Showing posts with label Bloodshot Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bloodshot Records. Show all posts

Nov 6, 2019

Don't Sleep on Bloodshot Records in 2020 (and 2019)

By Robert Dean

Bloodshot Records is dropping some cool records over the next month or two. They've been digging in their vaults and finding putting together some exciting collections and new releases definitely worth checking out. 

Wayne Hancock is just too good. Channeling the best of the honky-tonk swing of years past, "The Train" is back with a collection of tracks from early Bloodshot Records releases. On Man of the Road: The Early Bloodshot Years, the label has to curated a solid batch of Hancock's best bar room bangers, the kinds of songs people swing on the dance floor's all night long.

The collection is the first time any of these songs - recorded initially and released with Bloodshot Records on albums from the last two decades - have appeared on vinyl (including the classic "Thunderstorms & Neon Signs"): A-Town Blues (2001), South Austin Sessions EP (2001), Swing Time (2003), Hard Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson (2004), Tulsa (2006), and Viper of Melody (2009).

Scott H. Biram, everyone's favorite dirty old man weirdo, has a new gospel-inspired record, Sold Out to the Devil: A Collection of Gospel Cuts by the Rev. Scott H. Biram and it's everything you expect from Austin's favorite damaged son. 

The songs are a ramshackle collection of songs about God, religion, and spirituality with Biram's signature booze-soaked delivery. The album also includes a previously unreleased cover of the Louvin Brothers' "Broadminded." The record is predictably low-fi but an excellent collection of songs that get the blood moving and the drinks flowing. 

And finally, if you're looking for some ultra-dark bummers, get Jason Hawk Harris' Love & the Dark on the radar. It's definitely got the big country hooks, but the depth of the lyrics Harris has is oceanic. There are some demons on this record that permeate the songs to their core. Like Jason Isbell, it's apparently by the end of the opening track, "The Smoke and The Stars," Harris has seen some shit. If you're looking for some sad anthems, this is the next stop on the bus. 

Feb 23, 2017

Drunken Review: Scott H. Biram - The Bad Testament

By Robert Dean

Whoop Whoop. Guess who’s back on the bottle, y’all?

Today’s drunk review is brought to them folks over @ Ghost Tequila. Now, I’m a known whiskey drinker, but show me a bottle with a cool ass skeleton rib cage thing, and I’m liable to give it a whirl. What makes this review, even more, fun is I don’t usually fuck with the fine agave plant’s sprits. This is uncharted territory. But, real talk: holy horse nuts, I’m shit hammered.

I'm embarrass your family at Christmas drunk. Yell at your uncle cuz he likes to listen to Alex Jones drunk. (Yeah, I’m a liberal. Fight me at the park, neckbeards.) This here Ghost Tequila is like if Patron didn’t taste like cat piss, and was something you’d go out of your way to order. For real, tho – Patron sucks. Who’s ordered that shit aside from that time the random loud guy with the shaved head made you do a shot with him? You know who I’m talking about. He wears a dress shirt with no undershirt, wears a bottle of cologne, his shaved his is shiny, and he drags around a girlfriend who looks miserable. Usually, her boobs are hanging out of her shirt.

Anyhow, on to the music. This week, we’re talking about that ol’ Scott H Biram’s new joint The Bad Testament. This is some good timing music, right here. At first, I thought homie went and got himself a band, but nope. Still just Scott. But, damn, I thought dude got some John Bonham beats happening, but it’s just a kick drum. Blame the bottle, dawgs.

There’s a good mix of some country bummers on here, which I like. I like my Scott H Biram like I like my Ben Nichols: all fucked up. But, the upbeat songs are rad, too. I mean, come on. Scott knows his ballpark. He ain’t gonna go all left turn on us. He knows how to play some bluesy country with the best of em’. He’s a good hermano.

The Bad Testament is classic Scott H Biram. No surprises, just some good ass country music. I’m on team Scott. This bottle has a real dent in it. Holy shit. Scott is cool. Listen to Scott H Biram. Do it for America. Scott H Biram might be the only person who can save us at this point. A little bit of the bottle, a little smoke, and some other cool lyric. Yay for Ghost Tequila. Yay Scott H. Biram.


The Bad Testament is out tomorrow and you can find it on the Bloodshot site, iTunes, etc.

Photo by Christopher Cardoza
Some bio:
With the heart of a genuine Texas bluesman, the head (banging) of a Zappa and Lemmy disciple, and boots resting in the dust outside of town at sunrise, Scott H. Biram journeys through the harrowing human condition like no one else. A walk on the Biram side straddles the chasm between sin and redemption and The Bad Testament lands somewhere west of the Old Testament and south of an AA handbook. It’s a record of hard-grinding lost love, blues and deep, dark Americana.

Scott H. Biram conjured the words and music for The Bad Testament during mad alchemical sessions at his homemade studio in Austin, TX.  Through stacks of amps, spools of cable, and a prodigious collection of microphones, he spread his technical wings wide, while never losing the immediacy honed from a life on the road. He added a drum kit and rustic vocal duet to his skill set (which already includes all guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals, and percussion on the album). And strip away the one-man band eccentricity, SHB is out-writing any meeting taker on Music Row. The man writes on a razor’s edge of aggression and deftness, thoroughly contemporary but steeped in the backwaters, back porches and back alleys of our collective musical heritage.

Oct 8, 2015

Album Review: The Bottle Rockets - South Broadway Athletic Club

By Kevin Broughton

In the beginning, there was Uncle Tupelo. And the Bottle Rockets.

Technically, there was Gram Parsons, then Steve Earle. But if there’s a Ground-and-Year Zero for the revival/renaissance (whatever that was), it’s the early 1990s and a stretch of the Mississippi River Valley near St. Louis.  

A public divorce – really more of a crib death – did Uncle Tupelo in. And almost a quarter-century later, the Bottle Rockets are still getting it done. Few acts in the genre before or since have captured the blue-collar, everyman ethos the way front man/lyricist Brian Henneman has, and on South Broadway Athletic Club, he’s eased into middle age comfortably and without losing a step.

Recorded in his native St. Louis – and for the first time, at a slow enough place to ensure quality control, by Henneman’s telling – South Broadway is the band’s 11th studio album and first with Bloodshot Records. A note about the label: No indie outfit has done more, as their Twitter bio (@BSHQ) points out to “champion the music that lurks between the labels since 1994.” Just check the talent-rich roster…and support an artist or two by making a purchase.

“Monday (Everytime I Turn Around)” opens the album in Henneman’s trademark wry style with a dash of Roger Miller-esque word play. “There’s just no controllin’ this rollin’ with the flow, when it’s almost have past now a while ago.” An aging cow-punk rocker meets the digital age, more exasperated than pissed.

Henneman’s characters have historically ranged somewhere on the worn-down/desperate/cynical continuum. This time around some of them actually enjoy a bit of whimsy.

“XOYOU” is a river rat’s tribute to Tom Jones. If the Welsh crooner/sex symbol had grown up in Festus, Mo., he’d have had just such a raw sensibility. With a twang.

“Smile” is a simple, happy love song. Two and a half minutes of pop sensibility that you can’t not like; it’s as efficient and optimistic as early Heartbreakers.

But the best two-minute toe-tapper of the bunch is “Dog:” Sometimes life is really just this simple. I love my dog.

God, ain’t it the truth? The Bottle rockets have arrived at a spot, looked around, and said, This ain’t all bad. It’s a little different, but all good.


South Broadway Athletic Club is available from Bloodshot, iTunes, Amazon, etc.


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