Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

There comes a moment in every Slim Cessna’s Auto Club show when you realize you’re seeing something you’ll never see anywhere else. It’s Slim Cessna in a white cowboy hat and beard, the lights haloing his ungainly frame, horn-rimmed glasses flashing through the smoke. He’s trading lyrics and insults with Munly Munly, gaunt and strange, dressed in a shade of black particular to preachers and burnt down barns. Their voices rise and converge in the kind of exquisite harmony usually found in Sacred Harp congregations, and then the band cuts loose, the best live band in the world, and the two men are doing battle, playing out some cathartic war between good and evil on stage. Or trading dance steps. You can’t tell.

I said the best live band in the world, and I ain’t the only one. No Depression and Spin Magazine have said the same. This is a band that’s held its own onstage with everybody from Johnny Cash to the Dresden Dolls. But you listen to the recording of “That Fierce Cow is Common Sense in a Country Dress,” and it’ll take you just about four minutes before you realize you’re listening to the best band in the world, period. It’s Lord Dwight Pentacost leading the lunatic rapture on his Jesus and Mary double-necked guitar; Rebecca Vera playing pedal steel so sublimely that I swear to God you can see the ghost of Ralph Mooney circling the stage; and, holding down the rhythm section like they have with each other since seventh grade, The Peeler on drums and Danny Pants on the doghouse bass, driving the band, making you lose your damn mind.

They’ve been making music for over twenty years, and there is, quite simply, nothing else like it. It’s gospel music, is what I’ve decided. Gospel music for a blasted world. A world straining and bursting in constant pain, but one that can’t help but overspill with joy – even knowing better. And the songs, Jesus. Songs about Colorado Indian hater John Chivington, alien abductions, patricide, a man born without a spine. This is the wild, bloody and weird America of Harry Crews, the only America worth a damn. It’s what Flannery O’Connor was trying to say when she wrote of dark romances and the grotesque. If you’ve got a heart, these songs’ll break it, and if you’ve got any laughter left in you, they’ll beat it out of you until you cry.

I probably can’t improve on what Jello Biafra said about Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, that they’re “the country band that plays the bar at the end of the world.” But I like to think that as long as they’re around, they can still save us from that end. Or at least from what currently passes as country music.

– Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike and Cry Father, and co-author with Charlie Louvin of Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers

Upcoming Shows


May
9
th
7th St Entry

Past Shows


Jul
27
th
2017
Turf Club
Jul
27
th
2017
Turf Club

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

with SWALLOWS (Acoustic)
Jun
30
th
2016
Turf Club
Jun
30
th
2016
Turf Club

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

with Jezebel Jones and Von Stomper
May
15
th
2015
Indeed Brewery
May
15
th
2015
Indeed Brewery

ART-A-WHIRL

with Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Little Man and Driftwood Pyre
Jul
29
th
2013
7th St Entry
Jul
29
th
2013
7th St Entry

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

with The Sterling Sisters
Jul
31
st
2012
7th St Entry
Jul
31
st
2012
7th St Entry

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

with Jezebel Jones and Housepet

More Shows

Mar
2
nd
7th St Entry

Weathers

with Moby Rich and Kenzo Cregan
May
9
th
Fine Line

Greer

with The Honeysticks
Jan
9
th
Palace Theatre
postponed

Doomtree

Mar
19
th
The Fitzgerald Theater

Crash Test Dummies