Crooks Country at the White Horse

Crooks take the stage for a free honky tonk show this Friday night

Crooks heat up the stage at Austin Chronicle's Hot Sauce Festival 2012
Crooks heat up the stage at Austin Chronicle's Hot Sauce Festival 2012

Austin sees its share of fresh, red dirt country acts, and Crooks are making a name for themselves around town with their own brand of shit kicking, whiskey swilling twang.

Their stripped-down tunes pay homage to the outlaw country artists of decades past, and their latest album, "The Rain Will Come," incorporates traditional conjunto sounds with down home country fiddles and banjos, all with a laid-back flare. "Pull up Your Boots" marries the sound of a button accordion with a sweetly melodic trumpet punctuating each verse. And the opening track, "Bar Stool," is a drinking song with a mariachi twist, featuring a crisp trumpet solo that nicely contrasts a mellow fiddle melody. It's well-chosen, vibrant yet uncrowded instrumentation that spans the length of the Texas-Mexico border all the way to the Appalachians and back.

Perhaps most importantly for our purposes, however, the Crooks boys know how to throw a rowdy country show and fill up a dance floor with eager boot scooters. There's no better place to cut a rug than our favorite East side dance hall, the White Horse on 5th and Comal. Crooks take the stage this Friday night (9/14) at 11:30 pm, and best of all, it's totally free. So tip your bartenders and your banjo picker nicely and enjoy a night of truly great country music on the house; you'd be a fool to miss it.

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