Midland To Resurrect The Palomino To Mark The Legendary Country Nightclub’s 70th Anniversary

Midland Palomino
Courtesy Big Machine Records
– Midland Palomino

The fabled Palomino nightclub in North Hollywood, Calif., opened nearly 70 years ago and for more than 45 was inarguably the West Coast home of a different kind of country music than what was emanating from Nashville, with musicians resplendent in Nudie Suits, toting Telecasters and playing loud, loud music.

The Palomino will rise again Oct. 15 with the help of Midland, a Texas band that clearly carries the torch for a certain kind of country music that would have fit in perfectly well in the Pal of days gone by.

ACM award winners and double Grammy nominees Mark Wystrach, Cameron Duddy, and Jess Carson will decamp at the once legendary watering hole that’s headlined Merle Haggard, Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis, Emmylou Harris, the Pretenders and Commander Cody, followed by Lone Justice, the Blasters and kd lang, before serving as a launching pad for Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller and Dwight Yoakam.

Midland’s second critically lauded project, Let It Roll on Big Machine Records, recently debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Album chart. It was was recorded in four different cities over the course of their relentless touring schedule. The New York Times cited their “retro country elegance,” NPR acknowledged Midland “Evolves Its Vintage Sound” and Esquire proclaimed, “as well-worn as the barstool its protagonist refuses to abandon – think warm, Dwight Yoakam-esque country and swirling, Laurel Canyon folk” about the trio who seeks to connect to the source for this very special one-time only show. Limited tickets are now available at Midland’swebsite.  

“We are always looking to get to the roots,” says bassist/vocalist Duddy, “where the music seeps into every crack or corner, you never know what you’re gonna feel. If the walls of the Palomino could talk, we’d probably camp out there. As it is, we’re stoked to play on the stage where so many influences, heroes and hardcore punks have broken ground. For us, it’s harvesting everything we love – and bringing the Palomino back to what it’s known for.”

Given their music is built on the unapologetic nature of classic country’s embrace of grown-up themes, expect plenty of drinking songs, cheating songs and seduction songs. For fans of Cliffie Stone’s Talent Night or Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance, expect the same intensity and reverence for the post-“Urban Cowboy” country that’s become Midland’s signature. Whether the rockabilly-leaning “Mr. Lonely,” the sweeping “Cheatin’ By The Rules” or the rollicking “Playboys,” Midland seeks to stir the crowd.

“Places like this are disappearing,” explains lead singer Wystrach, “so you want to remember, to grab the moments while you still can. We live for hardcore honky-tonks, and to bring that back to a place that’s seen Gary Stewart, Freddy Fender, punk bands, Rick Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel, it’s an honor to connect – even for one night – to that kind of past.”

The Austin American-Statesman’s Peter Blackstock praised Midland’s core values, writing “the melodic twang of 1970s country-rock… reaching high above honky-tonk bounds,” while Entertainment Weekly assessed Midland’s progression, “every element is rooted a little deeper: the lyrical imagery, the crispness of the instrumentation, and the harmonies of members Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson, and Cameron Duddy toggle between pristine precision and gloriously raggedy edges…”

With Stagecoach Music Festival, Dos Equis, the Academy of Country Music and Tito’s Handmade Vodka coming to the table as sponsors, Midland at the Palomino is a gathering of tribes, vibes and musical aficionados’ intent on having one last throwdown at the venue which would have commemorated 70 years of honky-tonk heritage this year.

See Also: The Palomino Rides Again Live Review 

The Palomino’s original iconic neon sign that once stood on Lankershim Boulevard will be brought out of the Valley Relics Museum and on display for this special night. The Museum has already proven the Pal can be resurrected in the banquet hall that took its place after its 1995 closure – it hosted a “reunion” last year and recreated the ambiance of the original Pal down to the promotional menu signs on the walls, with Jim Lauderdale, Gunnar Nelson and other habitues in attendance. And Midland is respectful and mindful of that history.

“We believe in hanging onto the past,” says Carson. “Because there’s an awful lot of wild, an awful lot of great and an awful lot of stuff you can’t live down. We’re hoping to make a little bit of all of that happen when they plug in the neon and open the doors for this! The idea we can bring an icon where so many of our heroes have played back – even for a night – is everything we try to do. C’mon out!”