"There's a lot of people driving more than four hours to come see this show," says Neal Copperman of AMP Concerts. As soon as it was announced, people started writing to him, asking about tickets from Arizona and Colorado. In a town where alternative bands with an older following often don't get the attention they deserve, that kind of enthusiasm is contagious.
Many alt.country groups skip Albuquerque altogether and head straight to Santa Fe, which is too bad, says Copperman, whose company put the bill together alongside Joe Anderson Werks and Fan Man Productions. "A lot of bands are like, 'Albuquerque? We don't have good shows there.' It's a shame I hear that kind of feedback. Albuquerque certainly has the potential to be a great music town."
Likewise, the Drive-By Truckers/Son Volt/Curt Kirkwood bill is certainly promising for fans of the alt.country genre. Son Volt is a staple of rock-informed country, with its leader, Jay Farrar, being one of the brains behind pioneers Uncle Tupelo. Farrar's lyrics class joints up, but swagger and bar smoke still lurk underneath.
The Drive-By Truckers roll on the grittier side of the hybrid music genre, taking stereotypical tales of heartbreak and booze into a realm where meth and sex set the standard instead. But after all the balls-to-the-wall songwriting, the more tender timbres and lyrics seem that much warmer.
Curt Kirkwood, of Meat Puppets fame, will open the show. Though it might seem like a jump from the heavy Meat Puppets to Kirkwood's alt.country offering, the crevice really isn't all that wide. Great guitar work and exceptional lyricism tie it all together—different setting, same guy.
A bill like this is pretty hefty for Albuquerque, says Copperman, and if it gets the support it deserves, more names like these might find their way onto our marquees.