Cowboy Singer Brent Amaker on His 50th Birthday and Helping Neumos Celebrate Its 10th

Seeing Brent Amaker and The Rodeo on any night is a party, but couple them with the closing gig of Neumos’s weeklong birthday celebration and you’re in for a real treat. The show will double as a release party for the quirky country band’s forthcoming EP Country Sky (out 1/21), which Amaker says “really represents the band well.” We chatted with the singer about the upcoming gig, birthdays, and his unique baritone.

Have you ever played a birthday party before? I’m going to turn 50 and we’re going to throw something together for that, but this will be the first time I’ve really played a birthday party.

How does turning 50 affect the rock-&-roll lifestyle? The only change I notice is, we’ve toured in Europe a few times, and the cobblestone streets and cowboy boots for three weeks straight gets a little tiring. We don’t ever change out of the [stage] clothes when we’re on tour.

How does that go over on the Champs-Élysées? It’s like a cultural experiment, rolling together like that and finding out how people react. We’ve walked up to a packed discotheque in Berlin, and there’s a door guy and a velvet rope, and they see us and don’t know who we are, and they just open the door and we get in for free.

Where do you like to eat and drink around Neumos? If my wife and I are going to see a show at Neumos, we go to Quinn’s across the street and have dinner. They’ve got the best burger. I love the Fish Fry that’s attached to Neumos if I’m going to do something casual. Sometimes we hit Unicorn and eat some grubby food.

You’ve got a really unique voice. Was it hard to find to find the right way to use it? It took me a while to settle in and figure out who I was. But that’s what I’ve got. It’s my voice, it’s who I am. I’m inspired by singers like Iggy Pop. I don’t think I have the best voice, but I think my voice is unique, and if I have a strength, that’s it. With Fox and the Law. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9951, neumos.com. 8 p.m. $15. Thurs., Jan. 16.

 
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