I first found Strawfoot via the Rodentia compilation released by Devil’s Ruin Records. Being more than blown away by their contribution to that cd, I bought their debut album, Chasing Locusts, and the rest is history. Since writing about Chasing Locusts, Marcus (singer) and I have had numerous email exchanges and he was kind enough to send a copy of their newest cd, How We Prospered, my way a few weeks ahead of its fitting Halloween release date.
In the time between Chasing Locusts and How We Prospered, the band lineup found itself in flux by losing a harmonica player and having to replace a bassist and drummer. These changes have done little to lighten the mood of these “foul-mouthed heathens” accompanying a particularly angry preacher. In fact, one could say the new additions have brought the simmering anger of Chasing Locusts to the surface. The album features 10 original tracks and a cover of Hank’s “Ramblin Man”, plus the track “More Of Dread” whose lyrics were taken from a poem written by Honest Abe Lincoln (yes, the former President). Turns out that in addition to being arguably one of America’s greatest presidents, Abe also fancied himself something of a poet, so in honor of his 200th birthday the band turned one of his poems into song. Think of it like the Old Crow/Bob Dylan co-write of “Wagon Wheel“, only darker.
The words of Strawfoot are something that should be discussed as well. I’m always happy when a band is proud enough of their lyrics to actually include them in the cd insert, but Strawfoot takes that one step further by making a book (available for free download here) that includes the lyrics from Strawfoot’s songbook. It also should be noted that when Marcus isn’t penning songs for Strawfoot, he manages to write books from time to time.
Extracurricular activities aside, a band is ultimately judged on its music and I think Strawfoot’s blend of gospel, folk, country and attitude will leave you feeling wholly satisfied. I came into it with enormous expectations, and after getting over my typical uneasiness with new albums from bands I like I’ve fallen in love with it. Hell, I like it better than Chasing Locusts and I had the nerve to dub that Essential Listening, so I think you already know where this one falls.
Check out the samples and buy it come Halloween.