I don't know about you, loyal reader, but I have a thing for one-man bands. I guess part of it is that I've tinkered with enough instruments to know that mastering one instrument at a time is definitely not easy. And then these guys come along, play more than one instrument at a time, and make it look it easy. I'll say this much: it didn't take me long to request a review copy when I received a message that a new album from Scott H. Biram is coming soon.
The album kicks off with a bluesy song called "Slow and Easy." This feels like some front porch country blues that would go great with a beverage (whether it's lemonade, tea, or something stronger) in a jar. The melody in this one reminds me a little bit of Seasick Steve. That song is followed by "Gotta Get to Heaven," a gospel-blues number that might make you want to get to church. And speaking of getting to church, Biram also does mostly a capella (there is some harmonica in the song, but they vocals are a capella) version of "Amazing Grace" on this album. Sure, just about everybody has recorded a version of this song, but as The Stranger says to Gary the bartender in The Big Lebowski, "Yeah, that's a good one."
I know what you're thinking. Country blues and gospel? Has The Dirty Old One-Man Band lost his edge? Hardly. There is plenty of edge (and even some metal-type screams) in "Alcohol Blues," a song about doling out justice to a cheatin' woman. If you like that sort of metal sound, "Church Point Girls" is a song you will enjoy. This is kind of a blend of metal and blues and that is just as interesting as it sounds. Oh, and "Only Whiskey" has plenty of edge in it too. This song contains the awesome lyrics "Only whiskey can sleep in my bed."
This album is a bit different than previous Biram albums, if for no other reason than he included more covers on it (including "John the Revelator"). However, if you are a fan of Scott H. Biram, you won't be disappointed. Nothin' but Blood will be available from Bloodshot Records on 4 February.
Contact me if you'd like to be considered for an upcoming edition of Schwindy's indie music spotlight.
PO Box 2070, Mission Viejo CA 92690