Hearsay: Wednesday, September 05, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Texapeño Popper

HearSay isn’t sure what qualifies as “local music” up North, but it knows that down around these parts, c&w reflects the landscape and psyche better than any other type of sound — country-western with a little bit of good humor thrown in, because Texans are generally friendly and not too self-serious. Like an anthropologist, HearSay dragged its ass away from its fave downtown hangouts to observe some yokels at play in the Stockyards, and, damn, was it glad it did: Good ol’ boy Mink Dean Averitt was holding it down, solo-acoustic style, at the White Elephant Beer Garden. As they say: Yee-hah.

On stage inside, Averitt was singing something that sounded an awful lot like a Jimmy Buffett tune but, HearSay later found out, wasn’t. Naturally, HearSay had lent Averitt an ear — though this reporter was the kind of Parrothead who would shell out 50 bucks for a bus ride to a Buffett concert only to somehow spend every minute in the parking lot, getting hammered and “forgetting” about actually seeing Buffett perform. So finding a Buffett soundalike, minus the Buffett ego, was a joyous discovery for HearSay. Joyous, HearSay says. Joyous.

The term Averitt uses to describe his music is Texapeño — big like Texas, hot like jalapeños. The closest the old boy has ever come to anything that resembled the Big Time was when Jim Eaves took Averitt’s song “Good Old Boys” to the top of the charts in Europe in the late 1990s. The rest of Averitt’s “success” has been modest. The lanky ’poke is from Fort Worth and has been gigging here for years. The smallish White Elephant Beer Garden is a frequent stop.

The best thing about Averitt is that he’s not above playing up his image as fun-loving criminal to engage an audience. In between his mix of originals and covers, Averitt went on about ex-wives and good Tex-Mex and getting drunk — everything that anyone, indigenous or not, who set foot into the White Elephant would be able to relate to. He usually plays with his Roadkill Band, and while their c.d., Anywhere in Texas I Call Home, is pretty much straight-ahead country, the outfit is much more than that: it’s a little bluesy and folky, too — just like Texas.

Splitsville

Here’s the plan: Clone yourself tonight (Thurs.) and go see Tim Locke playing solo acoustic at The Moon and Darrin Kobetich doing likewise at Black Dog Tavern. For those of you without the backing of Congress, you’ll need to know that Locke plays moody, serious Americana on the rock tip while Kobetich churns out devastatingly melancholy instrumental bluegrass.

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