Nothing says "authentic country" more than a belt buckle made out of a serving tray, a huge foam cowboy hat and a set of rock & roll versions of some classic Buck Owens songs.
Actually, all of those things rank pretty low on the proverbial authenticity scale, but that's the whole idea of Nashville's Buck N Stuff: made up of local players Adam Kurtz, Cameron Carrus and Lemuel Hayes, the trio exists to prove that there's really no point, and no fun, in worrying about authenticity at all. Known in Nashville for their mischievous Owens cover nights – always decked with electric, not steel, guitar – Buck N Stuff are releasing a debut album, Buck N Stuff – Saviors of Country Music – Live at the American Legion Post 82, on April 13th. (They'll also perform a release show at Post 82, the East Nashville home of honky-tonk dress-up where the album was recorded live, on April 12th.)
In the video for "My Heart Skips a Beat," shot guerrilla style by Ashley Richardson, Kurtz, Carrus and Hayes wander amongst the Broadway honky-tonks in their version of super serious and traditional western wear, which is, appropriately, completely absurd. In Buck N Stuff's hands, the Owens classic "My Heart Skips a Beat" becomes more Black Sabbath-lite than trad-country, but the band has the prestige to poke fun at the purists: Kurtz is a member of American Aquarium and played on Sarah Shook and the Disarmers' most recent tour, Hayes drums for Cindy Wilson of the B-52's and Carrus is working with Nicki Bluhm.
The members could, ostensibly, play well-executed versions in a way that would please the authenticity police (instead they make "A-11" a reggae jam and "Together Again" a guitar shredfest), but Saviors of Country Music works because Buck N Stuff know country music doesn't need saving – and that sometimes, three bolo ties are better than one.
Here's the track list for Saviors of Country Music:
1. "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail"
2. "Invitation to the Blues"
3. "Cryin' Time"
4. "Foolin' Around"
5. "Close Up the Honky-Tonks"
6. "Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache)"
7. "My Heart Skips a Beat"
8. "The Bottle Let Me Down"
9. "Together Again"
10. "For the Good Times"
12. "The One You Sleep Around With"
14. "Heartaches by the Number"