Bad medicine

Blanche at TT's.

Many snowstorms ago, we trekked down to TT’s to ease our whiskey-spiked wintry blues with a coupla Kills. One of VV and Hotel’s openers was Blanche, this inauspicious country-fried fivesome fronted by a husband-and-wife duo: a sleek-suited dude who looked like Lyle Lovett’s clear-skinned cousin, along with a porcelian-doll version of Lovett’s fire-engine-redhead ex-wife. Something about them — their horse-trot brush percussion, their costumed creepy hillbilly aesthetic, their Carter Family nostalgia — we really dug.

Turns out, Blanche has big connections. Being from Detriot, and having two members who played in a lil' band called 2-Star Tabernacle, they share tons of history with that greasy-haired guy in the Raconteurs. Plus, all Blanche's active male members guested on Van Lear Rose. They definitely haven't been thumping these allegiances enough: Blanche hasn’t really caught on in these parts, a point confirmed when TT's was so empty on Friday, you half-expected to see tumbleweed blowing through the place.

Nevertheless, Blanche was finger-pluckin’ good. Tracee Mae Miller emerged from the ladies’ room when we got there, all svelte giant in blood-red lipstick, thick baby-doll blush, and a virginal white gown. She and her escorts rolled onstage around midnight and opened with the spooky “Superstition” (see b'low), then played dusty odes to garbage pickers, birds, and wayfaring strangers. Blanche's newest addition, Little Jack Lawrence, sorta looks like a nerdier version of that kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun, but he sure could make the banjo dance. Best way to sum it all up? As one tin-whistle player in the audience wondered aloud: “Shouldn’t Harvey Keitel should be killing someone to this?”

Blanche, “Superstition” (via the official Blanche site)
Blanche, “Another Lost Summer
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