Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Column for March 25, 2009

The rodeo must be just around the corner, because cowpunk, rockabilly, blues and bluegrass seem to be the theme in southeast Idaho’s live music scene this week. Oh, and there’s more. Read on.

White Trash Watson is the featured performer at the First National Bar’s open mic night on Thursday the 26th. Show up around 9 p.m.; there is no cover at the door. As the name implies, this isn't a family oriented act. White Trash Watson plays loud, fast, old school country-punk for folks who want to drink, dance, and forget about their woes for a few hours in these troubled economic times.

Fronted by Scott "Clarence" Watson on vocals and guitar, White Trash Watson is not a band that plays in the background while folks visit with friends in a bar, “we are and love to be the center of attention when on stage.”

Cowpunk is a genre first made popular in the early 80's by the Los Angeles-based band, The Gun Club. The music essentially takes standard country chord progressions and lyric subjects, adds volume, speed and attitude. Think Hank Williams meets The Ramones in a rockabilly-influenced melting pot of reverb heavy guitar, frantic upright bass, wild harmonica solos, and over the top vocals written to provoke laughter and sing-a-long memories for show goers.

Based in Pocatello, the rest of White Trash Watson is Alyse "Judy Rehab" Zendrosky on upright bass, drummer Jordan "Richard Peter" Brooks, "Painless" Brad Samuelson on harmonica, and of course front man Scott "Clarence" Watson.

“The local music scene is alive and well at the First National Bar in Pocatello. Some unbelievable local talent can be seen there every Thursday night,” Watson said. Moreover he commented, “It makes us sick to see the malignant garbage that corporate Nashville is grinding out. We, along with many other acts like Hank III, Wayne Hancock, Old 97's, Drive By Truckers just to name a few, are trying to save country music from the pop stars on GAC and CMT. That is NOT country music, its WalMart driven dribble for the musically ignorant.”

White Trash Watson expects to release their first CD this summer. For more, visit

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new all ages live music venue in Pocatello, operated, booked and promoted by and for local musicians. Check out the old Barrie’s Ski & Sport building at 1800 Garrett Way in the Westwood Mall on Friday the 27th. Madison Lights, Burnt Orange, Heber Skies and Aaron Ball’s band Somewhere In the Middle are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. for only $5. For a full schedule, visit

Portneuf Valley Brewing on S. 1st Avenue in Pocatello has jazz, blues, rock and bluegrass on tap this weekend. On Friday the ever-popular Swingshift takes the stage. And on Saturday the 28th, Fred and Emily Frank play bluegrass. Both shows start at 8:30 with no cover charge.

If the Rat Pack were from Sparks, Nevada instead of New York City, they'd be The Saddle Tramps. “We're the Undisputed Kings of Mobile Home Rock…. We're like a cross between George Jones and The Dickies. We sound like nails on a chalkboard,” so says Scotty Roller, front man for The Saddle Tramps, in concert on Saturday the 28th at the First National Bar.

Reverend Scotty Roller (yes, he’s a real ordained minister) leads the Saddle Tramps on vocals and guitar. Bassist “Big John” Von Nolde, drummer Mike Young, guitarist Jon Perry and Suzy Switchblade complete the band.

Formed in 1999, the band has toured every state from Houston, Texas westward and has played some legendary rooms and stages including The Derby in Hollywood, The Continental Club in Austin, The Tractor Tavern in Seattle, The Bahia Resort in San Diego, The Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas and has set attendance records in the old Golden Phoenix and the Reno Hilton in Nevada.

Expect plenty of humor mixed with danceable punkabilly music at this show. The Saddle Tramps take the stage at 9:30 p.m.; $8 cover at the door at the First National Bar on W. Center Street in Pocatello. For more, visit

If rock is more your style, head over to the Benton St. Bar & Grill on 2nd Avenue for Metal Meltdown with Altar Edge, Dr.Seuss Is Dead, Neckbrace and Haxsaw Ridge. Cost is $6 for ages 18 to 20, $5 for 21+. Music from 8:00 p.m. to 2 a.m.

One final note: the Versa Emerge concert scheduled at The Icon for Monday, March 30 has been cancelled.

Linda Alexander

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