Critic's Choice

The Damnations are proof that a great band name can bite you on the butt. Half Mad Moon, the Austin, Texas, group's 1999 debut for Sire, is one of the best twang-and-roll records of the past few years. Highlighted by the haunting, Appalachians-in-leather harmonies of sisters Amy Boone (bass and vocals) and Deborah Kelly (guitar and vocals), the disc brims with stomping semi-country, roadhouse rock and some of the smartest songs to ever stumble out of Texas. Despite the strength of that effort, though, the group ended up in a music-biz hell that began with Sire's business troubles. Today, the Damnations -- who've dropped their old "TX" suffix -- are damned no more. When the group brings its ultra-alt-country to the Buffalo Rose's weekly neo-country slot on Wednesday, August 7, it'll play cuts from Half Mad Moon and the just released Where It Lands. Praise the Lord, and pass the Lone Stars

 
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