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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Newell is 'Next Town' for rock- a-billy rompers

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The road warriors of rockabilly, the Mezcal Brothers, bring their high-energy act back to Laney's in Newell for one show Saturday night, November 20. The rocking starts at 9 p.m., and there's no cover charge, according to promoter Rod Bramble of Storm Lake.

The Mezcals, out of Lincoln, Nebraska, have already built a local following with their tight retro sound and on-stage antics.

"We dress the part - the crazy clothes, the grease in the hair," said bass player Charlie Johnson. "There's no room for sitting and staring at one of our shows - you have to be dancing and tapping your feet."

The Mezcal Brothers, singer/acoustic guitarist Gerardo Meza, stand-up drummer Donald "Deuce" Burbach, Benny Kushner with his electric guitar, and Johnson, often seen "riding" his upright bass, are a party waiting to happen.

The group is beginning to gather international attention, with mention in national and European magazines, developing radio play, a big west coast tour last summer, and a new CD, "Next Town," the foursome's third outing.

The group's next goal is to tour in Europe, where rockabilly style is surging.

"This winter we want to get back to being local and being out with the people," Johnson said. "We keep plugging away, and waiting for it to happen. Every year more people are talking about us, but it does come slow... unless you're Britney Spears."

The new CD is impressive, with sounds that rekindle thoughts of the early rock-n-roll of the 1950s, surf sound of the 1960s, '80s rockabilly ala The Stray Cats, with influences of country rock and folk along the way.

There's nothing but energy on every track, and these guys play at two speeds, really fast and twice as fast as that. Their song "Mr. Train Conductor" sounds for all the world like a locomotive roaring down the tracks, and you'll find intriguing titles like "The Electrified Donkey," "Rockin' Bones," and "Heat Up My Hotrod," all written by the Mezcals.

My advice? Call out for "I'm In Love With You," a smiler with some superb stringwork woven throughout, and vocals like Buddy Holly on steroids.