BOURBON CROW – LONG WAY TO THE BOTTOM

This is one that got overlooked last year for some reason or another. I figure it’s never too late to write about good music even if I missed it when it dropped. This one ended up coming by way of a local friend who got a copy somehow and after reading about the band and listening to the music thought I would like it. Well they were right. Formed by former Murderdolls frontman Wednesday 13 as Buck Bourbon and longtime friend and bass player Rayen Belchere as Jessie Crow one can’t help but start out with thoughts of Rob Zombie’s solo stuff but those thoughts are quickly corrected with smooth rhythm and southern guitars that bring back thoughts of arena rock. Overall this offering is pretty basic southern rock all around. It’s not a wall of sound like DBT and it’s not likely you’ll even here it played after Skynyrd on the radio. It is a jukebox album for sure with tracks good for drinking, crying in your beer and even getting cryin’ about your daddy drunk (thanks to Lewis Grizzard for that one).

While there’s not much news about the band right now it looks like Wednesday 13 is doing a glam rock project at the moment but I, for one, hope that he’s not done with Bourbon Crow. From Muderdolls to Bourbon Crow to Gunfire 76, Wednesday 13 has the chops to play whatever he wants but I prefer the Bourbon Crow sound to the other projects he’s worked on. Long Way to the Bottom is Essential Listening as far as I am concerned. It may not be a top ten album but it’s worth dropping into playlist and leaving it there. If you don’t get into the first time around you can trust me that it will grow on you and you won’t be sorry you picked up.

Bourbon Crow – Those Southern Times
Bourbon Crow – Take A Bullet For You
Bourbon Crow – Ol’ Whiskey Mountain

Bourbon Crow on Myspace
Bourbon Crow on Wikipedia
Bourbon Crow – Long Way To The Bottom on Amazon

ROPPONGI'S ACE – INTO THE NIGHT

You know the term “better late than never”? Well if ever it applied to anything, it applies to me finally writing about these guys. I dunno why, but I’ve managed to find more reasons not to write about this album than I could to avoid a prostate exam. It ain’t cause I don’t like the album either. Quite the contrary, I friggin’ love it and finally….I’m gonna tell y’all about it and then you, too, can love it and buy it and all will be right with the world.

Roppongi’s Ace are Alex Spoto (Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle), Max Norton (Drums) and Jesse Norton (Bass). They originate outta the Tampa Bay area, but life and school currently has them strewn out all over the Eastern seaboard. That said, Roppongi’s Ace are still alive and well, playing shows whenever they can all get together. Last year they all came together in the St. Petersburg based Zen Recording Studios and laid the framework for what would be their debut cd, Into The Night.

Into The Night was recorded live over the course of a week with local pedal steel guitarist Tommy Cooper joining in on the sessions to give the band’s sound a little more dimension.

And what about that sound?

Man, far be it for me to compare one unsigned local act to another local act in a completely different state, but god damnit…that’s exactly what I am gonna do. I am gonna say Roppongi’s Ace remind me of 9b.net faves, Minneapolis based A Night In The Box, but with double the rock, half the blues and no hats. One might say it sounds like the material The Black Crowes were making before any of us knew who they were. A sort of fly by the seat of your pants Southern rock with just enough twang to make you wanna drink your beer from a can.

Into The Night is not only essential listening, it very well may be the best local album release this year…Check ’em out & buy their shit.

Roppongi’s Ace – Waiting For The Day
Roppongi’s Ace – 1955
Roppongi’s Ace – So It Goes

Roppongi’s Ace’s Official Site, Roppongi’s Ace on myspace, Buy Into The Night

HONEY TONGUE DEVILS – ALL TALL & THE MELTING MOON

I really don’t know too much about these fellas except that they are from somewhere in California and they look like they walked right out of the 70’s Southern Rock scene. They appear to be a four piece, and if I were a betting man I’d put my money on them smoking large quantities of pot. I have no reason for for it, mind you, just call it a hunch and trust me, I know about the things the kids are doing these days.

Speaking of large quantities of pot…

I remember when I first read about Luther Dickinson of the N. Mississippi Allstars joining up with The Black Crowes for their latest effort and all the excitement I immediately felt for that release. Personally, I’ve always been lukewarm towards TBC but never warm enough to actually buy a cd or bother with the contact high to see them live, but the addition of one of the Dickinson brothers was a sign that the lukewarm would get warmer for the Crowes. Then “Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution” broke and I was convinced that the alloy of The Black Crowes and the North Mississippi Allstars was gonna be so awesome, even I would smoke a bowl! And soon after that I got the cd and reality came crashing back. There was no TBC/NMA alloy. There was TBC with a Dickinson brother playing guitar. No weed for me, just whiskey.

Flash forward a fistful of months and there is this Honey Tongue Devils cd sitting on my dining room table. I pop it in the laptop, throw on my headphones and prepare to give it a once-over while I do a little porn browsing, shopping and blog reading. What greets me is exactly what I wanted from that Black Crowes/NMA alloy that wasn’t. The alloy that should have been never made this album, instead some kids from somewhere in Cali with hardly any internet presence, no online bio, and less press gave it to us.

Personally, I don’t give two shits what the name of the band is…Essential Listening is essential listening.

Honey Tongue Devils – Down Here
Honey Tongue Devils – Dirty Water Clean
Honey Tongue Devils – Sunday Morning Blackout

Honey Tongue Devils’ Official Site, Honey Tongue Devils on myspace, Buy All Tall & The Melting Moon