Red Meat, Maurice Tani & 77 El Deora
Friday, August 19, 2016, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

Rouge et Noir: An Exhibition of the Honky Tonk Arts

$18 adv / $20 door

Purchase tickets online
August 19 8:00 pm

Red Meat began in a Mission District garage in 1993. But they trace their musical roots much farther back – to the hard honky tonk songs of their youths in Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Ohio, as well as the rock music of the 60s and 70s that they grew up with. Throw in the Ozark gospel harmonies from Scott Young's childhood, and you have the basic backbone of the Red Meat sound. It was this sound that they unleashed on an unsuspecting San Francisco still reeling from the demise of a strong 80s punk rock scene. And in a city known for its unusual music and its off-kilter bands, Red Meat did the craziest thing yet: they returned to their roots, writing and performing hard Bakersfield-style country music to sometimes dumbfounded early audiences.

 

"Back when we started, nobody was playing this kind of music at all", explains Smelley Kelley, "We'd go into a bar, play our set, and win over these rockers and punk kids. Now it's become a lot more normal to see a country band in a Bay Area bar." And San Francisco now boasts one of the most vibrant twang scenes in America. After hundreds of gigs, four albums, national tours, European dates, sharing the stage with their idol Buck Owens and many other national acts, backing rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson on the West Coast, and movie and television soundtracks, Red Meat has found its place as one of the pre-eminent honky tonk bands in California. It's a lot of progress for five expatriate Midwesterners who found their muse in San Francisco so long ago. And with the release of their fifth album, "Live At the World's Smallest Honky Tonk", don't look for the progress to end anytime soon.

 

Maurice TaniMaurice Tani has been a fixture on the local alt-country scene for more than a decade with his band 77 El Deora, and previously sang and played guitar for the seminal Motown-style party bands Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra and Big Bang Beat. The San Francisco Chronicle praised his “twangy modern country sound” and called his songs “wry yet romantic, tender but aggressive.” His band includes Mike Anderson on bass, David Phillips on pedal steel, Ken Owen on drums, and vocalist Pam Brandon.

 

Maurice's seventh and most recent album, The White Water, features six new originals and four reimagined classics. No Depression calls his sound “hillbilly noir”—“at once familiar, ethereal and beautiful.” Maurice calls it “cinema for the blind.” His music paints vivid pictures of the darker side of human relationships – but even at its darkest, it swings. Scott Bloom of The Bay Twang says, “This music is neither retro nor country; it’s twang noir. A fully realized universe, on a dark night, with an AM radio station sending out a strong signal from somewhere down Highway 99. Are you listening?” If you’re not listening, you should be when Maurice Tani & 77 El Deora take the stage at the Freight!

 

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