Primus front man and all-around workaholic Les Claypool just announced his first proper club gig in San Francisco for his side project Duo De Twang.
The group features Claypool on acoustic bass singing country songs from artists like Johnny Horton and Stompin' Tom Conners, as well as country sendups of tunes from the Bee Gees, Alice in Chains and a myriad of previous Les Claypool projects like Primus, the Frog Brigade and The Holy Mackerel.
At first, Limbomaniac guitarist Mirv made up the other half of the duo, but once the touring schedule ramped up, M.I.R.V. bandmate Bryan Kehoe took over the guitar duties.
Claypool first came up with the idea when asked to play at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in October of 2012. Since then he’s played shows in Petaluma, San Rafael, Sebastopol and Santa Cruz, but the only SF gig was that one in the sun two years ago.
Like many things Claypool, what first started as a lark, has later turned into a real job. Multiple tours have crisscrossed the U.S. since the Hardly Strictly show, and just recently a European festival called Roskilde in Denmark has booked the Duo to play next to The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Stevie Wonder this summer.
Being a duo, the group is ripe for onstage collaboration with guest musicians. Most recently an epic trip through New York City had the boys playing at Sleep No More in the McKittrick Hotel, where Police drummer Stewart Copeland joined in for a few on drum (yes, singular), and John Popper briefly made the band a trio on harmonica. The Bay Area gigs have seen local musicians and Claypool collaborators like Eenor, Wylie Woods and even Primus guitarist Larry "Ler" LaLonde join in.
Now, for the first time since inception, Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang will be playing a club gig in SF at Great American Music Hall on Saturday, June 7. Even better news is that their touring mates Reformed Whores, a hilarious country duo of cute girls with song titles like, “Drunk Dial,” “Birth Control,” and “Girls Poop Too,” will be joining them. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, April 4. The groups are also playing Sacramento's Ace of Spades the night before on June 6.
Duo De Twang recently released a new album called Four Foot Shack, with 15 songs. The Reformed Whores also have an album out called Ladies Don’t Spit, and they just released a new music video this week for their song Birth Control.
A recent addition to the live set list is the South Park Theme Song, which Claypool wrote and performed with Primus years ago when that show first started. At the Sleep No More shows in New York, one of the South Park creators was at the gig and Les busted into the South Park Theme Song and the audience jumped right in and sang the character’s parts.
If you are planning on going to the show, you might want to brush up on your South Park opening, just in case.