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Weekend music

Tucson cowpunks the Low Wines say goodbye (for now)

The one thing that's constant in the Tucson music scene is change.

The bands of our youth may come and go, but the same faces always seem to come around again, their sound evolving and (hopefully) maturing over time as long time bandmates and musical fellow travelers join forces time and again until they either can't stand each other or make yet another round of magic happen on stage and in the studio.

Tucson cowpunk/country garage rockers The Low Wines are a prime example of this. 

The Low Wines are Mark See (vocals/guitar), Chris "Punchy" Morrison (guitar/vocals), Randy McReynolds (bass) and Todd Pearson (drums.)

The band is made up of former members of a handful of notable Tucson punk, rock and country rock bands of yore, including local Earl's Family Bombers, Downtown Saints, 35 Summers, Sunday Drivers, Fourkiller Flats and...well, I'll let the boys take it from here.

TucsonSentinel.com: How long have you all been playing music in Tucson? And how did you come together to form The Low Wines?

Todd Pearson: "I was the drummer in Earl’s Family Bombers. We played shows with Mark’s band Helen Hammer in the early '90s.  Everybody [currently in the Low Wines] played in many other local bands during that time. "

"In the mid '90s, I played with Chris Holiman (former River Roses) in a rendition of the band 35 Summers. Randy had been the original guitar player for that band, which morphed into the Downtown Saints, which Randy rejoined on bass."

"Several years after that breakup, I joined the Sunday Drivers with Chris Morrison (Punchy) and Mark See from Fourkiller Flats  as well as my former Earl’s Family Bombers bandmate Colin Scott on guitar."

"Colin moved to Santa Fe so he could concentrate on his Duran Duran fan club, so Chris moved to guitar and the Low Wines were Born in spring of 2014."

"We added "Joe the Weasel" on bass and played for several years as the Sunday Drivers. Then Joe became "Quittin’ Joe" and Randy was wrangled in to play bass. This is the version that recorded our most recent 7 inch and CD."

TS: Most of the band members started out in punk and alternative rock bands around town. But then you all seemed to move in a country/cowpunk direction. In the years the core members have been playing together, how has your sound evolved (or devolved) over time?

Pearson: "Originally after we reformed as the Low Wines from the Sunday Drivers we strived to play in a more classic country sound.  We tried different approaches but eventually fell into straight ahead rock with a country twist – garage country. We tried to do a more standard country feel but due to our volume and (except for Randy) limited musical abilities, everything leaned way closer to the rock side. So we embraced our shortcomings and left the amps on 10 much to everyone else’s chagrin."

TS: This is a farewell show, right? What's up with that?

Pearson: "Recently, Chris announced he was moving to the wilds of Wisconsin for lumberjacking, hence the farewell show. Chris is moving to Wisconsin in May to be with his wife and daughter who have been living there since June of last year. Bodel Romero has temporarily joined the Low Wines for the Borderlands show to play bass, with Randy moving to guitar. 

TS: Does this mean the end? Will you ever play together again? 

Pearson: "The future will tell if we play together again.  There is always the possibility of Chris returning and maybe have him sit in with the new lineup for a show or just to hang out during a rehearsal."

"After this show the Low Wines will cease to exist, but Mark, Randy, Todd and Bodel will continue on as Trailer Park Mark and The Wheels (a band moniker Mark has previously used, which most of us have either been members of at one time or at least drank beers listening to.) With Chris leaving, Bodel will be moving into the bass position permanently and Randy will be taking over on guitar. "

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Trailer Park Mark and the Wheels will be playing Fred’s Arena (9650 S. Avra Rd.) on April 7 and May 5, at 6 p.m."

TS: What's your favorite memory of playing with The Low Wines?

Pearson: "Favorite moment in one word, Bisbee. 

"We played a show at The Quarry in 2016. It was great to play out of town. We got caught in a wind storm looking for my money clip, which I'd lost. We hung out with the bar owner after the show at St. Elmo's bar.  Drank about 50 tall boys Pabsts and left the only key to our room at the venue. Luckily were finally able to get in our room to crash. The hotel we stayed at had a 3-seat bar which is the smallest in Arizona."

The money clip was eventually found on the truck floor when we got back to Tucson."

TS: Tell us about Friday's farewell show. 

TP: "We have been wanting to release a vinyl of some sort, so this is the perfect time to do it. It's a 7-inch vinyl record with two songs. We also  have CD copies of our full album “Louder Actions” available."

