Is Buck Owens a guilty pleasure? The former Hee Haw star and 1960s hayseed country music hero is credited with inventing the Bakersfield sound, which is somewhere between outlaw country and Nashville country. Its ... unsophisticated. But the guy had a genuine way with music, especially vocal harmonies he was incredibly popular in his time, and remains in heavy bar-jukebox rotation. The musicians performing at the Buck Owens Birthday Bash would probably tell you they feel no guilt at all, but are true believers who plan to sing Where Does the Good Times Go without smirking. (Sample lyric: Where does the river flow?/Where does the north wind blow?) Jill Owens and Smelly Kelly of Red Meat are on the bill, for example, and theyre hardly ironists, instead opting to bring both humor and dedication to the bands usual Bakersfield-friendly fare. The Meat musicians are joined onstage by members of 77 El Deora, the Royal Deuces, and a special outfit called the Frisco Buckaroos.
Wed., Aug. 12, 8 p.m., 2009