Left Lane Cruiser
From Fort Wayne, Ind., Left Lane Cruiser -- with Freddy "Joe" Evans IV guitaring and grumbling, plus Brenn "Sausage Paw" Beck" on "drums, trash, hollerin'" -- create their harp-augmented, blues-trash swamp stomps in the now widely accepted duo format. They're more like The Black Keys than The White Stripes, and, though they may never win a Grammy for it, they quite arguably outdo the Keys in terms of personality, vigor and songwriting. After a local release or two, they hit the minor leagues with Bring Yo' Ass to the Table in 2008, followed by two subsequent albums on Alive Records, full of thick and hardy Billy Gibbons-style slide tones and haw-haw-haws. Their most memorable songs early on tended to concern food: pork and beans, mashed potatoes, and whatever that gal Amy was cooking in her kitchen -- which explains why they wound up naming their 2009 third album All You Can Eat!!. By their fourth, 2011's Junkyard Speed Ball, helped out by Black Diamond Heavies organist James Leg, they were dabbling more in country, funk, rap (in the song "Hip-Hop") and especially Southern rock, frequently in ways that could give, say, Drive-By Truckers a run for their money.