Amp-cranking country singer Eric Church, who will headline Friday, Nov. 16, at Taco Bell Arena, probably won’t spend much time with fiddle solos — at least until they invent a fiddle with a whammy bar.
“There’s a lot of Iron Maiden in what we do,” he told the Wall Street Journal recently.
That’s a bit of a stretch. Nevertheless, Church’s high-energy, bad-boy style — the Boise stop is part of his “Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour” — is what helped him break through this year.
After the 35-year-old was nominated for a whopping five Country Music Association awards, he walked away with just one last week. But that’s more than Church ever could have expected to win a year or two ago. And the honor arguably was in his most-deserved category: Album of the Year for “Chief.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Church, jump on YouTube and check out his song “Springsteen.” Is it country? You tell me. His voice does have twang.
Either way, it’s an excellent piece of music — despite the name-dropping title. Can any country song be written nowadays without a name being dropped in the lyrics for cred?
At least Church went with the Boss instead of “Hank,” “George” or another classic-country reference by a guitar-blasting Music Row act trying to convince us how authentic they are.
Æ While you’re tinkering on YouTube or Spotify, check out gifted country newcomer Kacey Musgraves’ heart-wrenching small-town chronicle, “Merry Go ’Round,” from her still-unreleased major-label debut album. Then swallow that baseball-sized lump in your throat.
Musgraves is a former seventh-place finisher on the “Nashville Star” TV competition in 2007, but we shouldn’t hold that against her. At just 23 years old, she’s an exceptionally cynical, observant songwriter: “Same hurt in every heart/Same trailer, different park,” Musgraves muses sweetly while a banjo plucks matter-of-factly behind her. Country song of the year.
Æ There’s a reason that Carrie Underwood’s tour, which will visit Taco Bell Arena on Feb. 17, 2013, is dubbed “Blown Away.”
Underwood, who wields her voice like a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, is not in a subtle mood.
In an October concert review, the Los Angeles Times said “her audience cheered every supernaturally sustained note and glass-threatening vocal climax,” calling the show a “spectacular production aimed at the ‘American Idol’ crowd that launched her career, full of dazzling costume changes, creative staging and megawatts of musical wattage.”
DRINK UP A BRIT BAND
Live music isn’t new at the three-in-one waterfront bar known as The Drink, 3000 N. Lakeharbor Lane in Boise. Cover bands rocked the small stage back in its Montego Bay era. (Remember the Rockafellas?)
But touring acts were never the norm, making the Friday, Nov. 9, concert by British folk-rockers The Dunwells noteworthy.
If you’re into the Mumford & Sons sound, The Dunwells could be up your alley. The 8 p.m. show is just $5. (VIP tickets also are available.) Call 573-5757 for information.
Incidentally, this concert originally was slated for Neurolux.
EVETT RETURNS TO BOISE
Fretless guitarist and singer Ned Evett, who left Boise for his birthplace, Nashville, a couple of years ago, recently released his sixth solo album.
Produced by Adrian Belew, the 14-song “Treehouse” was an opportunity for Evett to focus less on ax pyrotechnics and more on singing and songwriting. Listen to samples at NedEvett.com.
Backed by a band, Evett will perform Friday, Nov. 16, at a release party at the Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St., in Boise. Snag advance tickets for $10 at the Record Exchange or Brownpapertickets.com.
TONIGHT IN ‘THE OTHER STUDIO’
If you saw my Scene column Nov. 2 (“Country-rap should be put out to pasture”), you know my feelings about so-called hick-hop.
Tonight on 94.9 FM, Tim Johnstone and I will examine the genre, spinning music by Colt Ford, Gangstagrass and Cowboy Troy. We’ll also crank up new jams from fiery rapper Kendrick Lamar and Scottish singer-DJ-producer Calvin Harris, old music from the Wu-Tang Clan and more.
“The Other Studio” airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on The River.
COMING IN SCENE MAGAZINE ON NOV. 2
Æ Trey McIntyre Project opens its hometown season with Korean collaboration, “The Unkindness of Ravens.”
Æ James Bond returns to the big screen with “Skyfall.”
Æ More on country singer Eric Church.
Michael Deeds’ column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds