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Posted: July 22, 2011

Deer Tick heads to Colorado for shows this weekend

Plus: Neil Young's twangy time capsule

Mike Cote

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DEER TICK The Black Dirt Sessions (Partisan)

Rhode Island rockers Deer Tick -- a moniker the band's lead singer and guitarist says comes from finding one of those suckers implanted on his scalp one day -- are purveyors of booze-soaked Americana-laced rock 'n' roll.

Their band's third album, The Black Dirt Sessions, released last year, brims with melancholy ("Goodbye, Dear Friend," "The Sad Sun"), twangy mid-tempo Crazy Horse-style rock ("Hand in My Hand.") and ethereal slow blues ("Blood Moon.")

Slightly nasal singer John McCauley (think Billy Corgan with a rasp) comes to Colorado this week for a few gigs, including a free show 8 p.m. Saturday at River Run Events Plaza in Keystone. (Catch Deer Tick also at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride on Sunday and the Belly Up Aspen on Monday.)

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NEIL YOUNG A Treasure (Reprise)

Neil Young's latest release in a long line of archive live albums comes from those head-scratching days when Young was jumping from techno to rockabilly to hard-core country, confounding his fans and frustrating his record company. A Treasure, recorded with top-drawer country musicians dubbed The International Harvesters, was culled from concert performances in 1985 and 1985. Five of its 12 songs are previously unreleased, a reminder of how often Young has presented brand-new material to audiences long before, if ever, he set those songs to a record.

More than 25 years after Young faced a lawsuit from his then-record label Geffen for not conforming to expectations and cranking them out some hits, Young's brand of country doesn't sound that far removed from the country-flavored folk rock of his signature hit album Harvest. Yeah, the fiddles on "It Might Have Been" and the reactionary stance of "Motor City," with its salute to American-made vehicles, might be taken as Young pandering to the country audience, but he's as at home with this kind of material as he is being the outsider rocker with his buddies in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.


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Mike Cote is the former editor of ColoradoBiz. E-mail him at mcote@cobizmag.com.

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