The Beat Farmers' music propelled me through mid- and late-1980s road trips, all-night listening parties and summer BBQs. The band mixed country western and rockabilly sensibilities with chunky, raw power chords. Imagine Buck Owens playing with ACDC. And they had a wild card like no other band before or since -- drummer, singer and raconteur Country Dick Montana.
I loved the originals like "Bigger Stones," "Never Going Back," "Riverside" and "Selfish Heart." And the Farmers had the best taste in covers, from Bruce Springsteen's "Reason to Believe" to Neil Young's "Powderfinger" and Country Dick's rowdy rendition of Johnny Cash's "Big River."
The Beat Farmers - Big River
Sadly, The story of The Beat Farmers ended with Country Dick Montana's untimely death on stage in 1995. But the band's legacy and my memories of two amazing nights at The Canal Street live on.
It's Friday. They are The Beat Farmers. Turn it up.
Nice history of The Beat Farmers by the San Diego Reader.
The Beat Farmers at The Belly Up Tavern, complete show, 1992.
The Beat Farmers, Universal Studios, 1985.