Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours will return to The Palms at 8 p.m. Friday. This special concert — dubbed “Trailer Hoppin’ at The Palms” — will include special guests, a costume contest and more. Tickets are $28.
McClain’s good-humoredly audacious performance style is a hallmark of his shows: from his pompadour hair to polyester clothes to his no-holds-barred dancing to serio-comic delivery. McClain’s infectious stage presence is perfectly partnered to the witty lyrics and catchy melodies of his 10 albums-worth of crowd-pleasing songs to deliver them in all their offbeat charm.
The titles of McClain’s songs give a glimpse into the lay of the land in his fictitious home base of a friendly and definitely quirky trailer park called Pine View Heights — think Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon meets a great deal of aluminum siding.
The up-tempo “It Ain’t Home ‘Til You Take The Wheels Off” and “Living in Aluminum” are downright celebratory country-tinged rock ‘n’ roll; “Wreak of the Bookmobile” and “Cubic Zirconium in the Rough” are cleverly crafted pieces that sound like touching ballads and then deliver the lyrical equivalent of a great punchline that’s all the better for the seeming sincerity of the music; “I Was Just Flipped Off By A Silver-Haired Old Lady With A ‘Honk If You Love Jesus’ Sticker On The Bumper Of Her Car” is a pun-filled reflection on the oddities of everyday life.
McClain describes his most recent album, “Living The Dream,” by saying, “This is what happens when a man sees his own mortality and takes his friends out for ice cream,” and says it’s his “most upbeat, fun album yet” — which, given his joyfully vibrant previous releases, is saying quite a bit.
The members of McClain’s five-piece band, The Trailer Park Troubadours, have the musical talent and dexterity to bring each song vividly to life. Able to turn on a dime and follow each others’ impromptu leads onstage, the Troubs are as tight a band as you can find; however, at first glance, their bowling shirts and garish plaid pants may lead you to think otherwise.
Friday’s “Trailer Hoppin’ at The Palms” show will have some special features, including a costume contest for best-dressed (by tongue-in-cheek “trailer park standards” — the more garish your polyester duds are the better — or costumes referencing characters from McClain’s songs), and a light-hearted Ms. Pine View Heights contest. Need inspiration or a little fashion guidance? Just take a look at McClain and the band’s outfits on McClain’s album covers or in his YouTube videos.
McClain, who grew up in trailer parks, is able to have fun with the seeming stigma of his roots rather than poke fun, and his audiences (many members of which routinely take it upon themselves to dress up in their polyester and teased hair best) take it in light-hearted stride.
Tickets for Antsy McClain and The Trailer Park Troubadours’ show at The Palms Playhouse, 13 Main St. in Winters, are available at Armadillo Music in Davis, Watermelon Music in Woodland, Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters and at the door if the show is not sold out.