Links in a Chain
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