When talking about San Diego’s Little Hurricane, it’s best to get the White Stripes comparison out of the way first. Little Hurricane is a duo with a guy singing and playing guitar and a woman playing the drums. (They have, however, recently made noises about adding a full-time third member.) The aesthetic is retro, from their clothes (vintage) to their instruments (old and battered with custom-made amps made out of old suitcases) to their occasional stage sets (cozy living-room furniture) to their music (rooted in folk, blues, and oldies). So, yes, the White Stripes are an obvious influence. But if the White Stripes and the Black Keys taught us anything, it’s that a folk-blues-rock duo can go far, artistically and commercially, if they have the talent.
Little Hurricane does. Guitarist-singer Tone comes from the school of rock where emotion and sweat prevail over precision, but he’s good even when he’s wildly tearing things up on one of his home-made bottleneck slides. And drummer-singer CC is a sight to behold, in a vintage dress, playing mandolin, stomping on a bass drum and singing at the same time. In “Give ’Em Hell,” her voice bounces along softly under Tone’s blues wail, and it sounds like something Jack and Meg never could have pulled off.
Their recent stop at South by Southwest capped off two years of roadwork, including residencies in Seattle, San Francisco, and other places, trying to build networks of fans and connections. I don’t know whether the world has room for another band like this to rise to Stripes/Keys heights, but if Little Hurricane doesn’t conquer the world, it won’t be for lack of trying.
River City also performs.
LITTLE HURRICANE: The Casbah, Saturday, April 28, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $14.