Looking for another sign of unity and love at the end of a year that’s been largely devoid of those traits? Look no further than Lee’s Liquor Lounge, which will welcome back its former unofficial house band Trailer Trash on New Year’s Eve after an acrimonious two-year hiatus.
“This has always been a love story between a band and a bar, and after an unfortunate break-up we’re getting back together,” Trailer Trash bandleader Nate Dungan merrily declared.
(Insert Kleenex-sniffling sound here.)
After a continually popular 22-year run, Trailer Trash abruptly pulled the plug on its Trashy Little Xmas shows and its monthly gig at Lee’s just before the holidays in 2015 over a contract dispute with new owner Craig Kruckeberg and his talent booker at the time.
“He made us an offer we had to refuse,” Dungan said then. Kruckeberg had just recently bought the vintage Glenwood Avenue watering hole from its longtime owner and mop keeper Louie Sirian.
Trailer Trash quickly turned the Xmas gigs into a roaming caravan, playing venues such as the Metropolitan Ballroom, Parkway Theater and the Turf Club – the latter of which is where the band is playing again next weekend (Friday’s show is sold out, and Saturday’s is close).
Kruckeberg has since hired a new and well-respected talent booker, James Rhines, who floated the idea of bringing the band back to the newly remodeled bar. Dungan and Kruckeberg found a common goal to help them settle their differences: charity.
This New Year’s Eve gig will double as a fundraiser for the Habitat for Humanity-affiliated organization Urban Homeworks, about which Dungan said, “They’ve put roofs over the heads of hundreds of families in north Minneapolis since the tornado and housing crunch.”
Look for the same kind of four-hour marathon Xmas show Trailer Trash used to play there, with the Jingle Stick, original and traditional holiday songs, classic country tunes and all. Tickets are on sale now for $20 via Ticketfly.com. The Shackletons will open.
“It’s a homecoming, that’s exactly what it is,” Dungan said, recounting the applause he got when he announced the gig from the stage last weekend. “People really wanted this to happen, and I’m happy it’s gonna happen.”