Listings are in the opposite order of appearance: headliner is listed at the top, next is the support band(s), and the last band listed is the opener.
Sunday April 28 2019
8:00PM doors -- music at 8:30PM
••• 21 AND OVER
$13 in advance / $15 at the door
Americana, Roots Rock
-from Memphis/Nashville, TN
-ADIOS is Cory Branan's death record. Not the cheeriest of openings, but like all of Branan's mercurial work it's probably not what you think. As funny and defiant as it is touching and sad, this self-dubbed "loser's survival kit" doesn't spare its subjects or the listener.
Not even Branan's deceased father is let off the hook. In the tender homage "The Vow" he drolly cites his father's favorite banality "that's what you get for thinking" as "probably not the best lesson for kids." For most songwriters that would be the punchline but Branan pushes through words and, in his father's actions, finds a kind of "genius in the effortless way he just 'did'."
Not all the death on ADIOS is literal mortality. "Imogene" is sung from the wreckage of a love that once "poked fun at the pain, stoked the sun in the rain" but ends with the urgent call to "act on the embers, ash won't remember the way back to fire."
The trademark lyrical agility is mirrored sonically. Never a genre loyalist, ADIOS finds Branan (much like his musically restless heroes Elvis Costello and Tom Waits) coloring outside the lines in sometimes clashing shades of fuzz and twang. While unafraid to play it arrow-straight when called for (“the Vow”, “Equinox”, “Don't Go”), ADIOS veers wildly from the Buddy Holly-esque rave up "I Only Know" (sung with punk notables Laura Jane Grace and Dave Hause), through the swampy "Walls, MS" to the Costello-like new wave of "Visiting Hours." The blistering punk of "Another Nightmare in America" bops along daring listeners to "Look away, look away, move along, nothing to see here" (the song is from the point of view of a racist killer cop). And as the mourning singer on "Cold Blue Moonlight" shifts from paralysis to panic, the song's jazzy drone shifts to an almost Sabbath fury. The tonal shifts are always deliberate and not just simple genre hopping; while the turns can be jarring you can trust Branan to take you somewhere unexpected.
The 14-song album was self-produced and recorded in the spring of 2016 at Tweed Studios in Oxford, MS with a tight three piece: Branan on lead vocals and guitar (both electric and acoustic); Robbie Crowell of Deer Tick on drums and percussion, keys, and horns; and James “Haggs” Haggerty on bass. Additionally, Amanda Shires contributes on fiddle and vocals, and Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Dave Hause provide guest vocals.
Cory Branan has four previous full-length releases: The Hell You Say (2002, Madjack Records), 12 Songs (2006, Madjack), Mutt (2012, Bloodshot Records), and The No-Hit Wonder (2014, Bloodshot). His music has received critical praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, NPR All Things Considered, Noisey, Wall Street Journal, Paste Magazine, Oxford American, Consequence of Sound, Southern Living, and many others.
Joshua "Fireball" Fleming: vocals, acoustic guitar
Dustin "Midnight" Fleming: electric guitar, pedal steel
Cory "Round Up" Graves: piano, trumpet, vocals
Guyton "Dixieland" Sanders: drums
Travis "McFiddlesticks" Curry: fiddle
Mark "Crossroads" Moncrieff: bass
-from Dallas, TX
-Vandoliers are the next wave of Texas music. The six-piece Dallas-Fort Worth group channels all that makes this vast state unique: tradition, modernity, audacity, grit, and—of course—size.
Formed in 2015, the self-proclaimed "Converse cowboys" emerged from a group of Dallas-Fort Worth musicians who'd already logged more than a decade in their own punk and folk bands. Vandoliers mix raw, rough-edged roots music with the focused, fiery storytelling of frontman Joshua Fleming, who says of joining Bloodshot:
"When we received the invitation to perform at Bloodshot's annual SXSW party we were completely beside ourselves. Being from the same hometown as our heroes the Old 97’s, we've grown up fans of the label and have wanted to be a Bloodshot band since day one. I even sent a terrible demo submission when we were first getting started three years ago. I can’t put into words what it feels like to have the faith of the same institution that has put out so many of my favorite albums, but I am happy to call Bloodshot home and can’t wait to get to work on our next album."
Behind him, the band (bassist Mark Moncrieff, drummer Guyton Sanders, fiddler Travis Curry, electric guitarist Dustin Fleming (no relation), and multi-instrumentalist Cory Graves) kick up plenty of fast-moving dust, filling the songs with train beats, gang vocals, blasts of brass, and bursts of guitar. Vandoliers' sound is truly a tour of the many subgenres that originated in the Lone Star State, from outlaw country to Texas swing, electric blues, and even Tejano. At the same time, it’s a twist on those familiar sounds, delivered with a wink of the eye and a bang of the head. (As the Dallas Observer amusingly asserted, it's "as if Calexico and Dropkick Murphys got together for a fiesta.") It's twang and tattoos, grit and guitars, honky-tonk and horns, Tejano and Telecasters. It's Vandoliers.
Vandoliers' first two albums Ameri-Kinda (2016) and The Native (2017) were released on State Fair Records. The band has toured with such country and rock-n-roll stalwarts as Marty Stuart, Lee Ann Womack, Old 97's, and Reverend Horton Heat.
And no, we don't know where Joshua's "terrible demo" is.