Critic's Choice: Strung Like a Horse proves 'local' doesn't mean lousy

Critic's Choice: Strung Like a Horse proves 'local' doesn't mean lousy

June 13th, 2013 by Casey Phillips in Entertainmentfood

Strung Like a Horse

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: Strung Like a Horse

When: 9:15-11 p.m. tonight.

Where: Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union Stage.

Admission: Riverbend pin; $26 day pass.

There is a pervasive - and decidedly unfair - impression held by a lot of people that an artist is only as good as the distance he must travel to take the stage.

Every year, Riverbend shines a light on great local artists to show people just exactly how wrong that assumption is.

This year, one of the most compelling arguments that "local" is not a synonym for "bad" is Strung Like a Horse, an incendiary punkgrass quintet consisting of lead singer Clay Masselle and his band of crazy misfits.

You might recognize them from such slick, self-produced music videos as "Byrd Dog" and "Gypsy Jane," the latter of which stars fireworks and an emotionally distraught man-horse.

Oh, yeah, and they're also the zany chaps who led a massive throng of hundreds in a parade down Market Street last summer for a music video release party at Rhythm & Brews. The party followed a headlining performance at Nightfall, in which they earned the right to perform

by trouncing dozens of other artists in a fierce battle of the bands.

Considering the energy with which they thrash their bluegrass instruments, I think Strung easily could have held an audience on a bigger stage, but in the concrete cave-like environ of the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union amphitheater, they're simply going to explode. Considering how their trademark energy is likely to amplify and build on itself, I fully expect this performance to win converts, locals and out-of-towners, to their banner. As their band motto states: If it ain't Strung, it's dung.

I couldn't agree more.

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6205.

Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.