By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Oxford, Mississippi's John Barrett has one-upped The Black Keys and The White Stripes by stripping his blues-garage rock band down to a single member. Or is that one-downed? Either way, in Barrett's case, the rudimentary percussion complements his rawboned songs.
He sings and plays grimy blues licks along with whatever percussion he can bang out with maracas, tambourines, handclaps and, of course, his bass drum. His songs are just as fast, loose and sloppy as his tales of death and general bad-assery deserve. And, after his set, Barrett will put down the guitar and pick up the rest of his drum kit to play with like-minded blues-rocker Dax Riggs, whom you may remember from '90s stoner-sludge rock band Acid Bath. Riggs' solo work isn't as close to straightforward blues as Barrett's is, instead drawing on folk and primitive rock influences. Riggs slurs and drawls about suicide and demons tied to chairs in his brain over piano and slow, heavy guitars. Interesting stuff, certainly, but Barrett's set looks like the more promising of the night.
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