Posted October 5, 2007 in

If you want to play the honky tonks, you must be able to, as the fabled boogie-woogie piano man Moon Mullican observed, “make the beer bottles bounce on the table.” When hard-hitting Hollywood country rabble-rousers the Cheatin’ Kind get to work, the damn things are likely to not only jump, but also start foaming over. Fronted by the highfalutin’, platinum-tressed,  Virginia-born buxotic Babs MacDonald and driven by the twang-bang six-string pyrotechnics of Paul Morris, the Cheatin’ Kind bears down on a big, boozy ‘tonk sound with a mixture of rabid hillbilly abandon and unadulterated punk rock fury, and the resulting hullabaloo is devilishly appealing. Nailed down by the skull-denting, steady-pumping thump of  aptly-named, larger-than-life bassist Beer Truck and the taut, hot traps of Chel T. Rich, this disorderly quartet has perfected a combination of pure country heart and drastic, garage-born mayhem that plays as the perfect soundtrack for any hopped-up Saturday night. Get a load of their current album, Turned On Too Long, a set of high revelry and lowly poetics that alternately shimmers with neon-lit atmospherics and flat-out hammers the listener into a state of dazed, blissful surrender. The Cheatin’ Kind exude both an endearing recklessness (fans are still trying to figure out why they omitted the show-stopping original “Q-U-I-T” from the disc) and more than enough tough, tight musicianship to gratify even the most ornery son of a bitch in the house. Ain’t no better to way live it up. (Jonny Whiteside)


The Cheatin’ Kind with Shawn Kama & the Wild Frontier at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Rd., Pioneertown, (760) 365-5956; Sat., 8 p.m. Call for cover.




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