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New Country Bunker -- Man, oh man, do we fondly remember Kelly's country club and those long, blurry nights of hard drinkin', hard lovin' and hard sheet-kickin'. Yep, those were good times. And if you're like us, you've probably been missing that good old Stateline, Idaho, country music institution something fierce ever since owner Kelly Hughes closed it down last year. You know, Trick Shot Dixie's may have moved into the neighborhood to fill the void -- bringing Kelly's mechanical bull with it, no less -- but somehow, it's just not the same. Well, here's some good news for y'all: a country club at the old Kelly's locale has reopened under a different name, but with the same attitude and devotion to both kinds of music -- country and western, that is. It's called Big Al's. And it's sitting out there on Seltice Way with a big diesel rig on its signage just waiting to be (re)discovered, waiting to truck that country music back into your life. This weekend, the club has booked none other than the Kelly Hughes Band to play both Friday and Saturday nights. Talk about deja vu. Damn.

Before Signing Off... -- It's a rare and beautiful thing to see a real rock 'n' roll sign-off around these parts. We're talking the old swing-of-the-guitar-into-the-amp that went out of style with grunge rock. Well, apparently there are some bands in town that know fans like to see broken stuff -- and such was the case last Friday at Fat Tuesday's. We laughed and cheered our asses off watching Belt of Vapor's bassist, Aaron Powell, clean up the band's six-song set by ripping the strings from his bass and then proceeding to drag the half-strung guitar around the stage like a wounded dog while his band mates kept rocking. It made us feel all warm and fuzzy. And very rock n' roll.

Publication date: 1/13/04

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