Richard Buckner and P.W. Long are two entirely dissimilar artists who nonetheless have formed a mutual admiration society and decided to tour together. When Spin named Richard Buckner's debut, Bloomed, one of the Top 20 records of 1995, it probably took even the artist by surprise. Singer/songwriter Buckner straddles the line between "country" and James McMurtry-land. Produced by the respected Lloyd Gaines (also father to singer Natalie of the Dixie Chicks), Bloomed is a record full of intense, soft-spoken laments of love that, when delivered by Buckner's strong, stable voice, don't sound nearly as weak as they might coming from another mouth.
But Buckner's weakness, at least on Bloomed, may lie in his oversensitivity and reliance on similar tempos. Every lover is desperate, and every breakup is operatic.
But if Buckner is the quiet, studious brother in an imagined family, then P.W. Long is the troublemaking black sheep. The former singer/guitarist for Wig and Mule has already delved into art rock, blues and country, and continues to stay uncategorizable with his latest, Push Me Again (Touch and Go). This, his second collaboration with backing trio Reelfoot, is electrified, curious and shit-kickin' good.
Richard Buckner and P.W. Long play Friday, September 17, at Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh, at 10 p.m. Cover is $6. Call (713) 521-0521.