Riding Western

"I know I'm not coming up with anything new, so I don't think too much about trying to top any of those old records," Williams confesses. "I try to stay away from too many of the cliches in the music, but I think that when you're doing any kind of traditional music there's only so much you can do that's original. It's a challenge to be creative when there's so little out there that hasn't been done. I'm not trying to break any new ground, but I figure the music will be new to somebody."

Although the Fly-Rite Boys are shamelessly retro and, given the band's penchant for rolled-up dungarees and flashy Western shirts, slightly corny, Williams insists there's nothing hokey about their music. "This isn't some gimmick to me," he contends. "I really hope people don't look at it as a novelty thing. This is just the kind of music that gets to us -- the straight country stuff like Lefty Frizzell, Ray Price, Faron Young. That's the music that means the most to me. I'm not sure I can explain why, but it touches me in a certain way. There's something about it that I don't get out of most of the music I hear nowadays." He pauses for a moment, then offers the best explanation he can. "I guess it just sounds real."

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys perform Tuesday, April 2, with opening band Kalimen, at Churchill's Hideaway, 5501 NE 2nd Ave; 757-1807. Showtime is 11:00. Admission is $6.

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