05/26/2005 02:20 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Up From NYC - A Broad's Side View of the Progressive Grassroots Scene

Tales of Working Lives + Real Rock + Cheap Beer = “Brooklyn’s Loretta Lynn”

I’m a former punk rock singer (way, way back in the day) and if, like me, mainstream pop music leaves you cold and you’re constantly searching around the airwaves and the net for good rock music, let me offer you a recommendation.

Listen to WideRight.

This band, fronted by Buffalo-born Leah Archibald, has been around for a while, playing in venues that still offer cheap beer, and giving the crowd excellent straight-forward power rock and lyrics that are about real lives, for a change. It all rings true, has fabulous musicianship and you can dance to it.

Since Leah’s no kid – she’s a married, working mom– her lyrics talk about nasty guidance counselors, the tedium of housework – you get the drift. But what makes her really stand out, however, is that she’s managed to do something unique: in her musical life, she details the ordinary lives of working people and then, every day, from 9 -5, she actually holds a job at the Industrial & Technology Assistance Corporation (ITAC), providing help to manufacturing and tech companies so that good jobs, many of them blue-collar jobs, stay and grow in NYC. Leah knows that without a decent job and paycheck, everything else is kind of moot.

Robert Christgau, the Village Voice rock critic who’s considered by some to be the dean of rock critics, has extensively interviewed Leah and has written about her and WideRight in this week’s edition. He also reviews their newest, soon-to-be-released album, “Sleeping on the Couch.” He calls Leah “Brooklyn’s Loretta Lynn.”

We call her when we need some good music and a cold beer.