When: Sat., Nov. 7, 9 p.m. 2015
I am always reticent of groups that fall under the umbrella of what people call “americana.” Usually because it’s a bunch of white, Dylan disciples who sublimate their love for Neil Young and The Band with weak-kneed, naïve and, frankly, poorly-crafted attempts at classic American folk songs — too much coffee shop and not enough cotton gin; a touch too much Wilco or Union Station (there’s nothing wrong with Allison Krauss, but there’s only one), and not enough Charlie Feathers or Bill Monroe. As the blues, rock ‘n’ roll, hillbilly music, rhythm and blues, and country-western have been distilled through several decades of city dwellers and suburban latchkey YouTubers, it seems that high and lonesome, pure-prairie pining is harder and harder to come by. The Heartless Bastards have nestled that high and lonesome into their bosoms right next to their love of a vast, drawling, distorted guitar drive. Much like San Antonio’s Wild Blood, they take their knowledge of folk music and rather than duplicate the fingerpicking, three-part harmonies and fiddle licks, they incorporate the inevitable — expansive rock without a lot of roll. It is honest, straight and sincere, and as their craft, they have mastered it. With Slothrust.