While Cincinnati is better known for five-alarm chili and a bungling football franchise, it's also the unlikely home to Thee Shams, a garage-blues outfit less inspired by the banks of the Ohio River than by the muddy shores of the Mississippi Delta. As much in debt to maximum R&B's founding fathers as to yesteryear's psychedelic rock, Thee Shams sound like they washed ashore in a time capsule deprived of anything to listen to except crackling vinyl by the early Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Animals. Not quite a full-blown '60s tribute act, Thee Shams exhibit a nostalgic obsession that might border on the criminal if soulful frontman Zach Gabbard didn't do such a convincing job of channelling his influences into something worth hearing. Oxford-based Fat Possum Records, home to incendiary bluesmen like R.L. Burnside and T Model Ford, liked what it heard enough to issue Please Yourself , last year's retro-fueled celebration of hookahs, hooch and heartache.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.