"Mark will have special T-shirts for sale for the farewell show. Mark will also stamp T-shirts onsite for people who bring their own.  It's going to be a two-hour set which will also feature Bodel playing bass. This will be his debut with the band."

"The show theme is Punchy’s Last Stand. Come taste the magic at Borderlands this Friday night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.. Thanks for letting us ramble!"

The Low Wine's farewell/vinyl release show (aka "Punchy's Last Stand") kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 30, at Borderlands Brewery, 119 E. Toole Ave. in Downtown Tucson.

Danger, High Voltage!

These days, the sound d'jour of underground and indie bands is decidedly on the lo-fi side, with retro-influenced garage and psych and grunge-influenced artists dominating the DIY tour scene and what's left of the College Rock airwaves. Still, there's a place in our hearts for pop and new wave bands like Detroit's Electric Six, whose 2003 hit "Danger, High Voltage!" moves more than a few of us cynical bastards to dance. Or at least wiggle in our seats a bit.

Electric Six will be making a Tucson visit this Monday night at 191 Toole, Downtown. The show starts at 8 p.m. with "anthemic pop" band The Northern Faces opening. 

The King Of Surf visits the desert...

The legendary "King Of Surf Guitar" Dick Dale also visits 191 Toole this week. If you don't know him from his decades of notoriety playing ingeniously weird surf riffs with Middle Eastern influences and perfectly noir distortion, you surely know him from the theme music of the movie "Pulp Fiction."

The 80-year-old master of the Fender Stratocaster shows no signs of slowing down and still plays as brilliantly as ever. Catch him this Thursday night at 8 p.m. at 191 Toole. Tucson's own British maestro of Delta blues, Tom Walbank, opens.

Check your local listings

Friday, March 30

  • Santa Pachita - 6 p.m. Playground (Downtown)
  • Reserve, Michigan Rattlers, Ivan Denis - 7 p.m. Hotel Congress (Downtown)
  • The Low Wines - 7:30 p.m. Borderlands Brewery (Downtown)
  • Poncho Sanchez - 8p.m. Rialto (Downtown)
  • Bleep Bloop, Woolymammoth - 9 p.m. 191 Toole (Downtown)
  • Natalie Pohanic - 9 p.m. Dusty Monk Pub (Downtown)

Saturday, March 31

  • Zona Libre - 6 p.m. Playground  (Downtown)
  • The Sonoran Dogs, Jaca Zulu Release Show, Jae Tilt, Rnd1 - 7 p.m. Club Congress  (Downtown)
  • Taking Back Harambe, Sundressed (Phx), Panic! At The Gem Show, Tucson is the Reason - 9 p.m. Flycatcher  (Downtown)
  • BTP & Friends - 9 p.m. Saint Charles Tavern  (S of Downtown)
  • Eugene Boronow - 9 p.m. Dusty Monk Pub  (Downtown)
  • The 2nd Annual Tucson Battle Of The Beats Drum Tournament - 8 p.m. The Loudhouse (North) 

Sunday, April 1

  • Mariachi Luz de Luna - 11 a.m. 
  • Playground  (Downtown)
  • Mik and the Funky Brunch - 12:30 p.m. La Cocina 

Monday, April 2

  • Electric Six, Northern Faces - 8 p.m. 191 Toole  (Downtown)
  • Thor and Friends - 9 p.m. Flycatcher  (Downtown)
  • Thor and Friends - 9 p.m., Flycatcher

Tuesday, April 3

  • Tom Walbank - 6:30 p.m. Sky Bar  (Downtown)
  • John 5 and The Creatures - 8 p.m. 191 Toole  (Downtown)
  • Jonathan Terrell, The Donkey Tonk Band - 8 p.m. Club Congress  (Downtown)
  • Shelby Lynne, Rebekah Rolland - 8 p.m. Rialto  (Downtown)

Wednesday, April 4

  • Miss Lana Rebel & Kevin Michael Mayfield - 6 p.m. La Cocina  (Downtown)
  • Agent Orange, The Atom Age - 8 p.m. 191 Toole  (Downtown) 
  • Golden Boots and Ry Warner - 10 p.m. Owl's Club  (Downtown)

Thursday, April 5

  • Dick Dale, Tom Walbank - 8 p.m. 191 Toole  (Downtown)
  • Exo Bar Jazz Trio: Tøger Lund, Naim Amor and Gil Rodriguez - 8 p.m. Exo Bar  (Downtown)
  • Eric Schaffer & the Other Troublemakers - 9 p.m. Sky Bar  (Downtown)
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