Amigo, Josh Roberts and The Hinges

When: Sat., Aug. 24 2013

AMIGO Bucking the trend toward “YouTube music,” rowdy-yet-articulate country rock outfit Amigo releases hermetically sealed, crate-digger compositions unleashed with scant regard for broad-based appeal. The honky-tonk trio is the antithesis of bedroom navel-gazing, crafting joyous tunes that are meant to fill a room with people dancing all over their troubles. It’s not that Amigo doesn’t exude the air of record store hounds. Singer/guitarist Slade Baird admits he’s an avid music collector, and Amigo’s blend of Gram Parsons’ reckless country rock, Doug Sahm’s Tex-Mex mariachi swagger and the ramshackle romance of the Band suggest forgotten classics of cosmic American music. Yet, it’s not all rambunctious, cowpunk-flavored rock ’n’ roll. With spare poetic detail, Amigo touches on dark currents bubbling under the good times, as it flows effortlessly through shake-rattle-and-roll doo-wop, Old Testament liturgical shuffles and Stones-styled hip shakers. Baird’s expressive vocals recall outspoken ’70s folkie Harry Chapin, and the band walks the everyman walk as key players in Moral Monday’s musical component, NC Music Love Army. With tradition-tinged music, Amigo unlocks the populist power of its influences.

Pat Moran

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