Because Songs Matter

For the next 5 days I am gonna repost the pieces I did on my 5 favorite albums of the year. I’m not saying these are the 5 best albums of the year. I haven’t heard the bulk of what’s in most magazine’s and web sites top 10 list. Instead, I am just writing about my 5 favorite albums this year. I hope y’all enjoy it. I’ll be posting my favorite album tomorrow. Now, without further ado: 5 favorite albums of the year, #2: The Legendary Shackshakers – Swampblood

Had this album come out earlier in the year it very well may have been named my favorite album of the year. LSS finish off their Tentshow Trilogy (Believe, Pandelirium, Swampblood) with their best effort to date. Couple that with a new drummer who as added an extra level of energy to their stage show and you have a recipe for world domination. My love for LSS is well documented in the ninebullets archives so I am just gonna repost the original piece:

Lock up your daughters and cover up your wives! Those Legendary ShackShakers are crawling out of the swamp with their third and final installment in their “Tentshow Trilogy” series. A final installment that might be the best album they have ever released. Inspired by the good Colonel J.D. Wilkes’ new home somewhere in West Kentucky, Swampblood embraces a toned down more-blues/less-polka sound for much of the album. Longtime fans need not worry, there is still plenty dirty harmonica-fied, amped to 11, dixie-core there to appease you, however, this album seems to show just how talented these four guys really are. The first time my wife listened to the cd she said, “It’s like they finally decided to be great instead of just awesome.” That’s as good a way to put it as any. From the opening banjo of “Dawn” that gives way to the thump of Mark Robertson’s stand-up bass, spiced with that harmonica of “Old Spur Line,” you can tell things, while familiar, are just a little different this time around. Lyrically, well…I’ll just quote J.D. on that one:

Lyrically speaking, Swampblood lures you into a whole new realm of southern gothic goings-on. It is a cruel place, populated by three-legged dogs, lynch mobs and fallen forests…lustful angels, bloodthirsty hill-folk, and the bloated bodies of beached bovines.

Waterlogged corpses bob in the flooded streets of yore…crossed-eyed grannies pluck tuneless banjers…pigs run around with no clothes on.

Oddly enough, much of the lyrical reportage of Swampblood is based in truth. That’s the scary part. The local legends I was told as a troubled kid are passed on like some weird mix of classic oral tradition and primal scream therapy…The Brothers Grimm meet Sigmund Freud.

And it is that very penchant for words that you see above that makes his songs so god damned much fun…

So, you’ve heard of the Shack Shakers and you’ve read about the glorious pandemonium that is a Shack Shaker show, but you’ve never actually *heard* the Shack Shakers? Well, this is as good a time as any to jump into the greasy cesspool that is THE Legendary Shack Shakers. Not only are you gonna hear what might be their best album to date….you may be listening to the best album of 2007.

The Legendary Shack Shakers - Old Spur Line     

The Legendary Shack Shakers - Swampblood     

The Legendary Shack Shakers - Hellwater     

The Legendary Shack Shakers Official Site, LSS on myspace, Buy Swampblood


  1. mike mike
    December 28, 2007    

    did you listen to that last “it burns when i pee” podcast? didnt know there was that much animosity between joe buck and the shack shakers.

  2. December 30, 2007    

    yeah. i knew about it but was under the impression it had been squashed.

    I guess I was wrong.

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