Bill Kirchen permanently secured his spot among the guitar gods way back in the 1970s, when his high-octane Telecaster was a searing beacon in the hazy ozone traversed by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, an ahead-of-its-time outfit that fired up a smokin' blend of rockabilly, country, Western swing, and blues. Kirchen's juicy, twangy licks in particular ignited the Airmen's 12-cylinder joyride through their hit version of "Hot Rod Lincoln." His Airmen credentials and a series of ruckus-raising solo albums earned Kirchen such titles as Titan of the Telecaster and King of Dieselbilly. He also collaborated with the likes of Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, and Paul Carrack, all of whom appear on his last album, 2010's Word to the Wise, along with the Commander himself, George Frayne. Forty years on, when Kirchen jams that pedal to the metal, his Telecaster still jumps into overdrive. So either hop aboard or get out of the way. The Erik Koskinen Band opens.
Fri., July 20, 9 p.m., 2012
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