Tuesday, November 11, 2014

wacky tacky Tunes: The Lucky Stars

Whether they accept it or not, every person in my family is musical; from drums to piano, guitar to saxophone, ukulele to cornet, accordion to singing and songwriting, music is in our bones.  When one of us finds a band or composition that we like (be it opera, Hawaiian, or Sousa March), it is a surefire guarantee that the rest of us will likely follow suit.  And while our musical tastes vary in the extreme, there is a collective memory and shared sentimentality that bind us musically.

An image of my maternal grandfather as a baby.
He rests on his father's knee alongside the guitar that
would inspire the musical future of his progeny.
(Oklahoma, approx. 1922-23)

Perhaps it is because our great-grandfather was an Okie guitar player (who according to family apochrypha, turned down an opportunity to play with the legendary Bob Wills), that one of our shared musical affinities is Western Swing and cowboy music.  As a native Californian of Yugoslavian descent who neither smokes, sleeps under starry skies, nor has ridden anything more bucking than a carousel bronco in the better part of three decades, I certainly make an unlikely cowboy.  Nevertheless, I know what I like and I love The Lucky Stars.  Needless to say, my whole family does too.

"Go To Town" - The Lucky Stars

Last weekend, in what can only be described as the best birthday present ever, Tiny & Mary were asked to open for The Lucky Stars at their "Go To Town" album-release party.  Fortunately, our pal, Kyle, of Ellison Studio photography was on hand to beautifully capture the moonlit magic as I was in much too much of a euphoric haze to even consider operating a camera.

Tiny & Mary
(photo courtesy of Ellison Studio)

Accurately touted as "Hoolywood's full-bore, rompin', stompin' honky tonk outfit," The Lucky Stars are truly the best and most-accurate representation of honest-to-goodness Western Swing available today.  What makes them unparalleled, in our opinion, is their musical versatility.  With roots in punk, garage, rockabilly, jazz, and American vernacular music, and with a mastery of multiple instruments, members of the band bring a musical vocabulary so extensive and an ear so finely tuned that greatness is really the only option.

With guitarist, vocalist, and inimitable songwriter, Sage, at the reins,  The Lucky
Stars are definitely in good hands.  Wittily transforming Western story-telling into
a fine art via original tunes filled with the most clever lyrics, we've dubbed him
the Cole Porter of the prairie!
(photo courtesy of Ellison Studio)

Dan, Dan the Fiddle Man will effortlessly switch between fiddle
and horn and back again...sometimes within the same song!
(photo courtesy of Ellison Studio)

On drums and vocals, Pappy Stuckey always brings
the spirit of the old-timey greats to the bandstand!
(photo courtesy of Ellison Studio)

Standard or steel, Russ is at home on on any guitar!
(photo courtesy of Ellison Studio)

Wally might be able to hide in the shadow of his big bass fiddle but there
is no hiding the white-hot light of his playing under a proverbial bushel!
(photo courtesy of Ellison Studio)

With the flexibility of the best improvisationalists, The Lucky Stars will always make room
for guest stars.  It is a particular thrill when the guest instrumentalist just happens to be play-
ing the undisputed king of wacky tacky instruments - the accordion!!!
(photo courtesy of Ellison Studio

Committed to an authentic sound that keeps dancers on their feet, The Lucky Stars transition seamlessly between classic covers and incredible original tunes.  Perpetuating the art of Western music, it is a great pleasure to experience a band whose sole agenda is putting joy in every note and a smile on every face!

"All Shapes and Sizes" - The Lucky Stars

You don't have to be a cowboy (rhinestone or otherwise) to appreciate The Lucky Stars.  All you need is a working set of ears and toes that tap in time!  With multiple members in multiple bands, coordinating The Lucky Stars can be quite the feat.  Playing myriad festivals at home and abroad, if you see that they are playing in a honky tonk near you don't walk, run to see The Lucky Stars!   The first time and every time you see this band perform, you'll find yourself wanting more; be sure to order a copy of their latest and greatest, "Go To Town."

You will thank your "lucky stars" you did!

While you're feeling thankful, we too must thank Kyle of Ellison Studio for sharing his lovely images and unmatched photography skills.  Riding pretty high on the thrill of playing with our musical heroes, Tiny & Mary are still thanking our own lucky stars for The Lucky Stars!


Mr. Tiny

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