Recorded live at Cafe Racer a month before the tragic May 30 shootings, Lonesome Shack's driving country blues and psychedelic Americana reveal yet more versatility among the tight-knit Cafe Racer crew, a group of UW students and friends who play everything from free jazz to folk. Drummer Kristian Garrard and bassist Luke Bergman (who moonlight as guitar duo Thousands) take a backseat here to frontman Ben Todd's bluesy bawl and gritty guitar, and tracks like driving opener "White Lightning" crackle with crowd chatter. Elsewhere, "Bad Luck" and "Mushin Dog" electrify with tightly percussive, roots-fueled rhythms. Oh, and that wailing, greasy sax on "City Man" is just perfect.
RIYL: Jon Spencer, The Shaky Hands, Bill Callahan, The Doors, Soledad Brothers, John Hammond, The White Stripes
Lonesome Shack dedicated City Man to the Cafe Racer family and victims of the shooting; they'll officially release the album at the cafe October 26.