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White Cowbell Oklahoma serves up Southern-fried rock n roll on cross-Canada tour
"We have this alcoholic effect, sexaholic effect." lead guitarist Clem on what appeal Cowbell has for audiences. Photo submitted

Cowbell sounds off on debauchery

White Cowbell Oklahoma serves up Southern-fried rock ’n’ roll on cross Canada tour

Who: White Cowbell Oklahoma

When: Wednesday, May 31

Where: Garfinkel’s

Tickets: $12

Toronto’s most self-indulgent Southern rock band White Cowbell Oklahoma (WCO) travels the Trans Canada Highway towards the Pacific Ocean via a circa 1927 modified Danish helium/hydrogen balloon, lead guitarist Clem says. Later in the conversation it’s a Death Ray 2000, then another vehicle from another dimension, the sixth, no, the ninth.

Whatever tall tale the WCO boys get from point A to B in, it houses a stereo with The Birds’ Sweet Heart of the Rodeo playing.

"We are feeling a bit mushy," the Ontario native says with a thick theatrical country drawl. "We were just going to put on a CD of just recorded machine guns in a second."

The motor slows, someone is chatting. The band likes to pass pornography to the stop-sign workers at roadside construction sites. The globetrotters will need to stock up for the drive up the construction-ridden Sea to Sky Highway for the Wednesday, May 31 concert at Garfinkel’s.

Tall tales, pornography and general mayhem are the preachings of this gruesome mob who dub themselves a church. The band’s worldwide congregation follows the White Cowbell Oklahoma bible – the first six ZZ Top albums. WCO bows down to all the classic rock bands, including Lord Dickinson who headlined a European show WCO played at.

Instead of fearing the coming, the WCO group works hard to spread what they call The Rockapolypse with a stage show typically wielding wet T-shirt contests, bare-breasted women, chainsaws and deep-fried Southern rock.

"We have this alcoholic effect, sexaholic effect," Clem says. "People take their clothes off and do things they’ve never done before and wake up with somebody they don’t know in another country. That is what WCO has to offer: salvation… It’s high-octane rock ’n’ roll. It’s riffilicious. It can kill from 50 paces."

The sexified, electrified rockers promise to drink all your booze, sleep with your women and build on what they call their steadily growing archive of filth, fornication and boogie-woogie deliciousness. But, joking aside, they take their music seriously – at least for a sentence or two.

"People can expect rock ’n’ roll excellence," Clem said. "Our music abilities go unparalleled and our creativity unmatched."

ZZ Top boasted three lead guitarists, Clem thought why not three or four – a small army. WCO is 543 band members strong with nine "inner chamber" regulars. The nine-headed beast is promoting their latest album, Casa Diablo , on their cross-Canada, soul-saving sin fest.

"Thou shalt not leave a bottle of bourbon unfinished," chanted Clem with preacher vibrato effect. "People of Whistler, B.C., Canada, you must throw down your trivial objects and products that you are currently contenting your reality with and come to WCO’s boogie rock ’n’ roll explosion coming to your parts. You must lay down all expectations, grab a drink and take off your clothes and get debauched. People don’t get debauched enough."

Can I hear an amen?

Advanced $12 tickets are available at Electric Daisy and Garfinkel’s.