Country Music, Boston-Style

We don’t go to the Middle East as much as we used to. Maybe we’re too old, or maybe it makes us nostalgic for the hazy tobacco days of yesteryear. But last night we ventured in to check out local favorites Nate Gibson and the Gashouse Gang and Girls Guns and Glory.

The Gashouse Gang started the show with its lighthearted brand of rockabilly. A native of the Little Apple (that would be Manhattan, Kansas as if you didn’t know,) Nate Gibson’s been recording country music since his days at Emerson. The set started with songs off All the Way Home, the band’s new album on Starday Records, and transitioned into old favs like “An Immaculate Confection,” a celebration of Necco Wafers that was originally recorded with local cowboy Rex Trailer. After a few covers of well known songs like Hank Williams’ “Mind Your Own Business,” the crowd was sufficiently warmed up.

Worchester’s Bee’s Knees played next, and were the one band that wasn’t like the others. The ’90s-style pop-rock was catchy and angsty enough to have appeared on My So-Called Life, and the appearance of a guy with hair like Brian Krakow’s had us feeling like we were Angela Chase at the Buffalo Tom concert.

Minnesota favorites Trampled by Turtles got the show back on the roots music track, complete with guitars, banjos, and a mandolin. The drunk hippies weren’t the only ones enjoying the rollicking music, as the calm Monday night crowd started stomping along with the band.

Girls Guns and Glory had a lot to live up to after the Turtles’ performance. Winners of the Best Roots Act in the 2007 Phoenix Best Music Poll, the crowd was ready for some more hardcore bluegrass, but got a blend of country, rock’n’roll, and heavy percussion from the drummer and additional percussionist. Lead singer Ward Hayden was dressed in a style inspired by the ’80s revival of rockabilly. Instead of feeling like Angela Chase, we felt like we were looking for Duckie.

Girls Guns and Glory won’t be back in Boston until the end of next month, but you can catch Nate Gibson and the Gashouse Gang at the Abbey Lounge tomorrow night. Crack open a tallboy and enjoy Boston’s local country rockers.