On the patio of the Hexagon Bar Thursday night for the Prairie Sons EP release, there weren't a ton of people present, not the usual crowd I see at the Hex, but it still felt good. It felt like home. Why?
Well, Prairie Sons features my friend Adam on bass and vocals, and Adam is the only man I've met in this town who can sing Brad Paisley's big hit "Ticks" back to front. I doubt you fully realize how great I think this is. Pretty danged great. And the Hex patio was full of kindred spirits last night. "I got my tickets to Country Fest but I'm still on the fence about WE Fest." "Tim McGraw's playing Country Fest... will Faith Hill be there too?" "Naw, she's raisin' their kids right now." "Oh man, last year at Country Fest Joe Nichols and the guys from Gloriana came up to our RV in golf carts and played tippy cup with us!" "THE GUY FROM GLORIANA?!? WHAT!?!" "Who's that?" "OH MY GOD HE'S THE HOTTEST THING EVER YOU HAVE NO IDEA YOU JUST HAVE NO IDEA." "OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO SEE HIS HAIR." "OH MY GOD HAVE YOU SEEN HIS THIGHS HE HAS THE BEST THIGHS."
In short, I felt among my own, a rare occurrence to say the least.
By the time Prairie Sons took the stage following openers Voytek, All Rattle and Dust (Cedar Falls, IA) and Evening Rig, I could count 'em one, two, three bolo ties onstage. Only two could be mistaken as serious bolo ties. What's a serious bolo tie? Well, it's worn by someone who would otherwise seriously be wearing a necktie but a necktie just wouldn't match his cowboy boots. In other words, you oughtta be wearing a collared shirt. The third, worn by the pedal steel player, was thrown on over a t-shirt. That ain't how you wear a bolo tie, dude. Good thing you're so good at the pedal steel. And the guitar player was wearing a camo hat, which lent an air of credibility nonetheless.
Prairie Sons, which has been for a spell drummer-less, was joined by the bolo-less Becky Hanten of Evening Rig on drums. Hanten's powerful drumming style lent a rock solidness and thickness to their sound, pushing it a little more toward the hard rock than country sound I'm used to hearing out of them. (And you'd think the gals would be delicate drummers - nuh uh.)
Anyhoo, these fellas are one of the most solid young local country acts I've seen around, with the kind of style and spirit I really dig. Y'all should be getting the big ol' bar tabs opening for Top 40 acts at the Cabooze rather than the country cover bands from suburbs I'm used to seeing - blech. If you get on it, I'm sure there's a real racket to be made out of the Country KDWB crowd. You know 'em. They're dressing as if to go to a Sisqo (sorry, my pop knowledge is stuck in '00) concert, but drinkin' Bud Lights and gettin' in fistfights before the stage of (insert dude who's had one big K102 hit here - oh and looky here, K102 is playing Randy Houser as I type this! That is precisely who I had in mind).
Oh, and here's the video for "Ticks," my favorite Brad Paisley song. This is the song Adam knows. When I first met Adam he was in a, what do they call it, emo-core band? With some fellas from my hometown. You've come a long way, brother.
But oh jesus, end of set, Adam turns to me and I see he's also put on a bolo tie over his t-shirt.
I give up.