Quebec City transplant Jay Munly Thompson has been known to tell his share of whoppers, like the one about losing an eye while running with a gang of Irish Catholics. Or how brain-damaged heavyweight prizefighter Gerry Cooney ("The Great White Hope") not only babysat him during the '70s, but took a few extra shots to the head from the fledgling featherweight, all in the name of love. That colorful yarn (infinitely more believable than anything involving the patron saint of optometry) certainly makes for compelling songwriting material -- namely, "Munly Vs. Cooney," one of the more somber moments from the dark raconteur's exceptional Jimmy Carter Syndrome. Chock-full of confessional blues, caustic hoedowns and grisly murder ballads, last year's Smooch Records release probably won't score points with PETA or hard-core vegans with lyrics like "I'll hang your cattle/I'll bleed your pork/I'll shave your chickens/And I'll piss on your porch." But for folks who appreciate the less delicate, more chamber-driven side of roots music, Munly & the Lee Lewis Harlots promise to cast a few long shadows at the Larimer Lounge on Friday, March 5, with Portland-based Richmond Fontaine and local rockers Red Cloud. Backed by a skilled and sexy string section (cellist Rebecca Vera and violinists Elin Palmer and Frieda Stalhiem), the jittery, rail-thin troubadour, who's completing a new album and a second book, spins cautionary tales that run the gamut from Sambo's romantic meltdown to the paralyzing effects of the Denver boot. It's not your typical Southern Gothic potboiler.
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