Black Janet and the Atomic Cowboys

While this particular gig might have you thinking you're seeing double, there's no need to tally up the bar tab just yet. Fact is, it's a special bill featuring the two bands helmed by the ever-so-prolific Jim Wurster, musical mainstay behind the seminal South Florida goth group Black Janet and quintessential Americana outfit the Atomic Cowboys. Despite the bands' divergent sounds, this particular showcase represents a trajectory that began more than 20 years ago and continues to the present, its latest touchstone being the recent release of Wurster's solo opus, Hallelujah, a stark indictment of America's modern malaise encrypted in blues, folk, country, and gospel.

This particular evening will sow some roots of a different sort, however, specifically the underpinnings of Wurster's various musical strains. Black Janet, recently resuscitated, is the darker of the two bands, emblematic of the Eighties in the way it gleaned the influences of Bahaus, the Cult, Depeche Mode, and Echo and the Bunnymen. The Atomic Cowboys have proven the more durable act of the two, though, with a string of releases melding rootsy originals with enough well-chosen standards to make Johnny Cash and George Jones beam with pride. However, consider this more than a pairing of two terrific bands. Think of it as an overdue homage to Wurster himself, the veteran musician at the center of it all whose time for recognition is long overdue.

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