Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 4 Reviews

The Bootcuts
Sunday, Oct. 3, 4:40 p.m.
Star Stage
Reviewed by Chris Streng

The bawdy honky-tonk sound of the Bootcuts was a favorite among the reformed punk rockers in the audience. The fog was billowing in at the end of the park and everyone's beer buzz could go one of two ways by now. Saddled with the task of warming up the crowd this late in the day, the Bootcuts rose to the task. Lori Hersey, Meg Frost and Cristal Guderjahn traded vocal duties while the band was buoyed along by the expert guitar picking of Mississippi Mike Wolf, who was seen earlier in the day backing Tom Armstrong. After a few jokes about dancing to keep warm, the Bootcuts hit their stride, mixing western swing and cowpunk with some sassy synchronized dancing from the singers. Guitarist Matt Curtis took over vocal duties for a pensive version of "Flashing Blue Lights," which he dedicated to John Prine.

The crowd was wildly appreciative, particularly a small group of children at the foot of the stage who had their own ideas about line dancing. Guderjahn took a minute between songs to acknowledge Hazel Dickens' presence among the spectators. Dickens smiled and waved and the band resumed their set. Their feisty lyrics brought to mind the Loretta Lynn classic "The Pill" as they sung in detail about how it feels to be a girl in the country music scene. The set was not without its mishaps though as the bassist Tom Giesler, looking sharp in his bright red pants, had to catch his bass when the strap came undone. Matt Curtis came to the rescue, re-attaching the strap only to have his own guitar cord come unplugged. The band had a laugh at his expense and finished the set in style.

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