Forget Rascal Flatts: Pupy Costello and his band make real, foot-stompin' country music, the kind that's fit for both a honky-tonk barn dance and a bar full of rascals. It channels not only the sounds of classic country and blues - Hank Williams, Johnny Paycheck and the Memphis Jug Band, to name a few - but their spirits.
The group's newest album, Drinking Beer Songs - not to be confused with 2005's Beer Drinking Songs - shows a deep appreciation for alcoholic spirits, as well as the characters hanging around watering holes like the Crystal Corner, where you're likely to find at least one member of the band on any given night. "Bottoms Up" showcases the talents of each band member, from a saucy, Stéphane Grappelli-flavored fiddle riff to a guitar solo that will get you swinging even if you haven't got the slightest idea how.
"Relief (Is Just a Swallow Away)" celebrates the art of shot-swigging with vocals that would make both Elvis Presley and Merle Haggard proud, and "Let's Go Down South" will make you think you're in a real honky-tonk, even if you're at Capital Brewery, where Pupy's crew will provide the music for Bock Fest on Feb. 28.