The Mother Truckers w. Devil's Hollow

Critic's Pick Release Date: 2009-01-21

Some bands are simply born in the wrong place. Consider the case of the Mother Truckers. They formed in San Francisco and were ultra-popular with Bay Area music fans. But even when they were a band from San Francisco, they were never truly a “San Francisco band.”

Their honky-tonk raunch always cried out for a Lone Star setting, and the Truckers seemed to acknowledge as much in 2005 when they heeded the advice of friend/fan Ray Benson (frontman for Asleep at the Wheel) and relocated to Austin. Within a year, they were packing the Continental Club and performing at Willie Nelson’s annual July 4 picnic.

The group is anchored by the husband-wife team of guitarist Josh Zee and singer Teal Collins. Zee is a first-rate riff-maker, while Collins practically radiates unbridled star power. In a sense, the Truckers are simply one of countless Central Texas bands that turn up their C&W to 11. But a key difference is that they’re a rock band, first and foremost, albeit one that happens to be rootsy.

If Angus Young and his AC/DC mates had grown up in Helotes instead of Australia, they might have created Trucker standards such as “Streets of Atlanta” and “Dynamite.” Like their heroes, these Truckers understand the value of dirty deeds done dirt cheap. $8, 9pm Fri, Jan 23, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson St., (210) 223-2830, samsburgerjoint.com.

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