"Highway Miles," the 16-song, sophomore CD completed by Bradenton bad boys The Downshifters, is a true street tally, even recorded "on the road" live, at the Heritage Motorcycle Rally in Charleston, S.C., during its opening set for the Marshall Tucker Band April 18, 2003.
Further proof is in engine-powered theme songs such as "Backseat Driver" and "I Wanna Ride." Farther along are a couple of Johnny Cash covers from the rowdy-natured rock-a-billies.
Despite raucous mannerisms, Paxton (vocalist/guitarist), Mike Zouhar (guitarist), Kevin Kuras (drummer) and Cory Karish (stand-up bassist) are excellent musicians and down-to-earth, fun individuals. Their live shows overflow with the energetic camaraderie of rockabilly/hillbilly/psychobilly shindigs of 1950s socials, where one might see greased pompadours, cigarette packs rolled into t-shirt sleeves, poodle skirts 'n' ponytails.
The disc isn't "officially" available until Saturday ($10), but the D-shifters debut at the newly opened Distillery (108 44th Ave. E, Bradenton, 739-7845) all weekend.
It warms up with Missouri's two-piece Clatter at 10 p.m. today, then revs into the release party at 8 p.m. Saturday with art opening for Bradenton's The Edge "Vices" exhibit, Tampa's surf-scene'sters The Thrusters, plus D-shifters' giveaways all night.
Admission is $2 for the age- 21-and-up show.
Thereafter, track "Highway Miles" through http://thedownshifters.com.