Gentlemen Husbands Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON March 11
Published Mar 12, 2011In "El Scorcho," Rivers Cuomo admitted, "god damn you half-Japanese girls, you do it to me every time." I have a similar relationship with Tom Petty's "American Girl" (I know, I know). On the most-covered-songs scale, it falls somewhere between Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" -- it comes up pretty regularly but not enough to be a constant distraction. Of all the versions in all the sweaty bars in all the world, there may never have been a more visceral and utterly gripping take than Gentlemen Husbands' late-set interpretation. While the Steve Earle-indebted, grooved-up country rockers had already played a scorcher of a Horseshoe show -- including guitar sweat and beard droplets and highlighted by a romping "Cruise Control" -- "American Girl" was particularly towering with its tighter-than-a-corset, stutter-step bridge providing a special treat. By the way, did I point out that I'm a sucker for "American Girl?"