Tommy Stinson returns and gets up close at Park Ave CDs with Cowboys in the Campfire project

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Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Tommy Stinson’s Cowboys in the Campfire, Park Ave CDs, Mar. 13

Between the Replacements, Guns N’ Roses, Soul Asylum and the Old 97’s, Tommy Stinson has been party to a good share of historic rock band action. But last year was his year, the time for him to shine on his own. He was impressive enough in 2017 with the revival of his post-Replacements band Bash & Pop that his train’s been looking like something worth staying on, a potential locomotive. Their 24-years-later follow-up record (Anything Can Happen) on uber-current label Fat Possum was a factual and qualitative surprise. And on stage at the Social last May, Tommy and company were absolutely energized. I saw the fire firsthand so, yeah, this special up-close engagement was a must.
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
Cowboys in the Campfire is Stinson’s duo with longtime songwriting partner Chip Roberts on lap steel and lead guitar, and it’s primarily a live phenomenon. The pair have written together for a decade and produced material that’s made it onto the more recent albums by Stinson and Bash & Pop. But according to Stinson, they’re now actively writing for this Cowboys in the Campfire project, with a record planned this year, possibly in the summer.
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
This after-hours in-store appearance was one of only two Florida stops for the Cowboys. Living up to their name, they bookended their set with an intro and outro of barn-storming country music. In between, they performed almost all of the instant classics off Bash & Pop’s 2017 album, some solo Stinson material and road-tested Cowboys in the Campfire material, some of which was even unnamed (at least according to Tommy’s memory).
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
In this arrangement, they really laid bare the scrambling heartland pulse that’s always been there under all the raucous triumph of Stinson’s work, unleashing the latent twang that’s given it a good chunk of its big soul. And in his more confessional moments, the bleeding was unfiltered.
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
All of it was served peppered with personal stories. It was a freewheeling, direct and raw encounter, as real as it gets. Just like Tommy Stinson, and just the way you want to experience an underground hero. Rocking the new Bash & Pop material for the last year has been great. Lucky are we to have been able to do it live in both formal full-band glory and this very personal scale.
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Tommy Stinson's Cowboys in the Campfire at Park Ave CDs
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