Strawfoot is “an angry preacher and a bunch of foul-mouthed heathens” from somewhere in St. Louis. The moment I heard the track “Damnation Way” from the Rodentia compilation I was excited almost to the point of being giddy to hear more music from them.  Within 5 minutes of hearing them for the first time I was downloading their complete album from Amazon MP3. Often in times like these you find that your hopes are met by inconsistent track listings that never quite measure up to the track that got you there. By the time I had gotten to the third track, “Chasing Locusts”, I knew that the track that had introduced me to Strawfoot wasn’t even their best.

I’ve described the goth-country band Those Poor Bastards with the following, “Imagine yourself camping out in some remote Appalachian holler when out of the woods walks Death himself. Now imagine him plopping his ass down at your campfire with his pal and band mate, Desperation, and they break out in song. What do you think that would sound like? What’s that? You’re not sure but you’re kind of creeped out? Welcome to the gothic-country stylings of Those Poor Bastards.” I think that if that impromptu concert were to require an opening act that there are few more qualified to fill the slot than Strawfoot.

Since I’ve found these guys I’ve been pushing them on anyone within hearing distance like Cialis commercials during a football game. They are the first band of this young year that I’ve truly gotten excited about. It’s like they have a conduit that leads straight to my sonic g-spot. Check ’em out and I’m sure you’ll find them to be Essential Listening as well.

Strawfoot – Wayfarin’ Stranger
Strawfoot – Cursed Neck
Strawfoot – Damnation Way

Strawfoot’s Official Site, Strawfoot on myspace, Buy Chasing Locusts


Normally I don’t write about compilations. Matter a fact, I don’t even listen to them.  The only other compilation I ever wrote about on here was the Hillgrass Bluebilly tribute to Hank Williams Sr. and Huddie Ledbetter, Hiram and Huddie, and just like it, it took an artist roster full of familiar bands for me to entertain it.

Honestly, when I got Rodentia I did not expect to like the compilation. I was just looking at a roster of familiars; Those Poor Bastards, Sons of Perdition, O’Death and Joe Buck Yourself and just hoping to stumble upon another doom country band I might like. What I got was 34 tracks of doom country that could easily be described as the goth-country/dark-roots bible in the form of a double-disc release.

To say it was an ambitious project would be an understatement. The goal of the compilation isn’t just to introduce you to to goth-country/dark-roots sound. It’s laid out in a way so that you’re introduced and slowly guided into the whole sound through its 10 chapter design. If you’ve ever thought this might be a genre of music you would want to look into then, quite simply, this cd is here to act as your gateway drug. If, like me, you’re already a disciple of the heavy-hitters of the goth-country sound then let this comp expose you to some of the up and comers in the scene like Strawfoot or Uncle Sinner.

We’ll be writing about a lot of the bands featured on this comp in the coming weeks/months and Devil’s Ruin Records has earned a new fan in ninebullets based on this Essential Listening release.

Strawfoot – Damnation Way (from Chapter I – Marrow Gruel Victuals)
Uncle Sinner – When Jesus Comes (from Chapter III – Battle & Reign)
Tom Baxendale – Her Ghost (from Chapter III – Battle & Reign)
Sons of Perdition (w/Lonesome Wyatt & Dad Horse Ottn) – Psalm of Nod (from Chapter VIII – Diablerie)

Devil’s Ruin Records Official Site, Devil’s Ruin Records on myspace, Buy Rodentia: The Best of Dark Roots Music