Soapbox Opera

To be honest, we sometimes cringe when one of our favorite musicians pipes up to speak his or her piece. It's not that we believe the nonsense about entertainers not being fit to render a valid opinion, but that folks often swerve out of their lane to do so. A prime example is Arnold Schwarzenegger. We'd rather watch a network-neutered version of Kindergarten Cop than hear the Governator squabble about political matters.

That's what's great about The Haymarket Squares. The local bluegrass punks are completely upfront about where they're coming from, but they weave it all into their music. While the trio of John Luther Norris (banjo), Marc Oxborrow (bass), and Mark Sunman (guitar, mandolin) might invoke the Soggy Bottom Boys, there's nothing wishy-washy about them.

Mon., Aug. 24, 8 p.m., 2009
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Jose Gonzalez