With the demise of the Rock House Ramblers last year, a void opened in the local honky-tonk scene, one that the Round-Ups and Diesel Island (as good as they are) can't fill the former hasn't shaken their alt-country shtick, and the latter hasn't really changed their set list in two years. Enter the Linemen, a quartet featuring drummer John Baldus (Waterloo), bassist Greg Lamb (Magnolia Summer), pedal-steel guitarist Scott Swartz and singer-songwriter Kevin Butterfield. This band isn't just familiar with George Jones, Lefty Frizzell and Ray Price; they've been reading these icons' mail and turning study into art by way of pealing and pining steel guitar and Butterfield's stone-cold-unsober tenor. No fans of corny costumes or cornier irony, the Linemen prefer their emotions deep, a little dark and heartbreakingly straight.
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