Dwight Twilley with Bob Reuter and Kamikaze Cowboy

Wednesday, July 31; Creepy Crawl

In an ideal world -- one that rewards musicians for their talent and originality rather than the power of major-label marketing hype behind 'em -- Dwight Twilley would be headlining a major venue. But unlike his longtime buddy Tom Petty, Twilley won't be performing in front of thousands of fans at UMB Pavilion. Instead, Twilley and his ace band will play for a small crowd at the Creepy Crawl (maximum capacity less than 200).

Twilley, who first burned up the charts back in 1975 with his scorching power-pop hit "I'm on Fire," has suffered from incredibly bad decisions by his record labels over the years. For example, it took Shelter Records two full years to get Twilley's first album into stores after "I'm on Fire." Then the label killed Twilley's equally infectious follow-up single, "Shark," because it coincided with the release of the movie blockbuster Jaws. As a result, most music fans -- even those who dug similar bands, such as Big Star -- missed out on the hypnotic combination of Beatlesque harmonies and powerhouse rockabilly backbeat that Twilley and musical partner Phil Seymour perfected on Sincerely and Twilley Don't Mind.

The good news is that if you missed Twilley back then, he's still around -- and still rockin' as hard as ever. His latest CD, The Luck, features memorable, edgy rockers such as "Remedies," "No Place Like Home" and the title cut -- tunes that stack up quite nicely next to his classic early hits. In addition, Twilley is still playing with guitarist Bill Pitcock IV and drummer Jerry Naifeh -- who powered his '70s tours -- and David White has stepped in to fill the big void left by the late Phil Seymour. Dust off your rock & roll shoes and your best air-guitar licks for this one.

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