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Concert photos: Reel Big Fish (with Ballyhoo! and River City Sound) at Pop's Nightclub, Tuesday, September 1

On Tuesday night at Pop's Nightclub in Sauget, Illinois, it was proven that ska is not dead.

Concert photos: Babes in Toyland (with Fea) at the Firebird, Thursday, August 27

On Thursday night Babes in Toyland played to an ecstatic crowd at the Firebird.

Concert review and set list: Hard Working Americans brings Southern rock swagger to the Old Rock House on Tuesday, August 25

Hard Working Americans may just be the best supergroup you've probably never heard of. The powerhouse sextet is a...

Concert review: 'From Degenerate to Hollywood' shows success is the best revenge at the Gesher Music Festival Saturday, August 22

Perhaps success is the best revenge. The August 22 Gesher Music Festival performance at the 560 Music Center amply de...

Concert review: A remarkable kaleidoscopic view of European Jewish 'kabarett' with Rebecca Fletcher at the Gesher Music Festival Sunday, August 16

Chamber music today is one of the most innovative and diverse of all musical art forms.  In only five years, the...

  • Concert photos: Reel Big Fish (with Ballyhoo! and River City Sound) at Pop's Nightclub, Tuesday, September 1

    Thursday, 03 September 2015 13:32
  • Concert photos: Babes in Toyland (with Fea) at the Firebird, Thursday, August 27

    Saturday, 29 August 2015 10:54
  • All Aboard for Fun Times: St. Louis show highlights for August 29-30, 2015

    Friday, 28 August 2015 17:33
  • Concert review and set list: Hard Working Americans brings Southern rock swagger to the Old Rock House on Tuesday, August 25

    Wednesday, 26 August 2015 17:14
  • Concert review: 'From Degenerate to Hollywood' shows success is the best revenge at the Gesher Music Festival Saturday, August 22

    Tuesday, 25 August 2015 23:38
  • Concert review: A remarkable kaleidoscopic view of European Jewish 'kabarett' with Rebecca Fletcher at the Gesher Music Festival Sunday, August 16

    Tuesday, 18 August 2015 12:05
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 08:00

Hear and Now: Stream the new album 'Great Chicago Fire' by the Waco Brothers & Paul Burch

Hear and Now: Stream the new album 'Great Chicago Fire' by the Waco Brothers & Paul Burch flickr.com/photos/robotclaw/6844024260 / Steve Terrell
Written by Roy Kasten
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After all these years, beers, miles and piles and piles of country songs and stories, the Waco Brothers and Paul Burch really shouldn't be having so much fun. That they are is reason enough to celebrate their new collaboration.

"Great Chicago Fire" officially brings together the legendary Chicago insurgent-country band with an equally legendary left-of-center Nashville songwriter, Paul Burch. The Wacos and Burch are hardly strangers to each other's music, but on paper the union shouldn't work. The former is best known for their politically-charged, rocked-up twang that dances on the grave of country music, while Burch is best known for writing pitch-perfect country and pop melodies that swing with grand and witty grace.

"Great Chicago Fire," then, comes as a bit of shock. The Wacos rock and twang with full fury and Burch keeps right up with them. He gets in touch with his inner Rockpile on the chunky, twangy power pop of "Wrong Side of Love" and "Monterey," rides the full-on, Dylanesque electric charge of "Transfusion Blues" and still makes time to luxuriate in the lonely release of "Flight to Spain." Across the whole album, his supple voice stands up to all the firepower the Wacos can throw at him -- and they throw a lot.

Of course the album also makes room for Deano, Tracey Dear and Jon Langford to take their turns at the front of the hard-core honky tonk stage, dodging beer bottles on the catchy "Give In" and just blasting away on the title cut as well as a stomping version of Dylan's "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall." Like all 11 of the album's tracks, the sound is loose, loud and live -- just like the spirits of these old friends having a blast making brand new music.

"Great Chicago Fire" will be released on the Bloodshot label on April 24, 2012.

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