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Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash Live!
April 30, 2005 - Belly Up, Solana Beach, Ca
by Gary Schwind
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I had the opportunity to talk to Mark Stuart before BSOJC took the stage. We talked about their albums and I told him I'm a fan. He told me "They're good records." And they are. BSOJC play good music whether it's live or in a studio. 

Mark and the other Bastards delivered everything you could want in a live show. They had good energy and they sounded good. More than that, they got people moving. Lots of people were dancing as BSOJC played their set. It's unfortunate that so many people left after Holiday and the Adventure Pop Collective (quite a mouthful, isn't it?) played. I was tempted to say it's unthinkable, but that's not entirely true. After all, this was a CD release part for Holiday and the Band with the Way-too-Long Name. But more than that, it was a show in southern California. When people here go to take in live music, they stay for one band. Generally, they stay only for the band with which they have personal ties. 

Well, all those people that left when BSOJC took the stage really missed out on a good show. BSOJC really mixed it up well, playing songs from previous albums as well as the album due out in July. They also covered some songs by Johnny Cash ("Big River," "Ring of Fire" and "I Still Miss Someone") and Waylon Jennings ("Stop the World and Let Me Off"). All the covers were great because BSOJC made them their own. 

Another part of the charm of BSOJC is that Mark Stuart's engaging nature. He gave the crowd just enough banter and displayed a good sense of humor when he sang an impromptu chorus of Foreigner's "Hot Blooded." Why was Mark Stuart singing a Foreigner song? It all came about when he mentioned that the drummer was playing with a fever of 104°. My grandpa says that the highest compliment you can pay when you're in a restaurant is that you would order an item again. Along the same lines, the highest compliment you can pay a band is that you would see them again. I would definitely see BSOJC again. 

Two bands performed before BSOJC: Remedy Motel and Holiday and the Adventure Pop Collective. Holiday did some interesting things. The singer played guitar, piano, trumpet and tuba. They also had a lap steel guitar and a fiddle in the lineup but didn't really grab me. Remedy Motel played a good set of melodic roots rock similar to The Jayhawks. I really enjoyed their set and I will definitely have to add some of their albums to my collection. 

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