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Boss Hog, Delta 72 

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BOSS HOG, DELTA 72

Of all the white-boy blues bands that broke out in the 1990s--the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jack O' Fire, the Make Up--the guys carrying the torch highest these days are the Delta 72, who spike the music not just with punk but with a strong shot of funk. Since forming in 1994 the Philadelphia-based group has changed lineups four times; on the new 000 (Touch and Go), founding singer and guitarist Gregg Foreman is joined by former Mule drummer Jason Kourkounis, bassist Bruce Reckahn, and new keyboardist Mark Boyce, Reckahn's old bandmate in the Goats. The record opens with "Are You Ready?," a rollicking wah-wah jam that begins with a taut guitar buildup so long it's almost unbearable and really hits its stride when two gospel singers jump in on the chorus. Boyce nearly kills his Farfisa on "I Feel Fine," and Foreman throws in the first bar from the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" at the end of the frenzied "Incident @ 23rd." The album was recorded on the same board as Exile on Main Street and Purple Rain and produced by Jennifer Herrema and Neil Hagerty of Royal Trux--more evidence that every band in the universe is six degrees away from Pussy Galore. Hagerty played in that seminal trash-rock band with Jon Spencer and his wife, Cristina Martinez, and Jon and Cristina are both now in Boss Hog, who headline this show. Foreman and Spencer got into a slapfest at Lounge Ax a few years back, but apparently there aren't any hard feelings: not only are they traveling together, they're sharing Boyce, who plays on Boss Hog's catchy, radio-friendly new album, Whiteout (In the Red). Martinez fronts the group, and though for the last few tours the couple's sultry stage presence has seemed a little stiff, it's still entertaining to read the body language and guess who's wearing the pants. The Delta 72's live shows, though, are still all about Foreman bouncing off the walls--they may not have top billing, but I expect them to run circles around Boss Hog. Thursday, May 18, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203. CARA JEPSEN

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jessica Kourkounis.

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