Their second such release is a comp called Delta Masters, on which an assortment of bands from Boxcar's orbit contribute their own interpretations of tunes by the pioneering blues men of the Mississippi Delta. Many of the participants hail from SA and surrounding burgs, but the label also recruited like-minded artists from such established centers of blues activity as Chelsea, Michigan, and Long Island City. (Of special interest to this writer is the inclusion of the Railroad Jerk spinoff White Hassle.) Wherever they're from, most of the groups are riding essentially the same cultural wave: The recognize that rock music owes a lot more to old black men on rural front porches than to sequined teenagers wearing too much mascara. The disc is a hodgepodge of both semi-faithful and outrageously transformed songs, with the one interesting ground rule being that no two bands could cover the same songwriter. It's raucous, rude, occasionally as ugly as the painting on the CD cover, and a lot of fun. (The project's unofficial motto, "Death to Kenny Wayne Shepherd!" should let you know how these folks feel about slick "contemporary" blues.)

On Friday, February 7, a handful of contributors will be at Taco Land to celebrate the record's release. Boxcar Satan, Los Mescaleros, Scotty Karate & the Crab Lady Show, and Double Clutch will be there, along with what we're sure will be an impressive array of cheap drum sets, imaginatively tuned guitars, and microphones old enough to qualify for Social Security (if such a program still exists when this paper hits the streets). The show starts at 10; cover is $5, or $10 for the you're-a-sucker-if-you-don't-do-it combo of admission plus the CD. Go down and pick a fight by suggesting that Clapton's a better guitar player than Charley Patton.


Miss Neesie and the Ear Food Orchestra, an unrepentant bar band hot enough to open for the Neville Brothers at the Majestic, is celebrating its 20th anniversary at Casbeers, with a three-day anniversary celebration and record release party at 8:30pm Friday, February 7 and 9pm Saturday, February 8, followed on Sunday, February 9 by the Gospel brunch buffet at noon and the Ear Food Gospel Orchestra at 1pm.

Ear Food's new, two-disc release, Enshrined, was recorded live last April, and includes the blues, zydeco, Cajun, and original rock 'n' roll for which the band is acclaimed. Featured are Miss Neesie Beal (vocals, rub board, and common sense), Ronnie Biediger (accordion, keyboard, vocals), Allen Elsasser (guitar), Ollie Morris (drums, vocals), and Jim Beal Jr. (bass), who is known for his droll delivery on the KSYM 90.1 Third Coast show every Thursday from 3-7pm. Also featured are the Zydeco Trojan Howling Dog Horns: Mike Davis, George Briscoe, and C. Dale Taylor. "The band is a complete collaborative effort," says Beal, proudly detailing the individual accomplishments of his long-time fellow musicians.

The Ear Food Gospel Orchestra will also celebrate the first anniversary of its voluntary, monthly gig at Casbeers. Passing the collection plate at each performance has garnered a very nice chunk of change for the SAMM Shelter. The weekend also marks the fourth anniversary of Casbeers, under the stewardship of Barbara Wolfe and Steve Silbas.


Punk-pop quartet the Rummies had billed their Saturday, February 1 gig at Sam's Burger Joint (their second since a mini-Southwestern tour) as a record-release show, but with their latest creation, 2 Songs Short of a Six Pack, a few weeks short of ready, it turned out to be something more like a record-forthcoming show.

With the band's drummer Rob Riot sporting a Cramps T-shirt, and bassist Botz in a Ramones tee, it wasn't hard to tell where the band's musical allegiances rested. The Rummies play primitive old-school punk with little finesse and plenty of snotty attitude and aggression. In front of a crowd of approximately 100 true believers - including at least a handful of regulation-size mohawks - they blazed through favorites from their debut CD, Rocketship to Nowhere (an obvious allusion to the Ramones' Rocket to Russia), beginning with the hedonistic call-to-arms, "I Wanna be Drunk."

The Rummies were the local heroes and the clear crowd favorite, but on a purely musical level, the real revelation of the night was opening band Plain White T's, a Midwestern emo-pop group whose soaring harmonies (and earnest approach) recalled Jimmy Eat World. Plain White T's are on the arty fringe of modern punk, while for the Rummies, it was clear that art is - as Keith Richards once put it - merely "short for Arthur." •