Links in a Chain

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Week -

pro­ducer

are guilty of lean­ing on the term Amer­i­cana to de­scribe lo­cal and tour­ing bands that ride the fence be­tween rock and coun­try, or folk and blue­grass, or blues and honky-tonk, or ... you get the idea. I am, I ad­mit, rarely ex­cited about the mu­sic played by most bands that fit snugly in the Amer­i­cana pi­geon­hole. That’s not a judg­ment about the artists. I ap­pre­ci­ate good mu­si­cian­ship. I just pre­fer a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to it. Per­sonal tastes aside, it’s still my pro­fes­sional re­spon­si­bil­ity to let you know about these bands — the good ones and the not so good — re­gard­less of how I feel about the style of mu­sic they play.

When the (rock) stars align and an op­por­tu­nity arises to tell you about one of these bands, and I get to tell you that I love what they play, that’s when I re­al­ize that all the kvetch­ing I do about that par­tic­u­lar job re­spon­si­bil­ity is a lit­tle self­ish. I’m a writer with a job. In pub­lish­ing. Dur­ing a re­ces­sion. I should prob­a­bly shut my pi­geon­hole, stop us­ing the word Amer­i­cana, and en­joy the ride.

The aligned stars this week are a lo­cal trio that pumps out a heapin’ help­ing of rock­a­billy, swag­ger­ing folk rock, honky-tonk, and murder bal­ladry with noth­ing but a gui­tar, an elec­tric bass, and a drum kit. And I can’t for­get the lovelorn lyri­cism of lead singer-song­writer An­thony Leon (aka An­thony Nor­ris), a Vir­ginia trans­plant with a pen­chant for sing­ing about cheatin’ hearts, bro­ken bonds, and the dam­age they can do (check out the tunes “White Dress” and “Shot­gun” on Leon’s Face­book page, www.face­book.com/an­tho­nyleon­nor­ris un­der the band pro­file tab).

Santa Fe mu­sic lovers may rec­og­nize Chain bassist Car­los Ro­driguez, who has shred­ded for lo­cal bands such as The Floors and High Oc­tane Hell Ride. And drum­mer Danny Jaramillo is no stranger to the lo­cal mu­sic scene ei­ther, hav­ing pounded skins with Ro­driguez and Leon in the band Stone Deep.

Diehard fans of Johnny Cash, alt-coun­try ex-punk rock­ers Drag the River, Neil Young, and coun­try-blues man Mis­sis­sippi John Hurt: you have some­where to be at That’s when An­thony Leon & The Chain per­form at the (27 Fire Place, 424-9637). To sweeten the pot, singer-song­writer/

is also on the bill. Tick­ets are $10 at the door. Whether he was sing­ing and play­ing gui­tar for the Star­dust Cow­boys or That ’70s Band, wield­ing an ax for the Cel­lo­phane Type­writ­ers, or go­ing solo, Billy Man­fredi knew how to punkand glam-rock Santa Fe into eardrum-pounding sub­mis­sion. Well, he’s back, and he’s go­ing to do it again. Af­ter a four-year break, the Star­dust Cow­boys re­turn to (208 Gal­is­teo St., 992-2848) at with a new name — an homage to the song “The Ball­room Blitz” recorded by ’70s Brit-rock out­fit The Sweet and later cov­ered by ev­ery­one from ac­tress Tia Car­rere (for the

film sound­track) to the Buz­zcocks and The Damned. Wel­come back Billy, and say hello to Ball­room Blitz and their beer-soaked Iggy Pop-isms. And wel­come new bassist/back-up vo­cal­ist Nathan Hey, a Santa Fe punk vet­eran who also did time in The Floors. Tick­ets for the 21-and-over show are $5 at the door. And keep your eyes and ears open for Hal­loween shows by these blokes!

— Rob DeWalt

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