I have been taking guitar lessons with a guy named Billy Roues for the last few years. Aside from being a great teacher, exceptional guitarist, and all around good guy, he is also puts on one hell of a show. He performs with a number of different bands that span quite a few genres, and I go to see him play whenever I have time.
Last weekend he played at the Turning Point in Piermont, NY (near where I grew up) with his band, the UpSouth Twisters. Whenever Billy plays, he mashes genres, techniques, and styles into a sound that is uniquely his own (and he has a few of them). He plays with his brother and bassist/ blues harp extraordinaire Muddy Roues; accordion wizard Kenny Margolis (if you don’t like the accordion, watch Kenny, he will change your mind); master of the washboard Boris Kinberg; and the difficult to see, but easy to hear Billy Rankin on drums. The UpSouth Twisters play an fun combination of Cajun zydeco, rockabilly, and blues that is easy to love.
They play mostly original material during their shows, but they always cut loose on their cover of Canned Heat’s “Going Up the Country.” Their rendition is stunning, and as far as I’m concerned, blows the original out of the water. To prove it to you, I recorded their last performance. The audio isn’t perfect, and the video didn’t quite capture the power of their performance, but it certainly gets the point across.
You can purchase their CDs or see their tour dates on their website: www.upsouthtwisters.com
If you get a chance, go see them live; they are really worth it.