REVERBfest at Conor Byrne’s

The Crying Shame, The Rainieros, Hazelwood Motel ...

7 p.m.The RainierosAs one of, if not the, most unadulterated country bands on the entire REVERBfest bill, the Rainieros offer up honky-tonk country music like real cowboys drink whiskey: straight up. They play lots of songs about drinking, and your wife being pissed at you for drinking, and there's nothing alt-, pop-, or fusion- about it. It's a straight-up five-piece with a pedal steel and a steel guitar, both standard in country bands. No gimmicks here; just country music. And that's just fine by me. And so far's I know, you can only experience the beauty of the Rainieros live, because they do not have any wares for sale on the Internet, nor have they recorded an album. Hopefully that will change soon, but in the meantime, you'll just have to show up in person...see? Told ya this is old-school. SARA BRICKNER6 p.m.Bob Wayne & the Outlaw CarniesWaylon Jennings once posed the question in a song title: "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand?" For locals Bob Wayne & the Outlaw Carnies, it hasn't in the least. Like Hank Williams III, Wayne & the Carnies rev up classic country by spiking it with shots of punk and metal and an overall hellhound-on-my-trail vibe. They also follow David Allan Coe's advice by making sure their songs are about what all country songs should be about: trucks, prison, drinkin', etc. If you think of Hank III and Coe crossed with the reckless, full-bore delivery of Scott H. Biram and even the psycho backwoods act of early TAD, you'll know what you're getting yourself into with this show. BRIAN J. BARR5 p.m.Crying ShameThe tongue-in-cheek country concern The Crying Shame's second record, In a Field, offers more of the good thing they started with the twangy self-titled debut album that planted this Bellingham band firmly on Seattle's radar. Arlan Lackie (vocals, guitar) and Dylan Rieck (cello) started the band in 2001, adding violinist Teo Benson (he also plays with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra), guitarist Eric Woodruff, drummer Oliver Herrin, and finally, bassist and Conor Byrne soundman Bradford Button later. And while the cello/guitar/voice combo could stand alone with Arlan's voice, the full band develops the songs into dynamic compositions that more fully augment the irreverently absurd lyrical jabs delivered in Arlan's tipsy bass drawl. Lonesome travelin' song "Ebb & Flow" starts serious, but the refrain "You were on my mind, it seems" is too silly to take seriously. And then there's "Hobo," which starts out innocently enough: "I hope some hobo steals you from the yard/Drives you to the mall/Gives you everything you want." So, you think, a song about a car. But no: "I hope some hobo trashes all your shoes/Gives you drugs to abuse/Turns your panties to glue." Whoa. But I like it best when The Crying Shame, on their self-titled album, spits in the eye of religious nuts in "You Killed My Jesus." It's when the band gets serious for a second that they achieve true greatness musically and lyrically. As in "Last Picture Show": "No one says you've gotta stand by my side/It ain't a lifestyle baby/It's just a way of getting by/It's the last picture show/And everybody wants to go/Tomorrow morning I'll be you/And you'll beat me until you're black and blue." SB4 p.m.Hazelwood MotelEd Vierda, Megan Pickerel (yes, Mark Pickerel's sister), and Patrick Smail make quiet, lo-fi folk music that uses whispered words, echoes, and tremulous vocals to create a moody atmosphere ideal for personal reflection, rainy days, and healing battered hearts. Though "Break Myself in Two," probably the loudest track on the band's recent self-titled release, seems to be the go-to single, soft songs like "My Demon," "Say What You Will," and "Envy" seem to more accurately embody the band's sound. And "Say What You Will" is the only track on the record where Megan Pickerel steps out and takes the lead on vocals, letting her lilting voice carry the song. Hardly a party album, Hazelwood Motel possesses tremendous power in its quietest moments. In a whisper, the world ends, and then, with a strumming guitar, it's born anew. Yes. Their music is really that outstanding. SB

 
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