The Chicago-based Bucket Number Six is a semiacoustic folk-rock trio with a special talent for catchy understatement. Front man Doug Hoekstra's talky singing does take some getting used to, but he's a first-rate songwriter who specializes in droll, rough-hewn evocations of a slightly sentimentalized America in which Mark Twain or Thomas Hart Benton might feel quite at home. Bucket Number Six songs are full of awkward teenagers, baseball heroes, and frogs croaking in the Mississippi moonlight--but just as you start to feel all comfy, here comes badass Steve Meisner with some tough 'n' twangy John Fogerty guitar. Formerly enslaved to the preprogrammed beat of a rhythm box, Bucket is now making the gradual transition to the use of a live drummer, and this makes them even more listenable than before. But the guys do deserve credit for having shown (both on vinyl and at live gigs) that it actually is possible to use the drum machine in a homespun manner. Wednesday, Avalon Niteclub, 959 W. Belmont; 472-3020.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bruce Powell.