NEW SONG FROM HELLBOUND GLORY'S LEROY VIRGIL

This past Friday my wife, a friend and I were blessed with a Florida appearance from the scumbag country sensations out of Reno, Nevada; Hellbound Glory. When I say my wife, a friend and I, I am not joking…there were, maybe, 4 other people in the bar and while it was very disheartening for me, it didn’t seem to phase the band one fucking bit.

They opened the show with about a 40 minute set from Leroy’s other project, The Excavators which included plenty of originals as well as a fantastic rework/cover of Kenny Rogers’, The Gambler before adding drums and morphing into Hellbound Glory.

I was skeptical of Hellbound Glory when I reviewed their album here on 9B but having seen them live I am now a believer, or perhaps I should say I am now a believer in Leroy Virgil. That dude is the real deal and we, as a musical community, should begin to embrace him. Also, while I enjoyed the shit out of seeing Hellbound Glory, I left being most excited about this Excavators project.

After the show, Leroy agreed to play a track from the upcoming Excavators album for me and I am super excited to bring it to y’all this morning. This is Leroy performing, “Living That Way (You Better Hope You Die Young)”…as a side note, we were all pretty wasted by this point:


This is a video that surfaced right after SxSW that features Leroy performing another Excavators song called “Third World County Line”:


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TAKER EASY TAKERS, IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED:


It’s been getting whispered in circles here in the sunshine state for a few months now and despite everyone hoping it wasn’t true, I am sad to report that it is. The Takers performance at Fest this weekend will indeed be their final show. There seems to be no real central reason for the split but speaking to Devon about it it just seems to boil down to the members having different visions for the band. Either way, it was a great run, there were some epic shows, a great album and lots of good times. If you happen to be up at Fest make sure you catch their final performance.

The Takers – Taker Easy
The Takers – Friends In Bottles

For those wondering, Devon fully plans to keep making music and has not shut the door on the idea of forming a new band. Last weekend I talked him into playing a song that hasn’t really been heard outside of Florida called “Narrow Road” for me. I really love the track and hope y’all enjoy it too:



As musicians are wont to do once the instruments are out Devon and Michael kept playing and I managed to get them to perform one more for me:

See y’all on Monday.

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE – HARLEM RIVER BLUES


Okay, I know this is gonna sound horrible but I am gonna say it anyway. I know all about Justin’s recent troubles with the law and his possible/probable relapse. That said, I don’t care. I don’t know Justin from Adam and he don’t know me, so what he does in his personal life affects me in the same way reading about Lindsay Lohan’s latest antics on Perez Hilton does, which is a wordy way of saying that, outside of tabloid fascination, it doesn’t. See, ninebullets is a site about music and seeing as my relationship with Justin is as deep as the silver cd his label sends me, that’s all I need to write about.

There has also been a little discussion of whether Justin’s music is folk or country. Again, this is an argument that registers on the irrelevant radar for me. Country music has to be one of the most segmented and hyper-hyphenated genres in music and I try to avoid getting into the overclassification game. Ninebullets is about good music and there should little doubt about whether or not JTE falls into that category.

So now that we’ve filled a screen with what we’re not gonna talk about, let’s get into something we are gonna talk about; how good this album is. Harlem River Blues has certainly been a polarizing album. Seems people either love it or hate it, and I fall squarely in the love it category. To me, Harlem River Blues far exceeds his previous two efforts, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that he pays very little to no reverence to the limits imposed by the country/alt.country fan base. He made an album as he wanted to. Too polished and full in sound to please the fundamental country crowd, while too calm and deliberate to appease the Double Latte Starbucks crowd. And, as if to take the wind out of both sails, there are moments that feel like a modern take on the 50’s bebop sound.

Personally, while I love Midnight at the Movies, Harlem River Blues feels like the album that should have followed The Good Life. Either way, it’s definitely Essential Listening, and even though Justin refuses to tour Florida (edit: Since I wrote this piece JTE has blinked and booked a Florida leg in November) I hope he’s out of rehab and back to penning and singing songs soon.

Justin Townes Earle – Move Over Mama
Justin Townes Earle – One More Night In Brooklyn
Justin Townes Earle – Slippin’ and Slidin’

Justin Townes Earle’s Official Site, Justin Townes Earle on myspace, Buy Harlem River Blues

SOANGELICATE’S ROCK REPORT: YEASAYER @ THE STATE THEATER


The Yeasayer show was the first of many for me in the month of Rocktober, and the first show I’d been to at the State Theater since I saw the Breeders open for Green Day, which was a long ass time ago. As anyone who read my Yeasayer post a couple weeks ago knows, I’ve been pretty damned excited about this show for a long time and it was finally here, their first ever show in Florida.

The first band up was Washed Out, which is technically not so much a band as it is a guy named Ernest Greene accompanied by touring musicians. I’m not really big on chillwave, but it was enjoyable, if not a bit sleepy. I basically drank my way through the first act, watching from the balcony as the crowd below gently swayed. After Washed Out finished their set, we were treated to some tunes by a duo of local DJ’s, The Soft Rock Renegades, and then it was time for the main act.

