The musicians of Aztec Two Step are conterculture cowboys with a twist. While their music seems most akin to the melodies and harmonies of California country rock, the range the Two Steppers roam is bounded by the wide open spaces of Central Park and ythe steel canyons of Fifth Avenue.
Appearing at the Cellar Door last night (and tonight), Aztec Two Step presented a set that drew heavily from the early musical style of the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield as well as from the second-generation cowboy rock of the Eagles and America. The coo, relaxed vocals and jaunty music ambled along with the westernized lyrics that spoke of "whiskey men" and fast guns.
Rex fowler (dressed in sloppy West Villiage garb) and Neil Schulman (a mustachioed city slicker) spun tales of love and youth, all to an accompaniment of moaning guitar solos and strumming chords. Their music was at times derivative, but they nonetheless managed to infuse a sense of life and spontaneity into their sound. The result was an enjoyable, if not an original, show.
While Aztec Two Step is based in New York, their roots are placed permanently in the musical soil of the laid-back West Coast. Fowler and Schulman are two down-home city-pokes.