by Robert Bell
8 p.m. Stickyz. $10.
Call me crazy, but with the exception of being at some sort of German beer garden — kielbasa in one hand and the afternoon's third massive stein-full of beer in the other — I've never really dug polka. But one exception might just have to be Brave Combo.
The Denton, Texas, outfit got started in the late '70s, doing polka-fied covers of rock classics and by the late '90s/early aughts, Brave Combo was winning Grammys for Best Polka Album (1999 and 2005) and being featured on The Simpsons — a sign that you've made it if ever there was one.
The band's polka version of "Must Be Santa" from 1991's "It's Christmas, Man!" even resonated with Bob Dylan, who included a nearly identical arrangement of the song on his own Christmas album, 2009's "Christmas in the Heart." Dylan told Street News Service that he "first heard that song years ago on one of those 'Sing Along with Mitch' records. But this version comes from a band called Brave Combo. Somebody sent their record to us for our radio show. They're a regional band out of Texas that takes regular songs and changes the way you think about them. You oughta hear their version of 'Hey Jude.'"
High praise from Blind Boy Grunt himself? Hey man, good enough for me.