Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Honky tonkin' at the Mint

over the weekend, I saw two impressive acts playing around the corner at the Mint here in Los Angeles. First up was Elizabeth Cook, straight from Nashville. A sassy blonde whose dress was almost as long as her guitar, Cook played both sides of the Nashville fence – Music Row and East Nashville. The titular tune from her new album, "It Takes Balls to Be A Woman" is a feisty feminist-style anthem that Gretchen Wilson would have all over CMT (I actually did see Cook’s video on GAC). But she also does more alt.country stuff and certainly doesn’t fix into the typical Nashvegas stereotype. She broke out some clog dancing while her guitarist Tim Carroll (definitely check him out as well) did a number. She closed with a version of "Soap, Soup and Salvation" by Lone Justice, not even knowing that Lone Justice guitarist Ryan Hedgecock was in the crowd.
Following her was a local guy David Selby, whose set of old school, but rocking honky tonk scored a high grade too – even if he didn’t clog. If a musician can be judged by his backing band, Selby then is easy to recommend. His guitarist/producer is Ed Tree (Spencer Davis Group) while is bassist Taras Prodaniuk has played with Lucinda Williams and Dwight Yoakam. But Selby would have won me over even without his savvy veteran crew.

On a sadder note, I learned that Nancy Tannenbaum, who was known as Nancy Rideout when she played guitar in Moonshine Willy, was killed May 13 in a motorcycle accident in New York City. She apparently swerved her motorcycle to avoid hitting someone who strangely ran out onto the West Side Highway and she had a fatal crash. While Moonshine Willy wasn’t a particular favorite of mine, they were part of the early Bloodshot Record crew that captured my attention back in the ‘90s. She is the second member of the Bloodshot family to pass away this year. In February, Split Lip Rayfield’s Kirk Rundstrom succumbed to a long bout of cancer. Belated wishes of condolences go out to both families.

Michael B

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