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Song of the Day: 'Saturday's Song' by Hiss Golden Messenger

Like a polished update of the ever-elusive sound of the Band, Hiss Golden Messenger's "Saturday's Song&q...

Concert review: Brett Dennen woos and wins at the Old Rock House, Monday, September 29

The opening number for Brett Dennen's concert at the Old Rock House on Monday night was a good as any indicator t...

'You have to live at the intersection of art and money' An interview with Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose

It may be a clichéd axiom at this point, but it remains a fact that show business is at least as much about pr...

Song of the Day: 'Like You' by Cariad Harmon

London-raised, New York-based singer and songwriter Cariad Harmon comes into her own on the sparkling and soulful bal...

Concert photos: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (with Steve Winwood) in Nashville, Tuesday, September 23

Last week I travelled to Nashville to cover Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' show at Bridgestone Arena.

Concert review: John Prine, the singing mailman, delivers (with opener Amanda Shires) at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, Friday, September 26

A stop at the "Bluegrass Shack" with a mention of the name John Prine elicited a distinctive response from ...

  • Song of the Day: 'Saturday's Song' by Hiss Golden Messenger

    Wednesday, 01 October 2014 07:00
  • Concert review: Brett Dennen woos and wins at the Old Rock House, Monday, September 29

    Tuesday, 30 September 2014 14:47
  • 'You have to live at the intersection of art and money' An interview with Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose

    Tuesday, 30 September 2014 08:00
  • Song of the Day: 'Like You' by Cariad Harmon

    Tuesday, 30 September 2014 07:00
  • Concert photos: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (with Steve Winwood) in Nashville, Tuesday, September 23

    Monday, 29 September 2014 13:43
  • Concert review: John Prine, the singing mailman, delivers (with opener Amanda Shires) at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, Friday, September 26

    Monday, 29 September 2014 09:29
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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