Doe teased the crowd about their beloved Rockies, and after performing “The Losing Kind,” from his solo album Forever Hasn't Happened Yet, mentioned going to a truck stop earlier in the day on the way from Kansas. That’s where he discouraged Sadies bassist Sean Dean from buying a Black Snake Moan DVD, even though Doe’s song is on the film’s soundtrack. His brief review: “Who wants to see Christina Ricci running around naked?”
He also gave a playful “no clogging” warning to the tempted few in the audience who might have been drunk enough to climb onto the bar Coyote Ugly-style for the band’s rave-up of Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone.”
It wasn’t all fun and games, though. In addressing these hard economic times, Doe said, “We voted for change in November. I think we made the right choice, but keep writing your congressmen. It’s not over.” He even included a four-song political section near the midway point. Yet, Doe saved “The New World,” his own X-rated critique of the government during the Reagan era that remains such a crowd-pleaser, until near the end of the set.
Most of the Country Club covers, opening with a classic first performed by Patsy Cline, then Waylon Jennings (“Stop the World and Let Me Off”), followed by Roger Miller's “Husbands and Wives,” Hank Williams' “Take These Chains from My Heart” and two by Merle Haggard (“Are the Good Times Really Over for Good” and “Workin’ Man Blues”) were faithfully covered. But the band also picked up the pace on other traditional-sounding anthems, giving the crammed crowd completely surrounding the bar every reason to have a hell-raising, helluva good time.
And while the record includes guest vocal appearances by some especially fine women such as Kathleen Edwards and Cindy Wasserman, this was basically a boys-and-booze night out. Denver native Jill Sobule opened the show, but after that it was “no girls allowed” onstage, where the low ceiling was the primary hindrance during this low-maintenance event.
Even the setlist was hastily scribbled (with abbreviations and short words representing each song title) on a sheet of paper, the other side showing an outdated photo of Doe. And before the five-song encore, the group exited the stage and went out the front door, the quarters so tight it would have been a futile attempt to reach the “Employees Only” section in the back.
Doe stuck with his acoustic guitar while he swooned and crooned, and eagerly shared the spotlight with the Sadies’ electric guitar-wielding Good brothers in arms, Travis and Dallas (pictured). The tall, thin lads showed off their pickin’-and-grinnin’ talent, which was particularly evident on their own impressive collection of songs. Praising his new best friends, Doe urged everyone to check out the Sadies (including drummer Mike Belitsky) the next time they come around because “this is just the tip of the iceberg.”