NGAB: Bye-Bye Bluegrass, Hello Satan

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We?ll never get to hear the banjo?d-out version of ?No Expectations? or ?Honky Tonk Women? or whatever Stones song Cliff Wagner & the Old #7 were plotting before they got deep-sixed last Friday night. Americans with money and phones have voted, and bluegrass ain?t part of Next Great American Band?s agenda.

That?s okay, it?s a pop and rock world we live in, especially when you?re selling blocks of commercial time in a talent contest, so we?re now down to six outfits that are going to take us through the start of ’08. I?ve still got my fingers crossed for Tres Bien, who did the shimmy-shimmy-shake on ?Get Off My Cloud? (with a ?Satisfaction? guitar riff thrown in for you dudes who miss mash-ups) and conjured a vibe out of That Thing You Do.

All in all, it was a surprisingly fun romp through the Jagger-Richards songbook, with no one ? except for the big-band nimrods ? embarrassing themselves. The metal rugrats should have told Dicko to sticko and come out sans shirts for their ?Jumping Jack Flash? romp. Something very odd about seeing an 11-year-old from the San Diego suburbs singing that he was ?born in a cross-fire hurricane,? but the Light of Doom kid swings his hair around really well; I believed him for a sec or two. And the praying pickers in the Clark Brothers summoned the dangers of the devil quite convincingly with their judge-pleasing ?Gimme Shelter.?

The big question is who?s being dumped this week. Here?s hoping it’s High Milers ? there are a plenty of corporate offsite parties that could use a punchy version of Blood, Sweat & Tears? ?Spinning Wheel.?

This Friday features the Rod Stewart canon. Here?s a quick guess at the song each band might choose.

Dot Dot Dot ? Do Ya Think I?m Sexy?

The Clark Brothers ? Mandolin Wind

Light of Doom ? It?s All Over Now

Sixwire ? You Wear It Well

Denver & the Mile High Orchestra ? Twistin? the Night Away

Tres Bien – Maggie May

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