Still crazy (after all these beers)
They're old, fat and gray. Their long hair has been shaped by the years and male-pattern baldness into long, wispy mullets. And they haven't had a hit in more than 30 years.
Then again, Commander Cody was never about hair or hits. The band, led by erstwhile "Commander" George Frayne, has always been about a party. Their trademark sound is a wild, goofy pastiche of drunken, redneck foot-stompin' anthems ("Truck Drivin' Man"), and hippie gibberish ("Down to Seeds and Stems Again Blues") with odd nods to hillbilly swing ("Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette") and two-step Cajun hoedowns ("Diggy Liggy Lo").
Born in the mid-1960s in the never-ending frat bash known as Ann Arbor, Mich., the band moved west to the even bigger party of San Francisco, where it evolved into a full-blown bar band for the ages. They scored their one and only Top Ten hit in 1972 with "Hot Rod Lincoln," a novelty song that gets occasional airplay on oldies radio ("My pappy said, 'Son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin' if you don't stop drivin' that hot rod Lincoln'").
Between now and then, the boys were featured in a B-movie made for groping, giggling teens at the drive-in ("Hollywood Boulevard"), and Frayne received intermittent attention for his drawings of music legends. The band also got to share bills with the Grateful Dead, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and other long-haired heroes of yesteryear.
Have a whompin' big time with the boogie woogie and insurgent country tunes on Thursday, March 31 at Famous Dave's, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S., in Calhoun Square. Tickets are $7. Call 824 1240 for more information or see www.famousdaves.com.
Glaros goes 'Solo'
The Wraparounds, Second Nature, The Pedestrians, Fire Under Water, the Middle States, Your Neighborhood Trio and the Cooker John Band all have something in common: the distinctive guitar-playing of Ben Glaros.
Now one of Minneapolis' finest steps out front to celebrate the release of his very first solo album, aptly titled "Solo," on Friday, March 25 at Acadia Caf and Theater, 1931 Nicollet Ave., in the Stevens Square neighborhood.
Joining Glaros onstage will be Jacqueline Ferrier Ultan (Barb Cohen and Little Lizard) on cello, Michael Ferrier (Electropolis) on saxophone and Gabriella Sweet (Bayou Hazard) on slide guitar.
Jelloslave is the opening act at the 8 p.m. performance.
Tickets are $5 for this all-ages show. Call 874-8702 for more information.
Born in the late 1960s and early 1970s, country-rock is the hybrid child of idiosyncratic, gifted parents, including Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons (The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Fallen Angels), Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Chris Hillman (The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Desert Rose Band), the aforementioned Commander Cody, Linda Ronstadt, Poco and others.
Among the genre's lesser known fathers are the members of Chicago's Mason Profitt.
Formed in 1969, the group made five memorable, marginally selling albums before disbanding in 1973. Now they're back with a line-up including Terry Talbot, who, along with brother John Talbot, founded the group and molded its signature Old-West-meets-hippiedom sound. The group also includes original bassist Tim Ayres and former Minnesotan Bruce "Creeper" Kurnow (keyboard, harmonica, stringed harp).
Kurnow was with the original Mason Proffit from 1971 to its demise, when he moved back to Minneapolis. He soon co-founded Passage with guitarist Bobby Schnitzer, followed by a year-long gig with the Doug Maynard Band.
He went on to record a long string of touchy-feely-woodsy solo albums with titles such as "Nature's Noel," "Forest Reflections," "Mountain Mysteries" and "Lake Impressions."
With Mason Proffit, he returns to the melodic romantic ballads and left-leaning political twang that made this band a favorite of aficionados of alt-country's roots.
The reconstructed Mason also features vocalist-guitarist Al Perkins, who has recorded and played with Dylan, the Eagles, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Harris, Willie Nelson, Tori Amos and many others. Perkins picks and strums electric, acoustic, steel and slide guitars, as well as banjo and dobro.
Mason Proffit hits town on Wednesday, March 30 at Famous Dave's, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S., in Calhoun Square. Tickets are $7. Call 824 1240 for more information or see www.famousdaves.com.