Less barn raising, more hell raisin'

When Eddie Spaghetti has a birthday, there are no candles and cake - it's pure hillbilly hellfire and brimstone on a microphone. So toss back what's left of that cold one, hitch up those britches, and pomade that pompadour to perfection, because we're all invited to the party as the Supersuckers (below) celebrate frontman Spaghetti's birth on Saturday, March 16 at Strutters. Brace yourselves: This is going to be an all-out, balls-out, countrified rock out. The band's Country Western Extravaganza tour throughout Texas is to support the recent release of Must've Been Live (Mid-Fi) - a sound documentation of the Supersuckers' tour for their 1997 country album, Must've Been High (Sub Pop).

"We're dusting off the old acoustic guitars, and bringing our seldom-seen country show around," says Spaghetti. "People have been asking when we're going to do it again, and so now we have this live record, and we're going to do a little bit more of it."

The hayseed hellions collectively known as the Supersuckers blew into Seattle from Tucson, Arizona in the early '90s - just prior to the implosion of grunge on the city's scene. The cowpunk rockstars - Spaghetti, Ron Heathman, Dan Bolton, and Dancing Eagle - remained rooted to their raw rock 'n' roll repertoire of white trash ruminations, signing with Sub Pop Records and subsequently releasing their debut album The Smoke of Hell, in 1992; La Mano Cornuda in 1994; The Sacrilicious Sounds of the Supersuckers in 1995; a slew of singles, including split singles with Reverend Horton Heat and Steve Earle; and the aforementioned country debut, a daring departure from the band's highly adrenalized, ass-kicking, electric power-chord configuration. "When it `Must've Been High` came out, people didn't really seem to like it right away," says Spaghetti. "But over time it's become maybe our most popular record."

In 1999, the band released what Spaghetti considers the group's "finest recorded moment to date," The Evil Powers of Rock 'n' Roll (Koch/Aces & Eights). More recently, the Supersuckers have started their own record label, Mid-Fi (as in "middle finger"), "with the goal mainly being able to get more music out to fans," Spaghetti explains. "We've got a bunch of songs, a bunch of recordings that maybe a regular label wouldn't want to put out all the time." The live album - which features auditory guest appearances by Audley Freed of the Black Crowes, Willie Nelson's daughter, Amy Nelson, and a harmonica hoedown with Mickey Rafael (of Willie's band) - marks Mid-Fi's first release, but Spaghetti expects the much-anticipated release of another rock album toward the end of the year. "It looks like it's going to be a lot like the Evil Powers of Rock 'n' Roll record that we put out a couple of years ago, and I'm hoping that it will be like that and a little bit better. People will get their good ol' Supersuckers back." And with a raucous rock tour to boot.

This time around, though, it's going to be one helluva hootenanny, as the Supersuckers kick out the dirty country ditties. And when you're thanking them for tweaking that country twang to turbo, wish Spaghetti a birthday as happy as you are. ♦

Saturday, March 16
2718 N. St. Mary's St.

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