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Lenz lights up the stage

T.T. the Bear's Place, Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 27, 1999

By Stuart Munro

CAMBRIDGE, MA - Fiery Dallas redhead Kim Lenz returned to the Boston area to headline a night of rockabilly and put on a strong show, if not quite one that tore the place up.

For the most part, Lenz and her band play no-frills, straight-ahead rockabilly, and we got a healthy dose of it on cuts drawn for the most part from both of her Hightone releases, among them Lenz originals "Shake A Leg" and "Choctaw Boogie," her cover of the slower-tempoed "Flame of Love," which proved a fitting vehicle for the singer's growling, hiccuped vocals, and "Stick 'Em Up, Honey," which Lenz introduced as her "rock'n'roll country number."

In fact, the group got closer to a hillbilly sound on a pair of tunes, "Let's Get Wild" and Janis Martin's "Bang Bang," which Jaguar Nick Curran flavored with steel guitar. Additional variation was provided by the slow blues "Thinkin' About You," on which Lenz lit a torch, and by the electric Chicago leanings of Johnny Carrol's "The Swing," which featured some smoking work from guitarist Curran.

The band's 14-song, just-under-60 minute set came to a rather strange halt; Lenz and band finished by ripping it up on "Saturday Jump" and, as curfew approached, left the stage; curiously, the previously raucous full house then proceeded to leave without the slightest clamor for an encore. It was an abrupt end to an otherwise satisfying night's work by Lenz and the Jaguars.

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