Music News

Hit Pick

A seedy barroom staple since the mid-'80s, when he performed solo and with a band called Luke the Drifter and the Lonesome Saddle Tramps, Joe Vasquez certainly isn't a household name in Nashville -- not that he ever aspired to be one. But 'round these here parts, the man with the broad-brimmed hat and worn-out acoustic guitar enjoys a cult following. A winner in the country category of 2001's Westword Music Showcase (a distinction that "nearly ruined me," the outlaw legend notes), Denver Joe has strummed his way through many a classic tune and hurled his share of insults at scads of adoring fans over the years. But what else would you expect from a feller that can put away more coffin varnish than a saloon full of heartbroken cowhands? With a thorough, cover-friendly catalogue to choose from -- including standards by Hank, Johnny, Willie and Waylon (plus over 200 terrific original compositions of his own) -- Joe brings his booze-fueled honky-tonk to the Larimer Lounge, Thursday, February 13, with Brian Thomas Bourgalt. (The show marks a rare journey outside Joe's beloved Cricket on the Hill, where he performs every Monday.) Blending two-steppers, country shuffle, vintage twang and in-your-face humor, Denver Joe stares down the pitfalls of city life with genuine heart and a soul as big as the wide-open spaces. Best of all, he doesn't give a flyin' fuck whether you like it or not, partner. Drink up, and be somebody!
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John La Briola