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Eddie Spaghetti Brings Country Swagger To Schubas Friday

By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 6, 2013 7:05PM

photo credit Kevin Baldes

We caught up with Eddie Spaghetti while on the road last month with his band The Supersuckers. He talked about his new solo record, The Value of Nothing, working with real country music veterans and what his fans can expect from his show at Schubas Friday night.

"It's just going to be me with an acoustic guitar. Just a one-man show," he said of his upcoming Chicago stop. "It's going to be real loose and intimate. It gives me a chance to really flex the entertainer muscles when it's just me and guitar up there."

Spaghetti said he plans to play a number of tunes from the new album and his three other solo efforts. People can expect to hear some Supersuckers tunes, too and maybe whatever else they want to hear.

"I'll definitely do requests. If people really want to hear something, I'll play it," he said. "With a Supersuckers set, it's a really similar set every night. When people ask us to play a certain song, we'll get in their face and be all, 'Don't tell us what to do!' This is going to be a lot different."

Although The Value of Nothing features a full complement of instrumentation, Spaghetti said he's not concerned about translating the songs to fit a one-man show.

"Most of the songs are going to work really well, because they were written that way - just me and an acoustic guitar," he said. "Even a lot of The Supersuckers stuff was written that way. So yeah, I think most of it is going to translate well." Spaghetti called The Value of Nothing, "my best album, by far," although it did not turn out exactly the way he expected. The album was recorded in Austin, Texas with country music veteran Jesse Dayton producing.

"It turned into more of a rocking record that I had planned," he explained. "The whole idea was to go down to Texas and work with a Texas country music producer and get that whole country vibe. But Jesse got his rock chops working, and I've got to say, the record sounds great."

Spaghetti's rock'n'roll roots are all over the album, especially in tunes like "Fuckin' With My Head" and "If Anyone's Got the Balls." Other tunes are definitely country tunes with a touch of rock like the title track, "I've Got a Secret," and "Empty." There's also a nod to conjunto music in "People Are Shit," and there are some straight country tunes like "You Get to be My Age" and "When I Go I'm Gone." But there are no songs about drinking, losing women, dying dogs, truck driving or even Jesus.

"Yeah, it's definitely my own twisted take on country," Spaghetti said with a chuckle. "I am broken in some fundamental way. I haven't quite figured out how, exactly."

Spaghetti said when he went into the studio, the songs were mostly written and arranged and Dayton mainly helped flesh out the tunes. "He did more coloring up, like he'd say, 'Let's put a guitar solo here,' or 'Let's put an organ there,'" he said. "He was really good about that."

One stand out guitar solo is the one Dayton put down himself on "One Man Job." Spaghetti said that is one tune that was completely rearranged in the studio. "I had written it with a completely different rhythm, a totally different vibe," he said. "We were just goofing in the studio with that one, and that's basically what you hear on the record. We did it in one take and that was it. I think the song is so much better."

Spaghetti has worked with county music establishments before in the likes of Steve Earle on a Supersuckers EP, and said he likes the way people involved in country music approach the recording and writing process.

"The songs are really important them," he said. "When you work with rock guys they're usually like, 'Man, that riff is so tough,' so it's nice to be around someone who really thinks about the whole song."

The Supersuckers never have been afraid to release a country record, but Spaghetti said the band is working on a new rock album and he wanted to get his country material out the door, which is why he flew solo on this project.

"I really wanted to get these songs that I had written documented," he said. "The time just wasn't right to fold it into a Supersuckers album, and I thought it was time for another Eddie Spaghetti album."

This is Spaghetti's fourth solo album, but his second release with Bloodshot Records. With Supersucker's own label, Mid-Fi Records on "indefinite hiatus," Spaghetti said Bloodshot was the first call he made to see if the label would be interested in his work.

"They've always been a fan of the band since we released Must've Been High (in 1997)," he said. "It's been an easy fit and they're good people over there."

Eddie Spaghetti plays Friday, November 8, at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport,7 p.m., $12, 21+