Music » Livewire

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys

With the Capgun Cowboys. Saturday, September 18, at the Grog Shop.

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Think of Robert "Big Sandy" Williams as a preacher. And his gospel is that of the roots of rock and roll. Now we're not talking about the "roots rock" of John Mellencamp or BoDeans here, but the musical building-blocks that formed rock's foundation: western swing, country, doo-wop, R&B, and rockabilly.

Since 1988, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys have been spreading the "good word" from their Orange County, California home base. Check out their 2003 Yep Roc release It's Time or the recent HighTone retrospective Rockin' Big Sandy, and you'll discover original tunes that sound like lost gems rescued from an old jukebox. Big Sandy sings with the velvety voice of an old-time crooner, and his savvy band (veteran Fly-Rite drummer Bobby Trimble and guitarist Ashley Kingman, plus bassist Jeff West and pedal-steel man Jimmy Roy) knows its Speedy West from its Cliff Gallup. But it isn't their respect for music history that has gained them disciples worldwide. These cats aren't egghead revivalists -- they know how to cut it loose and show their audiences a good time. A Big Sandy show always has the floor crowded with dancers. So shine up those wingtips and saddle shoes, and get a blast from the past that truly is a blast.

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