Time once again for the annual Hootenanny, undoubtedly the West Coast’s largest, longest-running pompadourk rally. Although past years have featured most every high-profile rock & roll architect still able to ignite the blaze (Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Scotty Moore, Link Wray, not to mention the fabulous edition that featured both Buck Owens and the Cramps), the menu this year goes light on originators and long on upstarts. From the Texas psychobilly howl of the Reverend Horton Heat (“Y’all like beer?”) to the scruffy, accelerated grind of Eddie Spaghetti’s Supersuckers, the latter-day roots-torturer set is ably represented. An intriguing highlight comes with the reunion of ‘70s-era NYC rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon and staggeringly prolific British guitarist Chris Spedding, an axe man whose contributions lent Gordon’s cult-thrilling records a heapin’ helpin’ of rock & roll razzle-dazzle. But certainly the largest portion of honor goes to the one and only Wanda Jackson. After splitting a bill with Elvis in the mid-‘50s, Jackson ixnayed straight country to become the roof-raisingest rockabilly gal of her day, a firebrand who not only shattered convention with her volcanic music, but also shredded a major taboo by using a mixed race band—you can imagine what they called those cats at the Louisiana Hayride in ‘56. Such extreme risk taking paid off for Jackson, whose career only slowed when she wanted it to. Still capable of bringing an audience to its knees, Wanda is the definite must-see of the day.
HOOTENANNY 2006 WITH REV. HORTON HEAT, SUPERSUCKERS, WANDA JACKSON, FLOGGING MOLLY, MANIC HISPANIC AND MANY OTHERS AT OAK CANYON RANCH (NEXT TO IRVINE LAKE); WWW.THEHOOTENANNY.COM. 5305 E. SANTIAGO CANYON RD., IRVINE, SAT., NOON-8 P.M. $35. ALL AGES.