El Perro at Bootleg Hill Honey Meads -- February 17.

El Perro with Wilcox & McQuay

Bootleg Hill Honey Meads

321 East Second Street, Davenport IA

9 PM/21+

Radio Moscow are probably the loudest thing ever to come out of Story City, Iowa. The blues-rock power trio blew doors off of clubs nationwide and worldwide while sharing stages with Monster Magnet, High on Fire, the Groundhogs, Pentagram, and Nebula. Taking strong cues form the likes of Cream, Blue Cheer, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Radio Moscow have proved a reliable road band, delivering old-school sounds with modern intensity.

In 2019, frontman and guitarist Parker Griggs had a yen to try something different. As he explained in an interview with It's Psychedelic Baby! Magazine: “ … after all the years solely focusing on [Radio Moscow], I wanted to branch out and try something new, touch on some new sounds and influences.” The result: El Perro, a five-piece band that takes the energetic heavy blues of Radio Moscow and lays in an infectious, funk-and-Latin-influenced groove.

Griggs elaborated further in a 2022 interview with Guitar World magazine: “I’d done the Moscow thing for so long, and I almost felt forced to [do] a certain style with them, so I wanted to break free ... to do whatever we wanted … . Something a little bigger, more people, percussion players, a second guitar player – and more of a melting pot of influences. Stuff from all over – psychedelic rock, funk and soul, and even Middle Eastern music and Turkish rock. We’d grab influences from wherever, mix them up and do our own thing.”

“Melting pot” is appropriate, given the influence the eclectic 1971 album by Booker T. and the M.G's had on Griggs and company. “I’m always digging deep into underground music,” he told Guitar World. Chief among his underground influences were the acid-fried '70s Detroit funk of Black Merda and the early, chaotic Funkadelic albums. Jazz-inflected percussion and electric sitar augment the explosive tracks on last year's debut album Hair of El Perro, which was named “album of the month” in July of 2022 by the French edition of El Perro. The album is available through Alive Naturalsound Records.

The rock underground have taken notice: Griggs, guitarist Jason Yancey, bassist Shawn Davis, ex-Radio Moscow drummer Lonnie Blanton, and percussionist spent much of 2022 touring the United States and Europe to enthusiastic reception by audiences well broken-in by Radio Moscow's explosive live shows. A notable stop on their summer tour was an August show at Bootleg Hill Honey Meads in downtown Davenport; normally home to more subdued singer-songwriters and acoustic shows, the cavernous mead hall gave El Perro a warm reception on a sweltering summer night.

It's at Bootleg Hill that El Perro are kicking off another lengthy U.S. tour, on Friday, February 17. The high stone walls and ceilings will echo with reverberation from bongo skins and vintage Sunn and Silvertone amps, while serving as the perfect surface for liquid light show projections by Des Moines' Psychedelic Cosmic Galaxy. Opening the show are the “Davenport violin blues” of Rich Wilcox and Ziggy McQuay, providing an understated counterpoint to the funky blues-rock maximalism of El Perro. Radio Moscow have not split, but El Perro are a hot item – certainly not to be missed in the unique surroundings of Bootleg Hill.

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