Mike Henderson | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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It's hard to believe Mike Henderson's debut Country Music Made Me Do It is a major-label Nashville release. The album was reportedly recorded in less than a week, mostly first takes cut live. It sounds like it, and I mean in a great way. There's no A-team session-player sheen here, none of the studioitis that blights a lot of Music City product--just raw, stinging guitars, wobbly bass lines, chunking drums, and insinuating riddles, kind of a cross between the churning undertow of Steve Earle's Guitar Town and the careening giddiness of the Green Acres theme song. Henderson's that rare player, an ace studio picker who never got soul-crushed by the nine-to-five of it all, and his rep for songwriting and putting together hot bands--including an earlier lineup called the Roosters that included Kevin Welch--is backed up to the hilt on his solo debut. His voice isn't the riveting instrument here; but like monster guitarist and so-so singer Marty Stuart, Henderson's bedrock love of rockin' country bursts out of every note. See this show, buy the album, and keep this guy from having to punch the clock on other people's tunes. Saturday, 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 525-2508.

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