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From the Country Standard Time Archives

The Mekons' Sally Timms presents a winning mix of great material and delivery

Silver Lake, Cal., Spaceland, May 11, 2003

By Dan MacIntosh

SILVER LAKE, CA - Sally Timms, backed by the Good brothers (Travis and Dallas) of The Sadies, opened this low key Sunday night club date with the quiet ranch-y goof-off of "Daydreaming Cowboy," and closed her short but effective performance with a passionate reading of John Anderson's "Seminole Wind."

Along the way, she also found room for Dolly Parton's tear-jerking "Down From Dover," as well as a slower-than-slow take on Johnny Cash's "Cry Cry Cry." It all added up to a winning mix of intelligent covers and more than a few choice selections from the pen of fellow Mekon, Jon Langford. To put this arithmetically: Great material + empathetic singing = a winning combination, every time.

Although The Mekons are just as much punk, as they are alt.-country, this solo Timms showcase was 100 percent traditional country all the way. Of course, Timms' taste country leans toward the Southern Gothic variety (much like that of The Handsome Family, whom she also covered), which made for a night of mostly serious music. Still all this dark musical material was counterbalanced by Timms' cheery between-song sense of humor.

And when she wasn't telling the jokes, the audience gladly helped fill the humor void. At one particularly quiet moment, someone in the crowd asked Timms how she sings so sweet. And only moments later, this same crowd member asked The Sadies' Dallas Good how he sings so sweet, which received immediate laughter. As anyone who has ever heard Good sing will tell you, this man's bellowing moan -- while musical -- is anything but sweet.

Mr. Good's own brand of surf 'n twang followed next during a full set of Sadies music. But while Sally Timms held court, this room had the wonderful aroma of this singer's unique brand of sweet sadness.