Tonight: Mike Barfield and Danny Gardner at Under the Volcano
Mike Barfield, "Lonesome Train"
Mike Barfield and Danny Gardner have been around the Houston roots-rock/country scene so long they remember Club Hey Hey and Blues Burger. Back before they parted company - Barfield moving to front the Hollisters and Gardner working with Mitch Jacobs in Romeo Dogs - they teamed up in the Rounders with guitarist Eric "Eddie Lee Dale" Danheim and scorched the earth at every bar in town.
I mainly remember the Rounders from the Fabulous Satellite Lounge; they opened for Dave Alvin every time he came to town. They had a song called "I'm Jaded" that began with the wonderful line, "Got me a job in a sawmill" - now that's some southeast Texas hillbilly right there. Apparently some of The Rounders wanted to move things up a notch and tour and some members couldn't, so the band broke up.
Romeo Dogs CD release party, Rudyard's 2006
Barfield and Danheim joined Kevin Fitzpatrick and Cletus Wollensak and, within a year, the Hollisters were one of the hottest twang acts around. The band even scored a deal with roots label Hightone, and toured far and wide before disbanding. At that point, Barfield skedaddled to Austin and began to do his own thing with a funk band; since Chris Gaffney's death last year, he's also worked with the Hacienda Brothers' Dave Gonzalez in an outfit called Stone River Boys.
Meanwhile, Gardner hooked up with Jacobs and turned Romeo Dogs into one of Houston's favorite party bands, mostly at places like Blanco's and Dan Electro's. Anyway, lately the two twangers have been working together again, and this will be their first Houston gig. I bet there's gonna be some hillbillyin' goin' on.
8 p.m. tonight, Under the Volcano, 2349 Bissonnet, 713-526-5282. Free.