"It's an obligatory step for any great band," says understated singer Greg Miller. "You need to move on to a second great band -- Big Audio Dynamite, Damn Yankees, the Firm. It's funny: All these people will see us play and compare us to the Cowslingers. But I thought it was important to not be the Cowslingers."
After 15 years of touring and recording, the Cowslingers split up in March, when guitarist Bobby Latina tired of the hectic lifestyle. In the Daredevils, his spot is held down by a pair of guitarists: Dave Bowling, formerly of Cleveland cowboys Hayshaker Jones, and Bob Lanphier, who will also continue to play with rust-belt country boys Crooked Mile.
"Ken [Miller, bassist] and I enjoy playing together, so we hooked up with these guys, and it worked out," says Miller. "It's more garage rock, less rockabilly, but not a real departure from the last couple Cowslingers records. Some of the stuff has a two-bit country beat. And blues. But it's all from the same place."
The Whiskey Daredevils will make their live debut September 24 at the Beachland Tavern, opening for the similarly twangy Lords of the Highway. Cowslingers drummer Leo P. Love also returns with the new posse.
· Mushroomhead vocalist J. Mann -- he's the tall, deep-voiced one -- has left the band. The split may have contributed to the cancellation of Mushroomhead's September 5 show at Peabody's. (That gig was replaced with a set by 'Head side project , which features Mann on vocals.) Mann plans to concentrate on his Fractured Transmitter record label, which made an auspicious debut with Meshuggah's well-received I EP.
Mushroomhead's fall tour with Insane Clown Posse is still on the books.
· The lineup for WRUW's 24th annual Studio-A-Rama concert is finally official. Dirty, bluesy rockers the New Lou Reeds will headline a bill of predominantly low-key acts on Saturday, September 11, at Case Western Reserve's Mather Courtyard. Things start off loud at 2 p.m. with I Sing the Body Electric, followed by Sputnik (the gentle, happy band from former Terrible Parade frontman Alan Grandy); Youngstown country gal B.J. O'Malley; indie rockers J.J. Magazine, Kid Tested, and Kroch; versatile singer-songwriter J. Scott Franklin, and the whimsical Smokin' Fez Monkeys. The New Lou Reeds go on at 10.
The free show will be broadcast live on WRUW-FM 91.1 and on the web at www.wruw.org. Attendees may bring food and beverages, but no glass bottles.
· Teenage singer-songwriter Kate Voegele's year just keeps getting better. She's been added to the bill at Farm Aid 2004, which takes place Saturday, September 18, in Auburn, Washington.
· The finals of Fat Fish Blue's Summer Talent Search will be held Tuesday, September 18.