Two great indie alt-country acts — Heartless Bastards (pictured) and Old 97’s — just announced a co-headlining tour for a string of East Coast, Midwest and Canada dates throughout May with opener BJ Barham (of American Aquarium).
Formed back in 2003, Heartless Bastards emerged from the Dayton-based garage rock act Shesus, a band that featured powerhouse singer Erika Wennerstrom and drummer Dave Colvin. The two split off to form Heartless Bastards and with a little help from Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, a fan of the band who passed their demo on to the folks at Fat Possum, the group had a record deal within a year or two of forming. Its debut came out in 2005 and though it’s gone through a handful of lineup changes, it’s remained a constant on the indie rock circuit and has evolved with each album.
The hard-rocking Old 97's have left a notable legacy too. Initially, the band caught the attention of the Chicago-based Bloodshot Records, which issued its 1995 album Wreck Your Life
. That album, in turn, caught the attention of Elektra Records, which put out the band's major label debut, 1997's Too Far to Care
. At the time, critics were saying the alt-country movement, which included acts such as the Bottle Rockets and Wilco, was the next big thing. Some purists, however, dismissed the Old 97's for being too raucous. They've persevered, however, and continue to relentlessly tour and record.
The co-headling tour comes to the Beachland Ballroom
on May 18. Should be a good one.