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T. Duggins preview

| January 16, 2008 | 0 Comments

T. Duggins, Nate Van Allen
Beat Kitchen, Chicago
Friday, January 18, 2008


The Tossers will officially celebrate St. Patty’s Day with a hometown blowout at Metro on March 14th, but fans should consider frontman Tony Duggins’ solo gig Friday night for a sampling of the band’s past and present.

Undone (Thick) was released and promoted in 2006 as a Duggins solo project, but truth be told, it was more a stripped-down Tossers record – only a few of the 13 songs don’t include one of his bandmates, either because they’re a capella (“(The City Of) Chicago” and “Children’s Potential”) or nobody was around (producer Andy Gerber plays fiddle on Duggins’ take on the Pogues’ “Broad Majestic Shannon”). Calling Undone another Tossers record isn’t meant to slag them, either. The raucous South Side-Irish punks certainly haven’t done anything to wear out their welcome, and in fact, Undone provides a different, and welcomed, look at the group and their frontman. Very few of these tunes include more than two or three musicians – Duggins included – on any one song, cloaking the project in an intimacy rarely heard in the seven-member bombast of The Tossers.

The band’s fans should recognize a friendly face in opener Nate Van Allen, who played guitar and piano on the band’s seminal 2000 release, Long Dim Road (chosen last year as one of IE‘s 25 Essential Local Albums Of The Last 10 Years). They’ll of course also recognize Tossers drummer Bones who, along with Jeanne McClure (Panther Style) and Mike Conroy, provide backing. If you don’t remember Van Allen’s stint with The Tossers, you should know him from his excellent country rock outfit, The Siderunners. That band called it quits (far too soon, we might add) in April of last year, but Van Allen tells IE you’ll hear plenty of Siderunner-ish sounds in his solo set, mainly because many of the songs were written for a new Siderunners album that didn’t materialize. He calls the rest of the material unlike anything he has ever done and “outside of country structure, but still maybe a twang here or there – with a little ’50s mixed in.”

The Closet Squatters also play.

– Trevor Fisher

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