Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Last Call Girls

This rousing bluegrass/honky-tonk/country band was playing at the 17th Street Market in Tucson, a mainly Asian grocery market and a very unlikely venue for live music, especially of this type.

Only two of the crew are girls, sisters Lisa (left) and Nancy McCallion. Both are lead singers, while Lisa plays electric bass and Nancy guitar. They are joined by Kevin Schramm (right) on guitar and accordion, Tom Rhodes (left), fiddle and mandolin, and Michael Joyal, drums. These guys must be very gender-secure to bill themselves as members of the Last Call Girls, a delightfully ambiguous name.

The set I caught covered a wide range, from Lisa’s heartfelt rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” to some real foot-stompin’ country rock. Nancy has a higher, more delicate voice and she lets a Celtic influence show through from time to time. For some reason Tom Rhodes was dressed to look like Fidel Castro, but his fiddling was good, mainly in comp mode. I wanted him to break out but he never did.

This is the kind of band that you could enjoy all night at any downtown bar. I picked up their latest CD, “It’s never too late to get lucky.” Sample their music at .

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