Rhythm & Views
JOHN J. COINMAN
The Man Called Someone
China Hill Records
JOHN COINMAN IS one of Tucson's better-kept musical secrets, and, to judge by this 10-song disc produced by former X guitarist Tony Gilkyson, there's no reason he shouldn't be drawing crowds. Singer-acoustic guitarist Coinman plays a high-lonesome, border-scented brand of country rock reminiscent of the cosmic-cowboy sound of Austin circa 1973 (aficionados will recognize that as a compliment)--understated and assured, with just the right amount of twang. Backed by drummer Dave Raven, bassist Will MacGregor, and electric guitarist Jerry Donahue (Gilkyson sits in on one tune), Coinman turns in thoughtful, melodic numbers that speak of dusty highways, misbegotten romance, and the ghost of James Dean. Kevin Costner shares the writing credit on one tune; Coinman is now writing songs for Costner's in-post-production, post-apocalyptic movie The Postman. Never fear: The tune, "Great Divide," steers clear of gills and buffalo, and it works just fine.
Let's Talk About Girls!
WERE YOU READY to rock, Tucson, during the '64-'68 local garage explosion, at the hands of The Grodes/Tongues Of Truth and The Dearly Beloved? Travel back with this 28-track anthology (compiled by Tucson expatriate Lee Joseph, with additional liner note help from Tim Gassen and Bomp Records' Greg Shaw). It's uniformly great: 12-page booklet with vintage photos, sound quality (even tracks mastered from vinyl) is digitally crisp, and loads of unreleased material bearing historical significance. From stompin' R&B-flavored raveups like "Cry A Little Longer" and tender anthemic ballads like "Give Me Some Time" (both by The Grodes), to early psychedelic gems brimming with taut, hirsute fretboard extrapolations (The Dearly Beloved's "Keep It Moving," "Strange Feeling" and "Flight 13"), the CD's a smorgasbord of '60s style. And dig it, a "related" band, Spring Fever, covers Lee Hazlewood's "Sand"--coincidentally, also recently tackled by Giant Sand and Lisa Germano.
Hayden's Ferry Records
NATCH, IT HAS to be The Pogues that break up rather than some weenie Irish band like Hothouse Flowers, who've represented the essence of their country about as well as England has. Oddly, we Arizonians have this Phoenix band that comes as close to playing hardcore Irish rock as any regional stateside band this writer's yet heard. Accordion, banjo, mandolin, Uillean pipes, violin--the instrumentation is traditionally Irish all the way. And the writing's truly fine, offering uptempo material reminiscent of Shane MacGowan's barfight style--romantic stuff like "Soccer Tribe": Hey ref, you are a bastard, your mother is a whore, your eyes are in your ass, your brains are on the floor. (The British Isle influence doesn't stop there: "Blackthorn Man" takes its main riff from Richard Thompson's "Ain't Gonna Drag My Feet No More.") Can't say as I've seen this bunch listed as playing anywhere locally, but they sure as hell should. They certainly have no competition when it comes a uniqueness that would attract both ageing Chieftain fans and fraternity punks. Club owners, though, might want to hire another security guard or two.
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