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Twangbangers Tour (High Tone Records)
by Randy Krbechek

The Twangbangers tour of the USA is now in full swing, with concert stops scheduled for Los Angeles, Portland, Dallas, Nashville, and a concluding show in Minneapolis. Out here in Fresno, we're not going to get the benefit of these roadhouse masters of the twang guitar. But you can enjoy their efforts on the 16-track promotional CD.

The album opens with Bill Kirchen (former guitar player for Commander Cody) on his comic, "Truckstop at the End of The World." Kirchen calls his style "dieselbilly," as it incorporates truck-driving songs, hard-core country, and flat-out rock 'n' roll.

Also appearing is Redd Volkaert, currently the lead guitarist for Merle Haggard's band, The Strangers. Listen for Volkaert's sweet guitar work on the country weeper, "Back to Back" (from his album, No Stranger to A Tele).

Also on the tour are Dallas Wayne (who has a penchant for drinking songs, such as "Bouncing Beer Cans Off the Jukebox") and Joe Goldmark, who blazes through an instrumental version of "Peace, Love and Understanding" (by Elvis Costello).

Yet the star of this guitar love fest is Bill Kirchen and his unbelievable live version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" (from his album, Hot Rod Lincoln . . . Live). Kirchen delivers an 8-minute guitar tour-de-force, as he mixes in licks from such diverse artists as Freddie King, Lester Flatt, Johnny Cash, and Deep Purple.

If you can't make the show, be sure to find the music. Especially the killer live version of "Hot Rod Lincoln," which will make your jaw drop.

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-- Randy Krbechek
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