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Thursday, July 6, 2006 07:38 pm

Showcase

A short guide to Taste of Downtown’s musical offerings

I like American music, and not just the Violent Femmes’ tune, either. This weekend, Taste of Downtown’s American Music Show presents a tiny slice of our vast music scene to entertain the masses. Vinyl Static wants to help you like American music, too — or at least enjoy the out-of-town roots rockers who will be showcased on Saturday.       A short guide: Sarah Borges, 6 p.m. — Sarah Borges is not Neko Case, but the charming Boston chanteuse comes close to the Americana queen’s appeal. On her debut album, Silver City, Borges’ music is grounded in the sounds of gritty barstool rock. Borges often sounds a little tough, and sometimes a little vulnerable, and there is no mistake, she can sing. It appears Borges has an ax to grind. Vinyl Static likes that. The Woggles, 7:15 p.m. — These Atlanta boys take cues from ’60s rock, the blues, and soul, resulting in a raucous garage-rock revival. Little Steven Van Zandt featured the quartet in his New Year’s Eve Little Steven’s Underground Garage. The Woggles’ original tunes are infectious, and their ’60s-style swagger brings to mind the Yardbirds or Paul Revere and the Raiders (minus the pirate gear, of course). That’s a very good thing. Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, 8:30 p.m. — Their greased-up coiffures guarantee that this band will have the best hair on the bill. The LA-based Western-swing outfit — the object of much-deserved respect throughout the roots-rock world and beyond — teleports audiences back to the day when rock & roll was meant for dancing and legends like Chuck Berry ruled the stage. Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys release their next album, Turntable Matinee, July 11 on Yep-Roc. The Derailers, 10:15 p.m. — This Texas quintet is a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll. Their tunes often employ pedal steel and harmonica, but their songs also have an early-Beatles power-pop flavor. Reminiscent of Buck Owens and Hank Williams, the Derailers don’t overcomplicate things. They perform an unlikely cover of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret,” and if you’re not too loyal to the original (one of Vinyl Static’s favorites), the overhaul gives the ’80s hit an interesting twist.
The show features plenty more with performances from local rockers Damwell Betters, yodeler extraordinaire Randy Erwin, Chicago balladeers the Gin Palace Jesters, and a stage for your little rockers, featuring the Irwinites, among others.
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