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The Mother Truckers: Let's All Go to Bed

"Them Other Truckers" set the Gram/Emmylou stewpot boiling.
"Them Other Truckers" set the Gram/Emmylou stewpot boiling.

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The Mother Truckers perform 10 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, 713-529-9899.

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A slight consonant shift in The Mother Truckers' name yields Them Other Truckers, and where the Austin quartet's 2006 debut Broke, Not Broken sagged in spots, Let's All Go to Bed exudes a feisty confidence that recalls, well, them other Truckers. (Drive-By, that is.) They haven't redefined their mixed-gender roots-rock, just tightened it so that the album's 42 minutes fly by in what feels like half that time. Breakneck opener "Dynamite" explodes with X-like interplay, and "Never Miss My Baby" is a bug-eyed acceleration of the classic Johnny & June or Porter & Dolly form. "I'm Comin' Over" grinds out some George Thorogood blues, and "When I Get My Wings" finally eases off the throttle enough to allow Teal Collins's gospel-tinged vocals (which return on exquisite closer "Soul's Journey Home") to seize center stage. "Let's All Go to Bed" betides a raucous rockabilly romp between the sheets, and despite its acoustic underpinnings, "Quiet Night" likewise delivers anything but. Small wonder Collins and husband/bandmate Josh Zee "Can't Sleep in Tucson," or anywhere else in the frisky R&B-charged duet. If anything, Let's All Go to Bed occasionally cuts a hair too close to the band's inspirations — "Streets of Atlanta" is a brassy rewrite of "Honky Tonk Women"; "I Give You My Word" digs up The Basement Tapes — but otherwise there's so much genuine Gram/Emmylou chemistry on display that listeners would be fools not to flag these Truckers down.

 
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