Last weekend, Eleven Hundred Springs -- arguably the best darn honky-tonk band anywhere close to here -- celebrated the release of its killer new record, The Finer Things in Life, with a concert at the Granada Theater.
For two decades, the Matt Hillyer-led crew has excelled in making the neon-lit, beer-soaked sounds of classic country feel fresh and urgent by simply playing fiddle and steel-intensive country music the way its meant to be played. But to close out its set, the band offered up a cover of a classic cut from another esteemed band from this area.
"Tyler" from the Toadies out of Fort Worth is a searing, menacing tune about a stalker making his way closer to the object of his dangerous desire. And to its credit, the country outfit offered up a relatively faithful take, pushing their own sound into a more rock-forward terrain rather than twanging down the ferocity of the original. Hillyer's lonesome vocals play really well here, and the pedal steel dashes in for that personalized flourish that makes theirs a genuinely unique offering. It's a blast to watch, in part, because the two bands are both rightfully revered veterans here in town, but also because the Toadies drummer Mark Reznicek actually played drums for Eleven Hundred Springs for a while, years ago.
Now, maybe we can get the Toadies to tear off a cover of "Long Haired Tattooed Hippie Freaks?" Regardless, it's a marriage made in local music heaven, and we're not sure why it took this long, but we're glad it finally did.