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Interview:
Los Straitjackets at the Magic Bag -- Three things to know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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If the notion of four guys playing rock 'n' roll in suits and Mexican wrestling masks might seem off-putting to some, it's been intriguing to plenty of Los Straitjackets' other musical peers.

Since it began during 1994 in Nashville, the instrumental group has worked with the likes of Eddy Clearwater, the Fleshtones, Deke Dickerson, Southern Culture on the Skids and the World Famous Pontani Sisters. In 2014 Los Straitjackets began doing Quality Holiday Revue tours with Nick Lowe, and now the group is on the road double-billed with veterans NRBQ.

It's another twist in a colorful career that's yielded more than a dozen studio albums and a reputation as a hot live act. Guitarist and co-founder Eddie Angel weighs in on what's going on behind the masks these days...

Touring with NRBQ is like being apart of a mutual admiration society, Angel says. "We're both fans of each other's bands," he explains. "I've always been an NRBQ fan for years and years. I've known Terry (Adams); He produced a record that I did with another band called the Neanderthals. We did a tour together back in April. That was the first one,a dn this is an extension of that one. We just thought it would be fun and somethign different for fans and stuff, and it's turned out to be a lot of fun. And unpredictable things will happen; Terry will jump on stage wtih us, or one of the guys in his band. Or one of us will get on stage with them during their set. There's usually some interplay.

NRBQ is not asking Los Straitjackets for their own wresting masks, however. "We get asked that a lot, about (NRBQ) or Nick Lowe or whoever we work with," Angel acknowledges. "The answer is no. It's kind of our thing, and I think other people know that. It wasn't somethign that was supposed to be fun, but when we started the band we definitelyw anted to be entertaining. There were enough serious bands around standing up there looking all serious. We thought wearing wrestling masks would be fun, and it has been."

It's been a couple years since Los Straitjackets released it slast album, "Play The Great Instrumental Hits!!!!!!" It's next project will be instrumental versions of Nick Lowe songs, building off their association on the holiday tours. "He writes great melodies; Sometimes it's not obvious because his lyrics are so good, but, man, he writes great melodies," Angel says. The group has worked on Lowe favorites such as "Cruel To Be Kind," "Raging Eyes and others. "We have the same manager and record label as Nick, so that's how the whoel thing came about. So this is a really cool thing to do with somebody we know so well now."

NRBQ vs. Los Straitjackets

Thursday, Sept. 15. Doors open at 8 p.m.

22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

Tickets are $25.

Call 248-544-1991 or visit themagicbag.com.




Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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