(a portion of this piece was published by Planet JH Weekly)
Fronted by former Frank Zappa and Steve Vai vocalist Suzannah “Thana” Harris, Denver rockabilly trio Dixie Leadfoot & The Chrome Struts will fill your après-ski sessions on Friday and Saturday at the ‘Hof (Alpenhof Lodge in Teton Village, that is). Harris, who holds down vocal and upright bass duties for the Struts, provided harmony vocal on Zappa’s Them or Us (1984) and overdub vocals on his Sleep Dirt reissue in 1991. Tunes on the latter album included “Filthy Habits,” “Flambay,” “Spider of Destiny,” and “Time is Money,” among others. Her husband, Bob Harris, played keyboards, trumpet and vocal with Zappa in 1980.
Harris said in an interview that she was hired by Zappa to sing because she could imitate the style of a longtime, slightly bored singer in a cocktail bar: “[Frank told] me, when he handed me the cassette with the rhythm tracks and a guitar melody line which I was supposed to learn for the lead vocal, that he had tried numerous vocalists for numerous years and hadn’t found the right one to sing the lyrics to those songs.” She wrote a book in 2000, Unger the Same Moon: My Life with Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Bob Harris and a Community of Other Artistic Souls.
Dixie Leadfoot & The Chrome Struts has released one EP, Heels on Fire!, bringing to mind the great Wanda Jackson. For more about Harris and her connection to Zappa, check out the Zappa Wiki Jawaka page. Dixie Leadfoot & The Chrome Struts, 3 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the ‘Hof in Teton Village. Free. 733-3242.