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From pure hell to worthy country

I got real sick and didn’t do justice for Bob Wayne’s real country

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Beware of a certain hamburger and teriyaki joint on Sixth Avenue.

I warn you because I care.

This week’s column is about Bob Wayne, his Outlaw Carnies, and their show at Hell’s Kitchen tonight. Bob Wayne sits near the top of a very short list of country artists who don’t make me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. Normally, country makes me nauseous, like the juices in my gut are climbing the back of my throat. I typically avoid country music like the plague.

Bob Wayne is different. Somewhere along the way, country music went horribly, horribly wrong, and Bob Wayne didn’t follow. His songs stick to your gut like good chili, the way the godfathers of country intended. There’s no plastic emotion or Keith Urban facial hair with Bob Wayne, just a bit of soul-bearing and a dash of beer swilling. 

Naturally, I wanted to talk to Bob Wayne. In fact, I was excited about it.

This is where the teriyaki and hamburger joint comes into play.

Last Thursday was White Trash Night at Hell’s Kitchen, and seeing as it’d been a while since I got drunk and fell down, I decided to stop by. Knowing that drinking cheap beer on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster, and short on time, I dropped into a certain hamburger joint in the proximity of Hell’s Kitchen on Sixth Avenue for a quick bite before show time.

During all my time in Tacoma, I had never eaten at this hamburger and teriyaki establishment. I’d driven by thousands of times, on my way to the Kitchen, Jazzbones, or wherever, but not once had I tried the teriyaki or burgers they advertise.

I had a double cheeseburger with bacon. It seemed like a safe bet. The burger may have had some fancy name, I can’t remember. What I do remember is the fishy taste that gagged me on nearly every bite. When there’s a big-ass cheeseburger sitting in front of you, your mind tells you to eat it, or at least mine does, and I tried valiantly to take down the cow on my plate. Three quarters of the way in, I gave up.

It was, quite possibly, the nastiest hamburger I’ve ever had.

But it got worse.

Not only did the burger taste bad, but apparently there was something to that fishy taste. Later that night I felt the repercussions. I can’t scientifically prove the burger made me sick, but I’ve been riding the porcelain bus for three days now.

Furthermore, not only have I done nothing but defecate for more than 48 hours, but in the process I missed my opportunity to speak with Bob Wayne. I e-mailed him, and he called me back, but by that time I was curled up in the fetal position. 

If this sounds like an excuse, it most certainly is. I’m full of them. I usually have more excuses than chances to use them. But this time it’s legit. This week my goose was cooked.

In lieu of an interview, I’ve tried whole-heartedly to transcribe the first verse of Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies’ “From Blood to Dust,” off their recent album of the same name. There are a few parts I just can’t decipher, and I apologize. rated From Blood To Dust the second best album of 2006, and the song writing on the title track exemplifies the personal and real touches that make Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies one of the exceptions in a world of country music gone to shit.

“From Blood To Dust”

I was born in 1977, the year that Elvis died and went to heaven

My mamma worked at night time, singing cover songs

My daddy was a lawman with the FBI, but for cash money he’d do deals on the side

Mamma said he even killed a man once, and never even got caught

Well, they fought like hell for several years

Ma told pa (Sorry. I can’t understand this part through my crappy computer speakers.)

That’s when old Danno (that’s what it sounds like!) came in, and threatened my daddy’s life

I didn’t see him again until I was 12 years old

My mom pointed him out in a record store

I went up and said my name’s Bobby

He said I’m Bobby too

He still didn’t know just who I was

I told him I was his eldest son

I could see the teardrops welling up in his eyes

He gave me his phone number and we said goodbye

It was two months later that old Bob died

With a needle in his arm, in some hotel room


They say some things in our life are best forgotten

I say those are things that make you who you are

So be proud of what you’ve got and where you come from

Because blood to dust, well it ain’t very far

Check out Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies at Hell’s Kitchen tonight. If there’s a drop of real country in your blood, Bob Wayne is your boy.

[Hell’s Kitchen, with Joe Buck Yourself and James Hunnicutt & The Revolvers, Thursday, May 10, 9 p.m., $5, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

Charming Snakes

So many times I go to a band’s MySpace page in search of actually helpful information, or just information period, only to find they’ve constructed their bio like a 2 a.m. text message from Bobble Tiki after Jazzbone’s Rockaroke.

That is to say, a lot of bands have laughably bad bios on MySpace.

Charming Snakes, who plays Le Voyeur in Olympia on Sunday, May 13, is not one of those bands. Though the “have played with” section is a bit long and begins to smell of pretentiousness, who the fuck cares? It’s pretty damn funny.

“Born and raised in a hot dog stand, The Charming Snakes play rock music. They are the Rodney Dangerfields of Seattle music. They have played shows across the Midwest and down the west coast. They have played shows with ... the Gossip, Coachwhips, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Gris Gris, the Ponys, The Old Haunts, Invisible Eyes, Tommy Stinson, the Shins, A Frames, Soledad Brothers, Crack Pipes, the FALL, the Fall-Outs, HEAD, Tyvek, Little Claw, Kinski, Flying Dutchmen, and You Will know Us by the Trail of Dead, that dude who use to be the drummer for Pavement, the Intelligence, Blank Its, and so on and so on ... Co-ed art rock without a lot of art ...need more info? Suck it.”

This, and more info like it, can be found at

[Le Voyeur, with Cheveau (from France), TYVEK (Detroit), and Thee Bodiddles, Sunday, May 13, 10 p.m., no cover, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.943.5710]

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