Whitey Morgan and the 78's

9 p.m. Friday, November 20. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

On last year's Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels, Whitey Morgan's bellowing baritone drawl sounds straight out of some sleepy Southern locale, circa the glory days of outlaw-country music. But he and the 78's, his gang of twang bandits, actually hail from Flint, Michigan, where factory closings and rising unemployment have created a culture of folks ready and willing to drown their collective sorrows with Morgan's type of bitter, down-hearted country pickin'. On "If It Ain't Broke," he laments, "Nowadays in Nashville, it's like the Hollywood of the South/So-called country singers singing songs they know nothin' about." Of course, these tipsy barroom testimonies to country-music traditionalism wouldn't be necessary if the overblown Nashvegas establishment didn't exist to rail against — and Whitey Morgan and the 78's do it better than most, with a rabble-rousing honky-tonk attitude that "sure sounds like country to me."

 
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