the moon. Hicks with Sticks was in the right place at the right time when this one-off performance was captured at Amnesia in S.F.