On name alone, it would be easy for a connoisseur to dislike Terri Hendrix. The bombastic moniker sounds a little plagiaristic, a little bit too much like Jimi You-know-who. But fact is, this female Hendrix is an ordinary San Antonio native with a guitar, simple melodies and lyrics on love, lesbians and cheap shoes. She's got cute drawings of pigs and bees on her CD, too, for Pete's sake. How could you not like her?

It's also hard to dislike Hendrix once you hear her music. In a world where brats who know three chords can score million-dollar deals, an artist such as Hendrix is a welcome alternative to the alternatives. She's a considerable guitarist with a chameleon of a voice, who sounds right whether she's singing swing or folk.

As a woman in charge, Hendrix is also one of only a few Texas acts that have created and maintained their own labels. Wilory Records (formerly Tycoon Cowgirl Records) is the company she put together in 1998 with the help of her producer/mentor, the ever-popular Lloyd Maines. A loyal fan base, which Hendrix nurtured through the '90s by crisscrossing the state many times over, has kept the project healthy, she says.

Hendrix performs with honesty about things in front of and inside of her, and she does so without being so clever you could puke or so tricky you think you're stupid for not understanding her tormented genius.

Next month Hendrix will release her new CD, Places In Between, which is a marked divergence from her earlier offerings. "My work has always been thought of as Americana," Hendrix says. "The new [CD] is not so much Americana but a different kind of roots-rock stuff. There's a lot less country and folk.(Justin Wolske)

Terri Hendrix performs Friday, February 11, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, at 9 p.m. Cover charge is $8. For more information, call (713)528-5999.

The Brothers Creeggan -- Remove the juvenile shenanigans and white-boy rapping from the Barenaked Ladies and you have something, well, rather decent. The Brothers Creeggan -- the lineup includes former BNL guitarist Andy and his older brother and current BNL bassist, Jim -- should surprise any fan of the Canadian outfit. The duo's most recent side project, Trunks, its third album, is a mellow, acoustic-guitar-textured gust of warm, intimate arrangements. While the tunes are slightly more complex than campfire songs, they give off that vibe: three or four guys sitting around burning wood, trading vocal duties and playing their instruments off one another. An element of jazz also seeps into these tunes, particularly when Jim leads. He pinches and slaps his bass strings in perfect counterpoint to Andy's moody piano swirls.

No doubt coasting on its Barenaked association, the pair has embarked on its first major American tour. Its pleasant, atmospheric pop should only be better live, when the duo can improvise. (David Simutis)

The Brothers Creeggan perform Monday, February 14, at the Hard Rock Cafe, 2801 Kirby. For more information, call (713)520-1134.

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David Simutis
Justin Wolske