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Concert review: Nick Waterhouse (with Brother Lee & the Leather Jackals) brings R&B dance moves to the Firebird, Monday, July 28

From his 2012 acclaimed debut "Time's All Gone," to his newest collection "Holly," Nick Water...

Song of the Day: 'Long Night' by Guster

The brooding, figurative lyrics of "Long Night" -- "Can't unsee the things I saw, fallen devils, f...

'More dancing at shows is cool too' An interview with Trauma Harness

With several tape releases under its belt, Trauma Harness readies the release of its first proper LP, the synth-damag...

Charting the Music: deadmau5, 'While (1 Is Less Than 2)'

Refusing to give in to current EDM trends, Joel Zimmerman (aka deadmau5) crafts an inward-facing album of bare progre...

Concert photos: Gary Clark Jr. (with the Nick Moss Band) at the Pageant, Wednesday, July 23

Thursday night at the Pageant, Gary Clark Jr. took the stage and launched into his first song, backlit, with what loo...

Album review: Comet Gain burns plaintively on 'Paperback Ghosts'

Comet Gain "Paperback Ghosts" Fortuna POP! Forgoing the garage stomp of past efforts "Howl of ...

  • Concert review: Nick Waterhouse (with Brother Lee & the Leather Jackals) brings R&B dance moves to the Firebird, Monday, July 28

    Tuesday, 29 July 2014 09:53
  • Song of the Day: 'Long Night' by Guster

    Tuesday, 29 July 2014 09:35
  • 'More dancing at shows is cool too' An interview with Trauma Harness

    Monday, 28 July 2014 09:00
  • Charting the Music: deadmau5, 'While (1 Is Less Than 2)'

    Monday, 28 July 2014 08:00
  • Concert photos: Gary Clark Jr. (with the Nick Moss Band) at the Pageant, Wednesday, July 23

    Saturday, 26 July 2014 14:36
  • Album review: Comet Gain burns plaintively on 'Paperback Ghosts'

    Thursday, 24 July 2014 12:50
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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