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Lonesome Shack @ Starline Social Club 

Wednesday, Jun 29 2016
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Once, while driving from Oakland to Ojai, I stopped for a drink in Maricopa. A city of approximately 1,000 people, every business and storefront on the main street was closed or boarded up except for the bar. Ceiling fans spun lazily in the summer heat. An older woman manned the counter, slicing potatoes while watching a sports game on the TV. Other than myself and the bartender, there were only three people in the joint: a fat, white-haired man in overalls with a red bandana around his neck; and two middle-aged men, one with missing teeth, the other in hunting camo. I can't remember the name of the bar, but I think about it when I listen to the Seattle trio Lonesome Shack. Twangy strings collide with reverb-soaked vocals to create a style of country- and blues-imbued rock that is just as thick and languid as sweltering Central Valley summers. It is unexpected stuff coming from a band based in the land of grunge, but then again, they've been at it for it a while — 16 years, to be precise. Lonesome Shack's new album, The Switcher, is rough and scratchy, drenched in feedback, and perfectly imperfect — their best record yet.

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Jessie Schiewe

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