Local Motion: The Linemen

Friday, May 26, at 9 p.m. Lemmons (5800 Gravois Avenue)

May 24, 2006 at 4:00 am
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.