Thursday, October 18, 2007

Los Straitjackets and Big Sandy/Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans

'Twas a hot August night indeed that found your friends from 1600 back at the Birchmere, this time for a repeat performance of Los Straitjackets and Big Sandy, still touring on their recent CD collaboration, "Rock en Espanol, Vol. One." The opening act, Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans, played a solid set which included both original material and standards. Their eclectic repertoire bridged rock, R & B, zydeco, reggae, blues and calypso, the band playing African percussion instruments in a rowdy, upbeat, danceable set. We hope to see more from this band, with four or five CDs available to date, they bear a second listen.

Just back from a European tour with the World Famous Pontani Sisters, who last graced the State Theater with their modern burlesque show last winter (as well as touring with Los Straitjackets and vocalist Kaiser George), surf guitar heroes Los Straitjackets swarmed on the stage shortly after, first ripping into their trademark instrumentals with abandon, but soon accompanied by the charismatic crooner, Big Sandy. They featured many of the tunes from the most recent release, including the Kinks' classic All Day and All of the Night, You'll Lose a Good Thing, Gimme Little Sign, and (my personal favorite) Lonely Teardrops. Naturally, they played some of their own material and classic surf tunes, including Casbah, with its synchronized choreography, Tailspin, Cavalcade, Tsunami, Itchy Chicken, and many others.

Big Sandy was in fine voice, and the band propelled it's way through a 90 minute set with the rhythm section of Jason "Teen Beat" Smay anchoring the band on skins, and Pete Curry on bass, giving a solid backdrop for guitarists Eddie Angel and Danny Amis to tear it up with their signature six string pyrotechnics. The crowd responded by filling the dance floor and dancing 'til the last song, still hungry for more. And as usual, the band was also kind enough to oblige fans with autographs and their good natured camaraderie after the show.

The band should be back again soon, and never play the same show twice. 1600 also hopes to see Big Sandy here with his Fly-Rite Boys to hear more classic roots tunes after this tour winds up. Always entertaining, Los Straitjackets and Big Sandy are a great bet for a fun night out and a trip back to the old school sounds that you grew up with. Check out their websites from our Links page!

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