Rhythm & Views

The Rusty Boys

FANS OF THE Grateful Dead, J.J. Cale, Bo Diddley, even Jimi Hendrix, unite: this band's comin' to your town to help you party down. Actually, the Rusty Boys have been operating on a low-watt level right here in Tucson since '92, playing the local pub, party and Downtown Saturday Night circuit, so if you've overlooked 'em, you can repay the oversight by purchasing a copy of their exceedingly fine CD.

The four icons mentioned previously all get checked by the Boys. A cover of the Dead's interpretation of "Lovelight" is spot-on, hearty jamfest stuff, while the Cale war-horse "Call Me The Breeze" gets served up in a tasty, jazz-shuffle groove. "Bo Diddly Beat" (jointly credited to Bo and Buddy Holly) is one of those insistent thumpers that can't miss, featuring some sleek "Who do you love?" call-and-response bits plus stealth harmonica licks. And "Crosstown Traffic," gets a surprising overall with kinetic, Latino-styled percussion and a rousing vocal portion, the overall arrangement bringing to mind Dave Mason's "Feelin' Alright."

Half of the songs here are original compositions, and the Boys acquit themselves quite nicely. From the sexy blues strut of "Baby Isabella Blues" to the intensely soulful, Eric Clapton-styled folk rock of "Bridget's In The Kitchen" to the hypnotic, percussion-and-didjeridoo driven psychedelia of the appropriately titled "Persian Rug Love Jam," every tune here conveys a sense of musical camaraderie and the joys of multi-genre sonic splicing. In short, the Boys sound like they're having the time of their lives. Bets are high that you will, too.

Catch The Rusty Boys live at the Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave., on Saturday, February 26.

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