ROGER KNOX & THE PINE VALLEY COSMONAUTS, THE WACO BROTHERS, and SALLY TIMMS
ROGER KNOX & THE PINE VALLEY COSMONAUTS
Roger Knox is an Australian country singer known as the Black Elvis and the Koori King of Country. He is an Gamilaroi man (a group of Indigenous Australians), was born in Moree and grew up in the Toomelah Aboriginal Mission near Boggabilla near the border between New South Wales and Queensland.
In 1980s Knox was in a plane crash that killed his drummer Ken Ramsay. Knox was badly burnt and got pain relief from a natural bath oil made from the Eura bush. That bush and the settlement on which his father was born were inspirations for the name of his band, the Euraba band.
Roger Knox was given the Jimmy Little Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Music at the 2006 Deadlys.
Knox was scheduled to perform at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois on October 10, 2009 with Jon Langford and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts. However, his US visa was denied a week before the show and Knox did not make the trip.
"I've never been able to find a live band in New York as consistently thrilling and funny and fun as the Waco Brothers." Author and former Chicagoan Sarah Vowell interview on the Chicagoist.
THE WACO BROTHERS
Ladies and gentlemen, quite possibly the best live rock band on the planet. We've seen them a hundred and sixty seven times, and the Waco Brothers never fail to entertain with their train wreck approach to country. Subtlety is for the weak, so they've chosen the path of optimum mayhem and tomfoolery. In their rollicking career, they have been called everything from the flagship act of the alternative country "movement" to pure butchery. Both are likely to be correct.
The line-up, in case you haven't been paying attention: Jon Langford (Mekons, Pine Valley Cosmonauts), Joe Camarillo, Alan Doughty (Jesus Jones), Deano (Dollar Store, Wreck) and Tracy Dear (World's Greatest Living Englishman).
In a world of corporate-sponsored tours by lame-o alt-rockers complaining about their hotel suites and "country" stars who owe more to Boston than Bakersfield, the Wacos go out every night and play as if their lives depended on it. Their shows at SXSW and CMJ are legendary, and every year threaten to actually collapse under the weight of their runaway brilliance. If you're not drunk, sweaty and out of money at the end of one of their shows, then brother, we pity you.
"and dancers of all stripes jumped into the uproar on the tiny platform of a stage, seemingly destroying the barrier between band and audience. As the last bits of the tumultuous sound faded away, the crowd picked up the slack, cheering with all their might. A feeling of exhilaration permeated the air, leaving all assembled smiling the knowing smile. They'd been to rock & roll nirvana, and life just couldn't be any better." Austin Chronicle SXSW
Their mix of hellfire country and mournful punk truly inspire. They are working to save music so you don't have to.
"The band's songbook is filled with political parables fused to a lost highway aesthetic and loads of black humor pass the bottle and turn up the jukebox." Time Out Chicago
"What makes the band a force to behold live is their refusal of subtlety. With three lead singers, a three-guitar lineup and a punk rock rhythm section, the band commits at a high level and rarely relents." The Daily Herald
"The Wacos infuse lefty outrage into rollicking roots songs that lambaste Bush, Christian conservatives, commercial radio, and society in general enough to please any political hardcore band." Onion A.V. Club
"Sally was born in Leeds, England," says the official Bloodshot Records bio. "She grew up in the Yorkshire dales, sang in the church choir and performed in poetry recitals as a child. In 1985 she joined the Mekons as a full-time member and has regretted it ever since. Unfortunately, the only way out of the Mekons is in a box, so she's still there."
Luckily, she's found the time to make a few solo records as well. Her newest isn't actually on the Bloodshot label - it's available from crosstown pals Touch and Go, and is called In the World of Him. As a followup to her previous solo release, 1999's "Cowboy Sally's Twilight Laments for Lost Buckaroos", it may well leave many fans of the latter record scratching their collective head. Out with the lush country sound (was it camp? Who cares - sounds great) and in with a spare recording where bleak electronic blips and bleeps accompany a gentle acoustic strum. The record is a collection of songs written by men, with a very male point of view, and the musical backing is for the most part provided by Johnny Dowd and friends, who offered up their recording studio to put the songs to tape.
A collection of songs exploring the politics of gender, with some lo-fi electronics stirred into the acoustic pot, should really surprise no one, however. Hell, she's a Mekon.
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