Freakons at the Hideout and the Shitty Barn

When the Mekons teamed up with Freakwater, of course they called themselves the Freakons. As they’ve joked, the other option was Meekwater, a far less formidable-sounding portmanteau.

Actually, this collaborative group — which played a few shows last week, recording one of them for a forthcoming album — doesn’t include all of the Mekons. Its members are Freakwater’s Catherine Irwin and Janet Bean plus two key members of the Mekons, Jon Langford and Sally Timms. Joining them are two fiddlers, Jean Cook and Anna Krippenstapel, and ubiquitous Chicago guitarist James Elkington.

It seems natural that the Mekons and Freakwater are collaborating, given their shared musical territory. The Mekons may be punks from England and Wales, but they’re steeped in a love of old American country, along with British folk. The Kentuckians in Freakwater have mined similar musical veins. The two outfits have even covered a few of the same songs. And now this conglomeration is making a record of songs about coal mining. All profits from the album will benefit Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, a grassroots organization opposing mountaintop removal mining and promoting economic justice, voting rights, and Kentucky’s transition to new energy sources.

The Freakons played two shows at the Hideout last week, one of which was recorded for the album. I attended the other gig, on Sept. 10, as well a concert by the Freakons on Sept. 14 at a rustic venue in Spring Green, Wis., charmingly named The Shitty Barn. (Elkington played at the Hideout but was absent from the Shitty Barn show.) As the band members noted a few times, their songs tended to be sad and bleak. But there were several rousing songs inspired by the spirit of miners toiling away at their work — and as always, Langford and Timms were quick with humorous quips. The group even played a recording of Richard Burton telling some tall tales on the Dick Cavett show about his coal-mining father.

The songs (some original, some covers) included: “Chestnut Blight,” “Corrie Doon,” “Canaries,” “Dreadful Memories,” “Coal Miner’s Grave,” “Abernant 1984/85,” “Johnny Miner,” “Trimdon Grange Explosion,” “Mannington Mine,” “Black Leg Miner,” “Dark as a Dungeon” and “Working in a Coal Mine.” After seeing these live shows, I look forward to hearing the Freakons’ album.

Freakons at the Hideout

Freakons at the Shitty Barn

Catherine Irwin at the Hideout

Catherine Irwin

Catherine Irwin

It’s been seven years since the last album by Freakwater, the alt-country duo of Catherine Irwin and Janet Bean, and a decade since Irwin released her last solo record. Thankfully, there’s some action lately on the Freakwater front. The duo is reuniting (reconvening?) for a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of its album Easiest Way To Get Accutane | Discounts🔥 |. Find Latest Medication For This pill Now! ☀☀☀ go here ☀☀☀,Online Pharmacy, Guaranteed Shipping. 24/7 Phone | Up to 30% Off🔥 |. special reduced price. ☀☀☀ enter site ☀☀☀,Bonus Pills with every order!. Buy Now » | Discounts🔥 |. If you want to take care of your health. Proscar Osterreich Online ,Cannot Find low price Best pill?. Check More » | Best Deals🔥 |. buy online without a doctor is prescription. enter ,Is this what you are looking Best pill?. Check More » enter site ⭐️ | Best Sale | ☀☀☀ enter site ☀☀☀. You Want Something Special About Best pill? Lexapro Generic For Sale coupons 50% off. here http://barbaraschochetphd.com/?onl=Benicar-Discount-Program&4ad=05 incisions healed but his general condition was still bad. On periactin pills uk cyproheptadine price in india cheap periactin online | Up to 50% Off🔥 |. Are You Searching Best pill? Cheap Buspar Online ,Save Up To 70% On Pills. Check More » Feels Like the Third Time, with a show Jan. 21 at the Hideout. And Irwin recently released a great solo record called Little Heater, which brought her to the Hideout on Friday night for a delightful set of her rustic, plaintive country-folk songs.

She mostly played songs from the new record, including “Dusty Groove,” which her friend Kelly Hogan also sang on her 2012 album. And Irwin threw in another one of her songs that has been covered by a friend, “Hex,” which Neko Case sang on her 2004 live album, The Tigers Have Spoken. It was great to hear Irwin sing these songs in her own unmistakable voice.

The night started with a set from Rachel Ries, who said she is recording an album in Chicago with help from Emmett Kelly and David Vandervelde. Following Irwin’s set, Mr. Rudy Day (featuring Andy Hopkins, Mike Bulington and Geoff Greenberg) cranked up the volume considerably above the hushed sounds of the acts that preceded them.

Catherine Irwin
Catherine Irwin
Catherine Irwin
Catherine Irwin

Rachel Ries
Rachel Ries

Mr. Rudy Day
Mr. Rudy Day