Los Straitjackets and Deke Dickerson Camp It Up at Continental Club

Los Straightjackets at Continental Club
Los Straightjackets at Continental Club
Photos by Jack Gorman

The Nashville-based, luche libre mask wearing band, Los Straitjackets strolled into town with Deke Dickerson in tow in support of their new collaboration, Deke Dickerson Sings the Great Instrumental Hits. The band of masked marauders took the stage at 10 p.m. for an hour and a half set of classic hits. Eddie Angel and his Grammy-nominated crew moved in and out of a variety of tunes and various jingles including the theme songs from Batman and Charlie Brown. The show was played at a frantic pace but with incredible finesse.

Deke Dickerson jumped up on stage four songs into the set and moonwalked as he belted out, "Honky Tonk." It was definitely odd to hear several classic instrumental songs with lyrics, but they make it work. It is similar to a company adjusting lyrics to a popular song to fit the pushed product, but they make it work to perfection. An NPR interview described Dickerson as being similar to the lounge singer portrayed by Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live. Regardless if it is a good comparison, both are fantastic in and of their own rights.

Dickerson not only added lyrics to classic tunes, but also to some Los Straitjackets' hits. He belted out gravely vocals for "Fury" as Deke jumped into the crowd going as far as the microphone cord would allow him until a burly fan picked him up and spun him around like in a scripted wrestling match. He popped back on stage and discussed that the theme song for Hawaii 5-0, stating that it originally a song titled, "You Can Count on Me," written by Sammy Davis, Jr. and they found that out by watching YouTube. At this point, Dickerson conjured up the spirit through drummer, Senor Sugar Balls during a modified séance. The imitation of the glass-eyed crooner was impeccable.

"Tequila" was a crowd favorite and garnered the loudest reaction, but the biggest surprise of the night came when the band transitioned from one of their most well-known songs, "Casbah" into the "TV Theme for Charlie Brown." There were smiles across all fans as sounds of the cartoon classic registered in their minds.

During "Space Mosquito" they were spot on with trying to find and smash the pesky little guy buzzing from instrument to instrument. Finally, Senor Sugar Balls was able to put an end to the imagined madness.

Deke Dickerson (right) with Los Straightjackets
Deke Dickerson (right) with Los Straightjackets

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Dickerson and the boys invited the ladies up to come on stage to close out the night. Several women accepted the invitation and continued to enjoy themselves as the crowd cheered them on.

So how were the openers?

Several Tiki statues lined the front of the stage for Houston's own Clouseaux. The groovy and overall chill sounding band takes particular pride in the minute details as seen with the seemingly limitless amounts of horns, fancy gourds, shakers and other percussion instruments. The seven members were on point as they played to a room that was steadily filling up. At one point, during their set guitarist, Kelly Doyle began a solo that was reminiscent of Marty McFly's improvising at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. Passionate frontman, Tomas Escalante is also the owner of Sig's Lagoon, winner of 2014 Houston Press Award for Best Record Store.

Overheard in the Crowd

"Their matching guitars are cute!"

Crowd

Older crowd that that came to have a good time.


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