Best Cover Band

The Tiny Cows

It's Friday night at the Tin Can Tavern (3157 Morganford Road; 314-865-3003). The Cards are trouncing the Rockies and you have an ice-cold PBR in hand. Suddenly the Tiny Cows—an acoustic band, not actual diminutive bovines—launch into a stripped-down rendition of Springsteen's "Thunder Road," and the weekend has officially started. Eric Lysaght, Jeff Gallo, Brian Hilgert and Jimmy Griffin have gigged "everywhere" since forming in 1997, Lysaght says, including the Broadway Oyster Bar, the Famous Bar and the Webster Groves branch of CJ Muggs. The Cows' setlist is heavy on the rock side (The Eagles' "Hotel California," Eric Clapton's "Cocaine," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama"), but there's plenty of wiggle room to incorporate the Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun" or Snow Patrol's "Run" when the mood strikes. "We do everything," Lysaght says. "Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Metallica, John Denver, Pearl Jam, Kenny Rogers, Led Zeppelin. That way everyone's happy." And when an entire bar full of patrons pump their fists and chant along with a Tom Petty classic—"And I'm freee! Free fallin'!"—they're clearly happy those classic tracks haven't been put out to pasture.
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