Long-term nostalgia for a time one has never actually seen is a remarkable phenomenon. It’s one thing to be temporarily taken with something both new and old, but dedicating your entire image or career to rekindling a lost aesthetic requires a strong sense of devotion.
Big Sandy (aka Robert Williams, pictured) knows all about this. Since 1988, he and His Fly-Rite Boys have practiced old-school American music that would have been out of vogue around the time that Williams was born, if not earlier. The Anaheim, Calif.-based group revisits 1950s and ’60s Rockabilly and Honky Tonk Country, ’20s Western Swing, ’50s R&B and Cajun music associated with the ’40s. Williams and friends do justice to these forms by not taking things over the top. Take note of the frontman’s sharp croon, which cruises along with the restrained cool of Elvis and other Sun Records voices.
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys open for Los Straightjackets at the Southgate House Thursday. Go here to read Reyan Ali's full Sound Advice recommendation and to get ticket and club details.