Sign up for newsletter

The Waco Brothers

Waco Express: Live & Kicking at Schubas Tavern – 2008 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Find it on Amazon

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by The Waco Brothers

Waco Brothers is not The Everly Brothers, and it's certainly not The Mills Brothers. It is, instead, Jon (The Mekons) Langford and what sounds like a band of drunken buddies bashing out cowpunk rave-ups in a club. In this case, that club is Chicago's famous Schuba's Tavern.

Songs like "Too Sweet to Die" may remind you of The Clash during its roots-iest moments in the "London Calling" and "Sandanista!" era. This song in particular would fit right in with "Brand New Cadillac" or almost any other ragged Clash rocker. Only the overt presence of steel guitar separates Waco Brothers from English punk, as these musicians play their Americana music with distinctly British accents. Furthermore, vocals are especially Strummer-esque, nicely sandpapered and slurred. Waco Brothers cover Neil Young's "Revolutionary Blues," but this one's done nothing like the way Young plays it. As with everything else in this live set, the band puts its pedal to the metal on "Revolutionary Blues," proving it's built for speed.

Langford may be a respected country music historian, but "Waco Express: Live & Kickin at Schuba's Tavern, Chicago" emphasizes the Kickin' part of CD title; this music rocks harder than anything out of Nashville.