When Yeasayer took to the stage, the mostly laid back crowd was so excited they stepped up their swaying from level 3 to level 5. They started out slow, but three songs into their set they played “Rome”, one of my favorite tracks from the newest release, Odd Blood, and everyone seemed to come out of their trances. Chris Keating sang it like he meant it, almost yelling into the microphone, as if he was really trying to convince us of what he was saying, and we crowd chanted along with him. Anand Wilder had his own standout performance with an achingly slow and perfectly sung rendition of “Grizelda”, a song about Colombian drug lord Grizelda Blanco. Also, I had mentioned in my review of Odd Blood that I thought “Mondegreen” would be amazing, and it really, really was.

For the encore, the band played two songs. First was a version of “The Children” that was even creepier than the album version, which is saying something. The last song was “2080”, from their first release, All Hour Cymbals, and the whole place went nutso for it. Not only was it a brilliant show, but I was very impressed with the State Theater and I don’t know why it took me so long to come back. The staff was friendly and accommodating and the drinks were cold and strong. I definitely see myself coming back for another show. You can check out some pictures from the show here and read my review of Odd Blood here.

ROOT JACK – IN THE PINES


A couple of years back I told y’all about a band coming out of Portland called Moonshine Hangover. At the time, I was a little bummed to have only found out about the band after they’d decided to call it quits. Well, flash forward two years (insert Garth and Wayne sound effect here) and I get an email from former Moonshine Hangover guitarist Kris Stuart announcing his new band, Root Jack, and their new cd, In The Pines.

After a few exchanges via email I found out that while in Moonshine Hangover, Kris wrote the occasional song, but now with Root Jack he’s become the principal songwriter and it’s given him the confidence to write more personally. As we all know, the closer to the heart the song is born, the better it will be, and In The Pines is chock full of great songs.

In The Pines is pretty straightforward country rock instrumentally, while lyrically it would be best described as music for lumberjacks to drink to. Being from Florida, my logging knowledge only extends to what I’ve seen on The Discovery Channel, but with tracks like “30 Days” and “Pastor of the Pines”, you can tell that Kris’ knowledge goes a little deeper than that.

In closing, I gotta say that before I heard a single arrangement or listened to a single actual lyric, I knew I was gonna love this album, based simply on Kris’ voice. Dude can sing the fuck out of a song and is perfectly matched to this style of music.

While I was bummed to tell y’all about a good band whose time had passed, I am extremely pleased to introduce y’all to its cousin; their name is Root Jack and they’re Essential Listening.

Root Jack – 30 Days
Root Jack – Pastor of the Pines

Root Jack on myspace, Buy In The Pines

TOP 5: TRAIN SONGS


When RomeoSidVicious mentioned that we hadn’t done train songs yet I was as surprised as him. I mean, after drinking songs and murder ballads I bet train songs are the most prevalent in the country & blues world. So, today is as good a day as any to remedy this gaping hole in the Top 5 theme.

I tried to avoid the obvious selections so there would be some easy one’s for y’all:

Johnny Cash – Orange Blossom Special: Okay, this one is obvious but come one…it’s trains, it’s Florida. I had to list it.

Love and Rockets – Bound For Glory: One of my favorite bands that rarely gets mentioned on here performing one of my favorite songs by them.

Chris Knight – Speeding Train: I’ve said it one and I’ll say it now. If you don’t like Chris Knight then there is obviously a horrific flaw somewhere in your makeup.

The Cult – Medicine Train: There is definitely some hearing damage in me as a direct result of playing this song to the edge of the 6×9’s in my 1973 Dodge Colt’s abilities.

Quad City DJ’s – C’mon N’ Ride It: Simply put…the greatest train song in the history of the world so you know….If you feel like dancin’ well come on, it’s up to you. Move your arm up and down and make that choo choo sound.

TOP 5: MAKES ME THINK OF 9B

Romeo here. Despite rumors to the contrary I have not shuffled off this mortal coil. I will forgo any explanation of my absence and just make with the Top 5!

So this Top 5 is all about you, our faithful readers, and my curiosity. I want to know what songs make you think about us or the site with the caveat that you can’t use Nine Bullets by Drive By Truckers because it’s so easy it’s pretty much cheating.

