Some people prefer their beer in a can, while others wouldn't touch the stuff and keep a plastic-ringed six-pack on hand just for visitors they don't much like. But both of these groups keep showing up for .38 Special concerts, which could be why the Southern-fried band that's been the butt of jokes about double-wides, rifle racks and rednecks is still at it. The Jacksonville, Florida, act made its name through constant touring, and that's exactly how .38 Special keeps its name in the public eye today. While a new CD set for summer release promises a harder sound and bigger guitars -- a ballsy update for a world overrun by teen bands and techno -- older songs such as "Hold on Loosely" have inexplicable staying power. Despite various lineup changes and decreased sales, .38 Special's aim is true -- which comes as good news for the many people (yes, most of them in their late thirties and early forties) who enjoy the group's blues-tinged rock and roll. Don't be ashamed if you're one of them; just be glad you don't have to go all the way to Sturgis (where the much-loved band recorded a live album in '99) to indulge your classic tastes. Instead, get yourself a little something Special this Wednesday, April 28, when the band visits 32 Bleu in Colorado Springs.


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