Jimmy Thackery was a teenager when he caught two performances that would be pivotal to his future career.
The first was a show in a small Washington D.C. church where blues master Buddy Guy was ripping out his magnificent guitar chops.
The second was a “moment that changed my life,” Thackery says, describing the night he accidentally wandered into an electrifying show by rock innovator Jimi Hendrix.
These days Thackery is compared not only to the legends who inspired him, but to the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Muddy Waters.
A bluesman who pushes the rock edge, Thackery plays with the velocity of a Mack truck and the good taste of a fine artist.
Raised in D.C., Thackery was in high school when he began playing in a band with Bonnie Raitt’s brother David. He later spent 14 years hitting the pavement with the Nighthawks. With nearly 300 nights a year on stage, he developed a reputation as a sensational guitar soloist.
These days Thackery is joined by a duo called The Drivers. Their latest CD, “Drive to Survive” on Blind Pig Records, finds Thackery throwing in bits of surf, rockabilly and swing as his weighty vocals and fevered guitar give it his signature blues-heavy rock sonance.
Thackery, who’s also known for his rambunctious live performances, shows up at the Fort Spokane Brewery Wednesday.
The gig starts at 8 p.m. with Tim “Too Slim” Langford playing unplugged. Tickets are $12, $11 for Blues Society members.
Aquabats for all ages
They say they come from Aquabania - a lost island that is under siege by an intergalactic army.
A gang of eight, they are known as The Aquabats - masked crusaders who wear skin-tight superhero suits and possess special powers. They say they must become pop idols in order to save their homeland.
Actually, the Aquabats are a band of musical freaks from Southern California (surprise, surprise) who play a whacky, horn-laden ska-rock thing reminiscent of Devo or the Super Sonic Soul Pimps.
Headed up by The Bat Commander (a.k.a. Christian Jacobs) The Aquabats are part music show and part mayhem. Marshmallows and Cheez Whiz have been known to flow freely at performances.
With songs like “Martian Girl” - blue was her hair/she came from way out there/she wore silver underwear- and “Idiot Box” - turn off the idiot box/it’s a disease just like the chicken pox - these guys clearly land on the juvenile side. But they know how to have a good time.
They’ll bring a little craziness to the kids with all-ages shows at Area 51 in Spokane Saturday and The Edge in Coeur d’Alene Monday.
Saturday’s show starts at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $6. Monday’s show starts at 7 p.m. The Disliked, The Stoics and the Rain Bros open. Cover is $5.
The Peter Cornell Band
“It’s like a pop band put through some kind of prism that bends it a little and kind of contorts it and makes it a little bit unique,” drummer Dave Hill says, trying to describe The Peter Cornell Band.
Fronted by the aforementioned Peter Cornell - brother of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell - it is a band that takes up where Seattle roots rockers Inflatable Soule left off - albeit in a different direction.
Inflatable Soule went into hiatus this summer for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time. Meanwhile, Cornell and Soule drummer Hill have started a new project - joined by Scott Smith on bass and Jose Hernando on guitar.
Where Inflatable had a more folkie feel, Hill says the new band has more of an urban feel.
“There is a little more of a raw element,” he says. “I think we cut to the chase a little bit quicker. This tends to go for the jugular more.” Although Inflatable Soule may regroup for some shows in the future, Hill says, “As far as seriously shopping the band and looking for the record deal and putting out more CDs, it won’t happen. I think we’ve all burnt out on the notion of Inflatable Soule.
“But the new project has definitely got all those intentions in mind.”
The Peter Cornell Band performs at Outback Jack’s tonight. Sleepy Hollow opens the show at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $4.
Hiatt’s own hat
It all started with a hat.
Guitarist Chris Hiatt was hanging out at a party in Montana when someone slapped that black thing on his head - a hat that sure looked like the one a certain Texas blues legend used to wear.
“Hey, you look like Stevie Ray Vaughan,” they told him.
It got Hiatt to thinking about the singer/guitarist who had died two years earlier in 1990 - a musician whose blues Hiatt was first introduced to during time spent living in Texas.
Five years later, 34-year-old Hiatt is probably best known for his Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute act, which he has performed throughout the Northwest as well as in Vaughan’s home state.
“To this day I don’t feel like I’m a pimple on his butt,” Hiatt says. “But it’s fun to do and for people who really like Stevie it seems to invoke a lot of really positive memories.”
But it is Hiatt’s own music - a pop rock that sounds nothing like Vaughan’s stuff - that Hiatt is most excited about these days.
At a CD-release party this weekend, Hiatt will offer up an album called “Dreaming of Miranda.” Full of songs he wrote and performed, he says it is “less like Stevie Ray and more like Toad the Wet Sprocket.”
Don’t misunderstand. Hiatt is thankful for all the opportunities his Stevie Ray show has given him.
“We’ve played in places and opened for people I don’t think we would have had the opportunity to do otherwise,” he says.
Among others, he has opened for the likes of John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Quiet Riot, Uncle Tupelo and Charlie Musselwhite.
“Generally when we get the good opportunities, it’s for the Stevie Ray thing. But I hope that will change when the CD comes out.”
Hiatt and his band - John Colvin on drums, Lance Plantz on bass and Billy Van on keyboards - perform both tonight and Saturday at Fizzie Mulligans.
They will do both their Stevie Ray tribute and Hiatt’s original music. Shows start at 9 p.m. Cover is $2.
So much music, so little space
Get ready to roll with a triple blow from three powerhouse punk bands.
The Fumes headline at Ichabod’s North tonight with Fatty Lumpkin playing the middle slot and Lopez opening. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $4.
The Chuck Hall Band, a blues-rock three piece from Pheonix, will make the North Idaho rounds this weekend. They’ll also be raising food supplies for St. Vincent de Paul.
Patrons are asked to bring non-perishable food goods to the shows. The food will then be given to the charitable organization.
Catch the trio at the Tubs Blues Garden tonight at 5:30. Cover is $5. Saturday they’ll be at Eichardt’s in Sandpoint. Cover is $3. They move on to Priest River Sunday for a 3 p.m. show at the Green Owl and Monday they’re back in Coeur d’Alene for a 1 p.m. show at T.W. Fishers.
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