Best show of the winter alert: The Deadstring Brothers served up an excellent set of honky-tonk barroom boogie Friday night, winding the packed house that Abilene built into a two-step frenzy. The band rocks out the country without losing sight of the actual country. It's like a more rural, less collegiate Old 97s. The instrumentation was twangstastic and simple as it supported the tunes with their classic themes and lyrical depth.
You're not allowed to simply watch a Cowboy Mouth show. Drummer/singer Fred Leblanc simply won't let you. The New Orleans band is an eight-armed, eight-legged party with Leblanc leading the charge from behind the kit. The fact that he has any body fat on him is amazing as he does not stop moving, pounding, howling, singing, berating, or cajoling during the band's set Saturday night at Water Street. The audience was all arms in the air with a rabid response -- and I don't mean that in the stock music-critic parlance. I mean rabies. I saw one dude foaming at the mouth.