- Carol Lawrence Guinta
- Talk about a supergroup. Oft-lauded local trio Anglum Mock & Greene will release their debut album at Stargazers on May 31.
Last week’s tour stop by The Damned Things put the concept of supergroups firmly in my mind, and it’s funny how things tend to align, because the end of May finds an anticipated album release from a local trio who can certainly be called a supergroup in their own right.
Anglum Mock & Greene, the acoustic Americana trio and songwriting partnership of Sean Patrick Anglum, Lewis Mock and Cindy Wheeler Greene, will be celebrating the release of their debut album One Day Closer with a show at Stargazers Theatre on Friday, May 31.
The trio likes to joke that they’d been “threatening” to combine their accomplished songwriting acumen for years, and after a “relentless summer writing regimen” in 2018 and a slew of well-received shows, they traveled to Nashville to record their first LP in a whirlwind, six-day session at Mastermind with producer Doug Holmquist. Aided by session bassist Mark Prentice and drummer Matthew Bubel (two names you haven’t heard, but have likely heard their handiwork with Don McLean, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett and Big & Rich, just to name a few), the trio delves into country, folk-rock, bluegrass and good old-fashioned balladry throughout the 12 tracks on One Day Closer, led by their strong vocal interplay and songcraft.
Of course, none of this will come as a surprise to anyone who has caught Anglum Mock & Greene live over the past year — they are not only three of the best songwriting minds Colorado Springs can boast, but veteran performers of great repute. Mock, who was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2018, has performed with countless international acts and has done over 11,000 shows. Cindy Wheeler Greene won the esteemed Kerrville Folk Festival New folk songwriting competition in 1998. It would take up the rest of the issue to print the trio’s career highlights, so perhaps it’s best that I highly encourage locals to attend and find out for themselves.
One week later, you’ll have another reason to flock to Stargazers Theatre, though you might see a few more guys in leather jackets and ladies in pin-up attire this time around. (Although, hey, I certainly doubt Anglum Mock & Greene would mind if you dress that way for them.) Friday, June 7, brings long-running psychobilly act The Reverend Horton Heat to the Stargazers stage.
In something of an Alice Cooper situation, The Reverend Horton Heat acts as both the group name and the stage moniker of guitarist/frontman Jim Heath, thusly christened by a Dallas club owner in 1985. Heath’s incendiary fretwork and the band’s relentless, high-octane energy have made them some of the most popular and successful purveyors of psychobilly through the following decades.
While rockabilly itself has had notable revival periods and spikes in the public consciousness (Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats’ multiple hits in the ’80s, for instance), “psychobilly” can be considered the more distinctly weird and punk rock-adjacent offshoot of rockabilly, which was arguably pioneered by the blissfully unhinged efforts of outsider Hasil Adkins and made a little — a little — more accessible by The Cramps in the late ’70s.
You can certainly hear rockabilly traditions and the DNA of The Cramps in The Reverend Horton Heat’s own stylings. The group’s ferocious musical approach and sense of humor blossomed during the alt-rock boom of the early ’90s that followed the runaway success of Nirvana’s Nevermind, an era when a variety of deserving punk and underground acts got some mainstream attention, even if that era ended up being brief and cynical.
The band’s first record label was the Seattle-based Sub Pop Records, where they released their debut LP Smoke ’Em if You Got ’Em in 1992. A pair of notable producers reaffirmed their neat fit into the era’s alternative zeitgeist, with Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes handling production duties for the 1993 LP The Full-Custom Gospel Sounds of the Reverend Horton Heat and Ministry’s Al Jourgensen manning the boards on 1994’s Liquor in the Front. Subsequent albums have found Heath and company exploring sounds of the swing and lounge revival (1996’s It’s Martini Time), leaning into their traditional country influences (2009’s Laughin’ & Cryin’ with the Reverend Horton Heat), and in their latest effort, the 2018 LP Whole New Life, adding the excellent flourishes of keyboardist Matt Jordan to the previously stripped-down instrumental mix. Yet the band has never strayed too far from the raucous live intensity that initially earned them their devoted fan following, and that’s a good thing.
Joining The Reverend Horton Heat for their “Rockabilly Invasion” of Stargazers are Missouri-based trio The Hooten Hallers, Las Vegas quartet The Delta Bombers and Montreal’s own guitar maniac Bloodshot Bill, who not only has his own line of “Nice ’n’ Greasy” hair pomade, but was also once described by filmmaker John Waters as being “like Roy Orbison with a head wound.”
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