Episode 358 - The Wisdom of... Los Straitjackets

Episode 322 · April 24th, 2023 · 22 mins 17 secs

About this Episode

It just came down to me. Like the letter at the beginning of Forrest Gump. Like the chap who rescued Mary and me six years ago when we blew a tire in the most remote "track" to be found in all of England. It just came down to me:

I realized that the rockabilly-surfing band Los Straitjackets had something to teach me that had been camouflaged for years. FYI Los Straitjackets are a Nashville-based instrumental rock band that specialize in somewhat weird yet most accomplished covers of mostly ancient rock 'n roll hits from the USA and Mexico. Songs like "Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini", "Telstar", "Perfidia" and basically anything by Duane Eddy. The band has changed personnel some over the years, but not too much. Dave Zahl and I got to see them live in 2015.

But quite seriously, Los Straitjackets specialize in a structure or form of most of their songs that majors on the last third of what they play. It's odd. They play two verses of a somewhat conventional sounding dinosaur hit from the surfing/sci fi/rockabilly past; but then, in the third verse, the band goes crazy. Another way of saying it might be this: the band ascends near the end to St. Paul's seventh heaven -- or at least something like that. You'll hear it. Always wait for the third verse. It's never ever over 'til it's over.

This cast is heavy on the music. To me their sound is in a class by itself. To me it gives hope for... the last third of life. To me it's an actual musical exposition of my Handbook for Boomers (Mockingbird 2020). "Go now, therefore, and make all men... disciples of Los ..."