Honky-Tonk Angels

The Valley's longest-twanging C&W/rock outfit charms a third time with a no-nonsense new CD

"It's kind of a letdown when someone spells our name right now," quips Russ.
Given the band's work schedules and other projects, like the February debut release of the Pharaohs (the Robin Wilson-led band Henzerling also plays guitar in) and all the touring to follow, two weeks is about as extended as any Grievous Angels tour can get. But given the group's innate sense of the absurd, its members look forward to what most people would dismiss as worst-gig scenarios.

Some of Grievous' best performances spring from the most catastrophically mismatched bills. There was that rapturous response the band engendered playing with a militant lesbian group in San Francisco. Then there was the free beer night in Norman, Oklahoma. Actually, that wasn't so great because the club was so crowded on account of the free beer the band couldn't load out its equipment and had to suffer through a mediocre world beat group's interminable set.

All the Angels agree their best-ever gig was a punk-rock show in St. Louis. "Russ flipped off the punks while we were setting up to ensure they'd hate us," says Dan, laughing. "But we had no cares. We giggled our asses off, jumping around like a bunch of sweat hogs. We started the set with 'Bodies' and went from there. They loved us."

What's not to love? After all, they played the Sex Pistols faithfully. With pedal steel!

The Grievous Angels' CD-release party is scheduled for Friday, September 25, at the Arizona Roadhouse and Brewery in Tempe. Showtime is 8 p.m.

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