You could have rhumbaed, polkaed, waltzed, tangoed, twisted or just fallen into rock 'n' roll madness last night at the 9:30 club. Two Texas bands, Joe King Carrasco & the Crowns and Brave Combo served up a delirious mix of rock infused generously with Caribbean and Latin dance rhythms.
Carrasco has been the best party in town for a while and he didn't let the audience down with his speedy Tex-Mex rock fusion. As usual, Kris Cummings provided much of the instrumental color with her organ work and her yelps and chirps on originals such as "Rip It Up, Shake It Up."
Carrasco carried off his exuberantly teen-age stage persona with typical kinetic charm. On Roy Head's "One More Time" he charged offstage, walked almost out of the club with guitar in hand and jumped on and off the bar before returning to the stage and orchestrating more pandemonium. Newer originals such as "Wanna Get That Feel Again" showed the Crowns successfully reaching for a breezier and more melodic pop feel than their standard stomping punk sound.
As for the opening act, Brave Combo, there seemed no limits to their inspired brand of rock 'n' roll nonsense. Led by the raucous sax work of Tim Walsh, the band served up rock 'n' roll standards mixed freely with exotic Latin rhythms. How does a clarinet-driven polka rendition of the Doors' "People Are Strange" sound? How about "Roll Out the Barrel" done rock-style? To the bands' credit, not one of these crazy reworkings sounded facetious. It was just danceable rock 'n' roll from the zany zone.