_ELA logo_ RONNIE MACK'S BARN DANCE 6-10-97 _Music logo_
At Jacks Sugar Shack in Hollywood, California

Western Rain were just finishing up their set when I arrived. Led by a singer who wore a cowboy hat and sang Bakersfield-style country music, the band reminded me of Kevin Banford's old band the Plowboys. The group featured Rick Shea, a fine solo performer in his own right, on pedal steel guitar.

I had just missed Farmer Tan when they played here on April 29th, but I remember people saying they sounded pretty good. Well, they were right.

Farmer Tan is one of those bands that combine a mish-mash of influences, from Gram Parsons to the Rolling Stones. But rather than coming off like a band without a voice of their own, FT manages to blend their influences into a sound that is at once unique and yet familiar.

Lead singer (and main songwriter) John Huber sounded like a combination of Mick Jagger ("Dead Flowers" incarnation) and Willie Nelson. In fact, the band did Willie's song "Night Life." Lead guitarist Brian Hall used a trebly Telecaster tone reminiscent of the late Roy Buchanan.

Visit the Farmer Tan Home Page for more info about the band.

The Hardtops delivered a set that was similar to their show here six weeks ago.




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