Brent Amaker & the Rodeo readies new honky-tonk LP with dark, twangy mp3

We’re not ashamed: old-school and indie honky-tonk are a favorites at Listen, Dammit, world headquarters, and weird honky-tonk is even better. Not only do we love Those Darlins, we’re still digging on our pink-and-black vinyl reissue of “Texas Funeral” by Jon Wayne.

They’ve got company now, in the form of Brent Amaker & the Rodeo.

Amaker, a Seattle native, strays far from the sludgy alt-rock of his homeland. Instead, he and the Rodeo — veterans of other local bands — dig deep into the Johnny Cash aesthetic. On the free single, “Man in Charge,” Amaker intones dark lyrics in an ominous baritone over a dusty shuffle rhythm topped with  spare, gleaming single-note guitar lines soaked in reverb.

But there’s more to the band’s new album, “Please Stand By,” than a tribute to the Man in Black. There’s a crackling desert-punk undercurrent, too, for an effect that owes as much to trucker speed as to cheap whiskey.

“Please Stand By,” due Oct. 19 in vinyl, CD and mp3 formats on Spark & Shine Records, will also come in a limited edition vinyl package with “Mescal de la Muerte,” a lurid, not-for-kids graphic novel based on the band’s hard-touring ways, and written by horror filmmaker Jay Cynik and illustrated by Simon Young.

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Man In Charge mp3

Photo by Chase Jarvis

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