Lazy Cowgirls | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Lazy Cowgirls 

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Lots of journeymen musicians have moved through the Lazy Cowgirls since the band formed two decades ago, but singer Pat Todd has always been in command. The Indiana native, who writes the Cowgirls' tunes, is a true believer in the redemptive power of rock 'n' roll; despite the shuffling membership and a level of obscurity that might cause even the most committed rocker to throw in the towel, he continues to sing with the same go-for-broke gusto that convinced the Cowgirls' earliest lineup that they should move to LA and make it big in the biz. They were never able to unclog that pipe dream, but you wouldn't know it from the slate of classic recordings they've made over the years, and their latest, I'm Goin' Out and Get Hurt Tonight (Reservation), is no exception. While on its own the quartet's twangy amalgam of Stones, Stooges, and Ramones has always gotten the job done, it's Todd's full-throated, soulful growl that makes this act special. The album's got the usual passel of hard-charging rockers, fueled by artlessly executed Chuck Berry and Keith Richards riffs, but it also continues a recent move toward more acoustic, countrified material like the ballad "Suicide Note," which, despite its dark theme, hints at a drive for survival: "What I don't know is all I got," Todd sings. Johnny Dowd headlines (see Spot Check); Grafton opens. Friday, March 19, 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North; 773-278-6600.

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