The ever popular private New West Records party at Club de Ville, as Buddy Miller said on Thursday, “is always a highlight.”
The appeal is a special combination of free Mexican food, free beer and music from the label’s eclectic roster of artists. And, there’s always a surprise. This year was Buddy Miller, who plays every year, performing a set of dueling guitars and blues covers in duet with Johnny Rivers, backed by the ace drummers Bryan Owings and Brady Blade.
Miller began with two gospel tunes from his Grammy-nominated “United Universal House of Prayer”; Rivers then plugged in for “Hound Dog,” “Red House” and a medley of early rock ‘n’ roll classics.
Prior to Miller’s set, Randall Bramblett rendered a tasty set of soulful tunes as his more recognized sister, Bonnie, watched from the wings. Tim Easton rocked with the backing of the Whipsaws, a young trio from Alaska.
The Old 97’s, as usual, gave their all in an energetic set that featured some standbys as well as tunes from their forthcoming new release. The Drams kept up that blistering pace, pounding out crunching rock with a mix of familiar and new tunes.