XOXO: Mark your calendars

Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies. This week, Asleep At The Wheel, Lizzy & The Triggerman, Tommie Sunshine, The High Kings, Robert Earl Keen, Limbeck and others perform at a venue near you. Read on.


Mark your calendars… 

Thursday, Oct. 7 


An integral figure in the Nashville songwriting community, Dana Cooper has collaborated with renowned writers like Tom Kimmel, Kim Carnes and Don Henry. His upcoming release, I Can Face the Truth (slated to drop in early 2022), finds this insightful storyteller facing hard truths head-on with humor and unfeigned expression. Dana Cooper spins yarns. At Monterey Court... 


Friday, Oct. 8 


In 2020, in the penumbra of the pandemic, as the wheels of the music industry ground to a halt, so too did Asleep at the Wheel’s 50th-anniversary plans. Since the band’s inception, in 1970, Ray Benson has been the only constant. “I’m singing, playing and writing better than ever. I’ve made it this far and [won’t] be slowing down anytime soon.” The title track to Half A Hundred Years (2021)—with appearances by country greats George Strait, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett and Lee Ann Womack—finds Benson in a celebratory mood. He sings, “Start the jam, roll one up, and ice another beer. I’ll tip my hat and raise a toast to half a hundred years.” Austin western swing institution Asleep at the Wheel celebrate their golden anniversary. At Fox Tucson Theatre... As word-of-mouth began to spread, true to their Prohibition Era vibe, channeling the electrifying swagger of ’20s and ’30s big bands, playing exclusive L.A. speakeasies, the band quickly rose from the shadowy underground to bookings in storied Hollywood venues. Their brash debut EP, Good Songs for Bad Times (2020)—with smoky songs about getting high to devil-may-care romps about dancing ‘til the end of the world—quickly rose to No. 3 on iTunes jazz charts. Fronted by the sultry voiced, flame-haired femme fatale, Liz Shapiro, big band jazz sensations Lizzy & The Triggermen travel through time. At Hotel Congress (Plaza)... After a decade of stimulating the ears of bassheads worldwide — performing as SPL —  L.A.-based producer Sam Pool realized that in order to evolve musically, he had to keep pushing sonic boundaries. With a new dubstep sound, built around elements of blippy 8-bit sounds, arpeggios, and ‘80s synths, Champagne Drip extends the limits. At 191 Toole... 


Saturday, Oct. 9  


The stuff of legend. Riding the cutting edge of the ’90s rave scene, as a clubber Tommie Sunshine was inspired to launch his career after attending a seminal warehouse rave thrown by “The Godfather of American rave culture” Frankie Bones; credited as the birthing ground of the PLUR (peace, love, unity and respect) movement. Thirty-five years as an integral figure of the EDM scene, Sunshine keeps an eye peeled on the horizon. Recently, remixing tracks by Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Sofi Tukker, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fall Out Boy, and a plethora of others. DJ/producer/remixer Tommie Sunshine remains “Untouchable.” At 191 Toole... From the Ivory Coast (now calling Tucson home), international reggae ambassador General Tchefary performs at Tucson Meet Yourself... In 2019, Billboard noted this band as “one of the most important in broadening the scope of what hardcore punk is.” Featuring members of Turnstile and Trapped Under Ice, Baltimore punk supergroup Angel Du$t are out touring their latest release, YAK: A Collection of Truck Songs (2021). At Club Congress... In addition to collaborations with Tony Gilkyson (X, Lone Justice), John Densmore (The Doors), and his longtime gig as bandleader for Kevin Costner & Modern West, this award-winning (folk/country rock) singer-songwriter has released five solo albums and composed numerous songs for film (Dances With Wolves) and television (Hatfields & McCoys). “The lone coyote howling in the desert.” John Coinman performs with his ace band. At Hotel Congress (Plaza)... 

Sunday, Oct. 10  


Laden with angular guitars and minimal new wave-y synths, these Austin (via Cambridge) post-punks conceived their DIY debut Hunger for a Way Out in a “disused and reverberant concrete laboratory.” Utilizing a primitive “single-mic technique,” as fate would have it, they finished recording just in time to enter quarantine. 

Now, taking to the road, Sweeping Promises headline a bill that includes local indie pop-punks The Exbats and Stripes. At Club Congress... 


Monday, Oct. 11 


[As per Testament’s social media posts dated Oct. 1.] Regrettably, the North American leg of the Bay Strikes Back Tour featuring Testament, Exodus, and Death Angel has been postponed until 2022... 


Tuesday, Oct. 12  


With a repertoire that ranges from heavenward religious songs to earthbound pub music, The High Kings have risen to the top of Billboard’s World Music charts. Having received the stamp of approval from Ronnie Drew (The Dubliners)—the man behind one of Ireland’s most recognizable and enduring voices—these Irish balladeers are charting a new course. “The gigs were getting bigger and bigger, and we felt we were breaking down barriers.” To include a 2012 performance for President Obama at The White House, presiding over the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. “Rattlin’ o’er the bogs. Frightenin’ all the dogs on the rocky road to Dublin,” The High Kings traverse Memory Lane. At Rialto Theater... Tucson Studio Live features the Sonoran soul of queer black artist Mattea paired with the moody downtempo electro-pop of Sharkk Heartt. At Club Congress. With Stevie Rose... 


Wednesday, Oct. 13 


Not for the faint of heart. With savage execution and an atmosphere that evinces darkness, Exsul, Fleshrot, Savage Necromancy and Neyquam congregate for a night of death metal. At Club Congress... 

Thursday, Oct. 14  


Tabbed a “country and Americana cult hero” by Rolling Stone, this raspy-voiced, Texas songwriter’s truth-filled songs have been recorded by country heavy-weights: George Strait, Lyle Lovett, The [Dixie] Chicks, The Highwaymen and others. In 2012, Robert Earl Keen joined Lovett and the late Townes Van Zandt as an inductee into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame. For all that, he’s never quite fit in. “The guys who’ve ‘made it’ from Nashville can’t hold Robert’s guitar pick,” producer Lloyd Maines told Rolling Stone. “He never conformed to the business norm. He really wanted to stay true to what he was doing, and to his fans.” For Robert Earl Keen “The Road Goes on Forever.” At Rialto Theater... You may not be familiar with Limbeck. After forming in 1999 they asked themselves, “How can we continue to do this and not live with [our] parents?” Before updating social media feeds became de rigueur for bands, in the aughts, these SoCal alt. country/emo rockers took to the road and never really left, developing a cult following in the process. “We were [just] some dudes that used to play a whole lot of shows and drive all over the place,” Patrick Carrie recalls. Playing for the rank and file, Limbeck recently played an impromptu acoustic set at an Oklahoma Waffle House. True story: After a ghost caused a Hotel Congress room recording session to come crashing to a halt, Limbeck returns. At Club Congress... 

Until next week, XOXO...


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