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Music

Our music columnist watches, calls for the resurrection of jazz icon Sam Rivers

This Little Underground

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Bill Kirchen at Will’s Pub; Photo by Ashley Belanger


There is no dispute over the prestige of Bill Kirchen. From his early days with Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen and throughout his extensive career since, the decorated guitarist has earned respect in country, rock and Western swing circles. But for all the hot licks and original badass spirit Kirchen taps from honky tonk and rock & roll, his terminally square music just feels like old white-guy stuff. So the concert was kind of charming, but I’m pretty sure quaint ain’t what he and his band were going for. There is, however, always something about seeing a player with real seasoning in person, and this show was definitely that. And differences in taste notwithstanding, the man is a six-string master.

A little less intimate, a lot less dad-ish and much more my speed was alternative traditionalist Wayne “The Train” Hancock (Oct. 25, the Beacham). Unfortunately, his trio adhered more to his rockabilly side this time than his hard-Hankin’ honky-tonk side, no doubt catering to the crowd gathered for headlining act the Reverend Horton Heat. But it was a solid, straightforward performance that proved that good old-fashioned American roots music should always be done with some balls.

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