Mike Ness

Posted December 18, 2008 in

On the back of Mike Ness’ rambunctious 1999 disc Under the Influences, a tag line reads: Music . . . The Most Ungodly Vice of Them All! Three decades after forming Social Distortion in Fullerton, the singer/guitarist still hasn’t kicked his punk rock habit. Whenever the band did the annual Hootenanny Festival in OC though, Ness often threw in a couple tunes that gave props to early blues, country and rockabilly artists that had an impact on him. Tackling Hank Williams, George Jones, Carl Perkins, Marty Robbins, Wanda Jackson, Bobby Fuller and others on Influences made perfect sense. Cheating at Solitaire—the solo CD which preceded it that same year—was just as impressive with solid, spirited remakes of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” (Bob Dylan), “You Win Again” (Williams), and “The Long Black Veil” (made famous by The Chieftains), plus insightful originals like “Dope Fiend Blues” and “If You Leave This World.” Guests Bruce Springsteen, Brian Setzer and Royal Crown Revue helped elevate the sonic quality. Although Social D traditionally sells out multiple nights at area House of Blues venues around Christmas time, this current solo jaunt finds Ness in more intimate venues—including a rare IE appearance at the Glass House. He will be joined onstage by fellow Social D bandmates (guitarist Jonny Wickersham, bassist Brent Harding), but fans shouldn’t expect a wealth of material from that group. The set lists are drawn heavily from Solitaire and Influences, with a few old faves (“Ball & Chain,” “Ring of Fire”) rotated between shows. Grab a leather jacket and cowboy hat and you’re good to go. (George A. Paul) 


Mike Ness, Matt Mays & El Torpedo at the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.ticketmaster.com. Sun., Dec. 21, 7PM, $30


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