Music » Critics' Picks

The Wilders

8 p.m. Friday, January 29. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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With its good-timey, swinging style, the Wilders picks up where BR549 left off. The band raids the classic (as in pre-rock & roll) rockabilly and honky-tonk songbook, with an affection for '40s Nashville fashion, catchy original novelties, hardcore hillbilly harmonies and wicked dobro and fiddle. However, the Kansas City quartet of Ike Sheldon, Betse Ellis, Nate Gawron and Phil Wade also understands the emotional force of gospel and the razzle-dazzle of bluegrass. It adapts both genres with nary a wink or a smirk and proves that Saturday night and Sunday morning are always closer than you think — even as it channels this unplugged energy through insanely brilliant covers of tunes such as Devo's "Girl U Want." Fans of the Meat Purveyors and Hot Club of Cowtown, rev up your dancing shoes.

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