Cowpunk returns to its Tucson pasture

Ex-Tucsonan Eddie Spaghetti caught grunge wave early, to play show Friday
2013-07-18T00:00:00Z 2013-07-18T17:04:25Z Cowpunk returns to its Tucson pastureCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Cowpunker Eddie Spaghetti was three years removed from graduating Santa Rita High School when he and his buddies hightailed it to Seattle.

Their timing was perfect. Tucson-born cowpunk band The Supersuckers caught the first wave of the great Northwest grunge movement and were early sign-ons to the genre's seminal label, Sub Pop.

Not bad for a group of Tucsonans eager to ditch the desert's punishing heat for the rainier climes of Washington State.

And yet, Eddie Spaghetti - his real name is Edward Carlyle Daly III - will return to that heat at one of its hottest points when he plays a free show at the Hotel Congress Plaza on Friday.

"I'm a glutton for punishment," Daly, 46, said last week from Seattle, where he was unpacking from a two-week recording session in Austin, Texas, that followed a quick tour of Canada with The Supersuckers. The 25-year-old band, with Daly and another founding member still on board, is working on a new album.

But it is Daly's rough-around-the-edges, cowpunk country solo side that is bringing him home.

He is armed with his freshly minted solo record "The Value of Nothing," released last month. Warning: This isn't your mama's country music, unless your mama had an "explicit lyrics" warning taped to her Johnny Cash records.

The album - his fifth solo record but his first of all original songs - is punk-infused country, with solid nods to the grungy core of The Supersuckers.

"This is the first one where I've written all the songs," he says. "It's only taken me four tries to make my first real solo record."

He recorded the album in Texas with a Lonestar guitarist friend.

"I thought I would make this kind of traditional country record much like The Supersuckers did with 'Must've Been High' in the '90s," he said.

But his Texas buddy wanted to rock out, so the finished product "came out a lot tougher that I envisioned it, but it also came out a lot better," he said.

"I think the songs are all better than they were written. ...It's a really great record and I'm really proud of it," he said.

Daly will play a number of cuts off the record in his Congress show, which also will include some of The Supersuckers hits.

The audience will likely include Santa Rita classmates and old neighborhood buddies. To some, he's Eddie Spaghetti the rock star. To others, he's Eddie Spaghetti, the grown-up version of the kid who got his nickname as a schoolyard joke and decided as a teen that it was perfect for a punk rocker.

His rock star status "is not anything that anybody should look up to or admire, other than the work," he said.

"If people like the music, then that's to be admired. But the line of work - it's just another job, really," he said. "It's a cool job; it's great work if you can get it. But at the end of the day, it's a job."

Daly will be in Tucson just long enough to grab some carne seca from El Charro Café and play his show before shooting up to Flagstaff for a family wedding. He'll have his wife and three kids in tow: 12-year-old son Quatro (Edward Carlyle Daly IV), 3-year-old daughter, Elvis, and year-old son, Zeke.

"I like to come back (to Tucson); it's a nice town," he said. "It's just too stinking hot. It's the kind of heat that kills cows. People shouldn't be living in that."

If you go

•What: Eddie Spaghetti in concert with Rich Hopkins.

• When: 8 p.m. Friday.

• Where: Hotel Congress Plaza, 311 E. Congress St.

• Cost: Free; 21 and older only.

• Details: hotelcongress.com

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

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