Blast from the Past

It’s been several years now since Eddy Joe Cotton was a little-known hobo, hopping freight trains and playing hand-made instruments in a three-piece jug band. His 2003 book, Hobo: A Young Man’s Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America, helped launch his Yard Dogs Road Show into the internationally traveling rock-and-roll cabaret it is today, complete with sword swallowers, fire eaters, sunset hobo poetry and burlesque. “It was all an organic process,” says Cotton, whose actual name is Zebu Recchia. “The show is an extension of that lifestyle and a way to make a buck and entertain people. Everyone in this group has a pretty strong connection to the past and wishes we were living in a different time.”

The Yard Dogs were born out of the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the 1800s, but it carries a contemporary edge, with an eight-piece rock-and-roll band that Cotton promises can get loud. Last year’s Halloween bash in Denver with DeVotchKa was no exception, and Cotton says tonight’s show at the Bluebird Theater is the followup. Doors open at 8 p.m. at 3317 East Colfax Avenue for the sixteen-and-over show. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door. For information, go to or
Sat., Oct. 4, 9 p.m., 2008

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Jessica Centers

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