The Replacements’ founding member and solo artist of the past twenty years returned to Free At Noon today with his most recent outfit, Cowboys In The Campfire. The group is Tommy Stinson’s foray into country music, though even an upright bass and steely guitar couldn’t smooth out the rock star’s rougher edges. The Cowboys’ rollicking performance proved loud music is still Stinson’s bread and butter.
Stinson and his bandmates Chip Roberts (guitar) and Chops LaConte (bass) were certainly dressed the part of country musicians in their matching Western shirts, though Stinson’s racing guitar strumming and classic rock vocals left room for only one dynamic, and harkened the songwriter’s punk background. On the new record Wronger released last week, songs like “Here We Go Again” and “Karma’s Bitch” have more space to breath. The Cowboys’ live performance, on the other hand, was a runaway train conducted by a hardened industry vet (with his Guns N’ Roses era showing). As in their name, these cowboys sounded more like they stepped in the campfire, rather than simply gathered around it.
Ultimately, Tommy Stinson did his fans proud this afternoon, delivering a rip-roaring set reminiscent of the early days of rock and roll. The new record by Stinson and Cowboys In The Campfire called Wronger is out now. See below for a photo gallery of the afternoon. Tommy Stinson’s Cowboys In The Campfire play Asbury Park’s Wonder Bar on Friday, June 16th with Nicole Atkins.