Three Finger Cowboy
The Handle Bar, Pensacola, FL • January 21, 2000
This was my third attempt to see the Birmingham, Alabama quartet, Three Finger Cowboy. The first time I tried to see them, they were kept away by a hurricane. The second opportunity, I was kept away by an inner ear infection, so I guess three is the charm. The band, which is unmistakably led by frontwoman Katherine McElroy, played before a small, mildly interested crowd. The crowd was mostly there for the beer, and “oh, gee a band!” Three Finger Cowboy presented a nice set of songs from their records, Kissed and Hooray for Love . The largely uninitiated crowd and McElroy’s very laid back style led to a less that exuberant house. She very much comes off live as a Southern belle version of Juliana Hatfield, with her shy stage persona and shag haircut. The audience was not overly emotive until they had finished their set and the calls for “one more” started up. So they played another, and the calls came to keep playing. This went on for several songs, including a faster, harder, reprise of “1432 Dexter Avenue,” but what finally satisfied the crowd was a sloppy, largely improvisational cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s signature song, “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Sadly, most people in attendance left with memories of that instead of the rather intoxicating pop tunes of Three Finger Cowboy.