Hootenanny '08, Oak Canyon Ranch, Orange County, 7/5/2008
Hootenanny featuring Grant Lee Phillips, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys, Royal Crown Revue, Chris Shiflett, James Intveld and Russell Scott and his Red Hots. Also Tiger Army, Mike Ness and Glen Glenn
Is there anything more quintessentially SoCal than the 50s love of the pyschobilly scene on a hot summer day? To be in the thick of it the day after the Fourth in Orange County, surrounded by a school of Harleys before even getting into the parking lot?
Paper folding fans. Umbrellas. Tight dresses. That's the Hootenanny way.
Damn if I know of anything else that comes close. Maybe Chicago has a roaring scene better than this, or Boston or Atlanta. Nah, I doubt it. The cars and guitars, the girls in their dresses, the boys with their hair slicked back, the skulls, spiders, iron crosses and sailor tattoos... This is so perfectly California that it can make you nostalgic for the moment while it's still taking place.
Russell Scott and his Red Hots, a Los Angeles three-piece that started out the music on the right foot. Big Gibson guitars and even bigger upright basses were the rule of the day. Alas, Throw Rag played way too early in the day, but they were no doubt as good as they always are.
Not the biggest or best car show O.C.'s seen, but still a fine collection of custom Fords and Chevys.
Some under-the-hood detailing that may or may not have been done by Coop. Speaking of which, where was he? He had to have been around here somewhere.
Any lower and it'd be underground.
James Intveld on the big stage. He's played bass with Dwight Yoakum, lead guitar with the Blasters and provided Johnny Depp's singing voice in Cry Baby.
All photos by Mark Mauer. More after the jump.
James Intveld's new album, Have Faith, is out on his website and in stores (are there still stores?) in August. Check out the tunes here: www.myspace.com/jamesintveld.
In case you were careless enough to show up to Hootenanny without a proper haircut, there was a staff of barbers on hand from Hawleywood's were on hand to make you look good. KROQ must have supplied some air conditioning as well. You can't have that hair meting before you even get out into the sun.
Wow. I'm pretty sure those nylon lines on her legs are tattoos. But the guns on her back kept me from getting close enough to tell for sure.
Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys! For two decades now, these guys have been providing an excellent show full of SoCal Western Swing and roots rock. How many people in the crowd have seen them play at Linda's Doll Hut over the years?
Sandy gave a big shout out to rockabilly's elder statesman Glen Glenn who performed later in the day.
Looking sharp. Might be a bit too warm to break out the Pendleton though.
The ladies can also get a mid-day recharge of the hair style from a woman who obviously knows what she's doing.
(Not pictured: Mike Carona) Be on good behavior guys. R. Scott Moxley's probably not done with you yet.
Dancing to Big Sandy at the Ranch
One of the best things about the roots rock scene is the way it transcends ages. From 15 to 50, the music and style crosses age boundaries without trouble.
Back on the side stage Chris Shiflett put on a loose set of songs including some nice covers of Willie Nelson and George Jones. For those who don't really care for the volume of the Cadillac Tramps who were playing the main stage, it was nice a change of pace. Shiflett's day job is lead guitar with Foo Fighters, and he said from stage this was the first show the group had played together. No problem. A missed solo here or there, but an enjoyable, fun set from some fine players.
T-shirts tossed to the crowd.
Why does everyone so desperately want a free t-shirt these days? Are they really that hard to come by?
Royal Crown Revue on the big stage sporting suits! Brothers, it's warm out today. I don't think anyone's going to complain if you play without the sharkskin coats.
Not a lot of swing dancing going on for R.C.R. That's ok, we'll catch you at the Derby.
Is there anything that can't be made cooler with a skull and crossbones?
In the VIP area. The big selling point back here was free booze. But the lines were 10x as long. And Rolling Rock in the main area was only $6. But if you really need to have a Crunk energy drink and vodka, well, get in line.
Mike Ness' case backstage. Patrick Range McDonald stuck it out to the end. Click here to see his photos of Mike Ness, Tiger Army and Glen Glenn.
Hey, it's Grant Lee Phillips! What the hell is he doing here? He definitely looked the part in his ruffled shirt and big-ass Gibson. Still, he's probably the only guy playing today whose home venue is Largo. He sounded excellent, as Grant always does, playing "Lone Star Song" and a couple other of his heavier numbers.
Still, most of the crowd didn't seem to know much about him, and that may have included the people running Hootenanny: They got his name wrong on the schedule, calling him Grand Lee Phillips. He didn't play "Mockingbirds" or his cover of "The Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnymen, but for any undercover indie rock fans in the crowd, it was a great surprise to see him. He may have even made some new fans.
All photos by Mark Mauer