Sons? Unquestionably. Bastards? Probably. Of Johnny Cash? Who can say? We are all the bastard sons of Johnny Cash if we so choose to be. If, in fact, we are talking about a band and that band's themes, musical and otherwise, Mark Stuart and the other Bastards' songs inhabit that No Country For Young Men they call Texicali, which is the name of their label as well. And on the disc they're supporting this time around, Mile Markers, Stuart brings in all the stops — truck stops, meaning Austin, San Diego, Tucson, Bakersfield, and the Painted Desert. When they alight at the Rhythm Room, they'll be touring in support of an album that is about a tour, although in Stuart's writing, the towns turn into metaphors and the travel becomes a metaphysical one. Maybe it's fitting that their visit here falls directly between gigs at the Atomic Cantina and the Saddle Sore Saloon. Be that as it may, BSOJC will be here in the flesh, and they'll be solid the way top-dollar country bands are when they're locked into that lonesome highway groove.
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