Twabgbangers Featuring Dallas Wayne & Redd Volkaert | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Twabgbangers Featuring Dallas Wayne & Redd Volkaert

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The best country comes from the strangest places: former Chicagoan Dallas Wayne was born in Branson, Missouri, but he made his name in Finland, where he released five albums before moving back to the States last year. His approach is way too raw for Nashville these days, but if you're hungry for timeless honky-tonk, you'll find it just right. On his latest album, Here I Am in Dallas (Hightone), no more than a few seconds have elapsed before he's drowning a heartache in beer ("Bouncin' Beer Cans off the Jukebox"), and his "If These Walls Could Cry" seems to be a nod to "Hello Walls," the classic by Faron Young, who's also responsible for the title track. For this gig he'll be playing in a high-octane roadhouse supergroup, the Twangbangers, with three of his labelmates: guitarist Bill Kirchen, steel guitarist Joe Goldmark, and Telecaster master Redd Volkaert. The one to watch is Volkaert, a weather-beaten leprechaun from Vancouver who's been Merle Haggard's lead guitarist since 1997. On his recent No Stranger to a Tele, his default mode is the hardscrabble honky-tonk pioneered by his employer, but that doesn't stop him from dabbling in concise lick-driven chicken-squawk blues instrumentals a la Freddie King. His voice is more than serviceable on the Wynn Stewart classic "Big Big Love" and the clever "Before She Made Me Crawl" (as in, I wish I'd learned to run...), but he sounds happiest strutting his stuff on the instrumentals. Friday, October 12, 9:30 PM, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 708-788-2118.

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