For me the songs that make me think about the site are a mix that goes way back to when I first encountered AIV on the Lucero message board, which is sadly only a shadow of what it used to be, and stuff AIV posted that stuck with me or was really bad ass. AIV has turned me on to some damn amazing music over the years, much like the Lucero board did back in the day, and writing for 9b has turned me on to some damn cool people so this one was a lot of fun. I picked mostly songs that make me think about when I met AIV or stuff he posted rather than songs that remind me of the site because I write here about everything I listen to so I could claim just anything reminds me of 9B. But enough of my jabbering, here’s my Top 5:

  • Whitey Morgan and the 78s – Goodbye Dixie | This band will forever remind of AIV after his response to my never having heard of them while we were hanging out together at SXSW 2010. They are a great band and I hope they are working on something new so we can write about them even more.
  • Two Cow Garage – Swingset Assassin | This is one band I probably would have overlooked had it not been for AIV’s stellar write ups on them. A lot of people were talking about them back when and as usual I ignored the crowd to my own detriment but AIV kept pushing them and this track is one he posted that always sticks out in my mind. They are now one of my “can’t live without” bands thanks to AIV and 9B.
  • Drag The River – Me & Joe Drove Out To California | I can’t say that AIV or 9B turned me on to this song or band but for some reason I have fond memories of Lucero Message Board Compilations, 9B, and some amazing times attached to this particular track. Maybe I was just overplaying it at the time who knows.
  • The Takers – St. John’s Son | This is one that is all 9B for me. AIV is a Florida boy as are these boys and his write up got me to listening to them. I know they are a Suburban Home band and I generally like anything from Suburban Home but the Florida connection makes me want to road trip to FL and visit AIV whenever this song comes on.
  • Those Darlins – Wild One | Last but certainly not least comes Those Darlins. Maybe my favorite discovery that I wouldn’t have heard about if it hadn’t been for 9B. Wild One is a song that could be about me to my wife or about certain of my ex-girlfriends to me so it stands out a bit.

Well that’s it for me. Some of that list may be cheesy but it’s my list dammit! Now it’s your turn.

Autopsy IV says: Before you ask. No, I didn’t put Romeo up to this. Next, I don’t have a list since there is no song called, “I’m so fucking awesome people shit their pants when I walk by…..TWICE!” but rest assured, if there was….it and 4 remixes of it would be mine. As it is, I’ll make do with this little ditty:

Mickey Avalon – My Dick

TOP 5: BANDS YOU'VE NOT SEEN LIVE (BUT REALLY REALLY WOULD LIKE TO):


Last year I went to over 30 shows. The year before that was largely the same but one thing never changes….no matter how many shows you go to, there are bands you wanna see live but just don’t. The reasons may vary. Some break up before you can catch them (Murder City). Some price their tickets too high (Beasties) and some might even refuse to tour your state as is the case with one Mr. Justin Townes Earle and Florida (though I managed to catch him at SxSW). So that’s the basis for this weeks Top 5: Band you have not seen live but would really like to. Please keep this list to bands you actually could see live (ie: no Nirvana since it’s completly impossible) and maybe next week we’ll do, 5 bands you wish you could have seen live.

With that said. Here are mine:

Murder City Devils: By the time I found this band they had broken up. They do short tours now but nothing that gets close enough to me to make the trip. I’ll catch them one day though, of that, I have no doubt.

Murder City Devils – Every Shitty Thing

I Can Lick Any sonofabitch In The House: Never got a chance to see these guys before they broke up and I am not sure if their new album will generate any Florida shows. Fortunately for me, I’ll be catching them in Denver in a little over a month.

I Can Lick Any sonofabitch In The House – Regrets To Greyhounds

Beastie Boys: I don’t know why I’ve never seen these guys. I do know that the last time they came to Tampa their ticket prices were just too high for me to justify. At this point I doubt I’ll ever see them, but man, I wish I had.

Beastie Boys – Pass The Mic

Jane’s Addiction: God damn I loved this band and listening to Nothing’s Shocking reminds me of skateboarding in fall and hanging out with my first high school girlfriend to this day. By the time I could actually afford to go to shows there was no more Jane’s Addicition. Pale versions of their former selves or not, if they came to town on a reunion tour….I’d be there.

Janes Addiction – Had A Dad

Lady GaGa: Nope, that’s not a joke. I tried to go to her last show here in Tampa but it was sold out and I couldn’t get a press pass. I’d love to see her for the spectacle of it all. I can’t see how it wouldn’t be a blast.

Lady GaGa – Bad Romance

Okay, what are yours?

THE ROCK REPORT: JEREMY STEDING AND THE BAND OF BASTARDS @ GOODE'S ARMADILLO PALACE – HOUSTON, TEXAS 12-03-09

Some days things just work together. While I was writing up the review of A Damn Good Ride I dropped by Jeremy Steding’s website to look for his bio and such and found out he was playing in town that night. I grabbed a phone number off the site, made a call, and set up some time with him before the show. As luck would have it and one thing leading to another I wasn’t as early as I wanted to be but since it was a Thursday night show there wasn’t an opening act and there was still plenty of time to meet The Band of Bastards and get to know them before the show. And a damn fine show it was…

Jeremy Steding
(In case you’re wondering that is a Jason Isbell shirt on the Eric.)

What I learned is a that Jeremy is originally from Florida and came west to Austin in 2007 with an unmastered, unreleased “Whiskey Songs and Prison Songs” to pursue music in the Red Dirt scene. Having been inspired by old Pat Green (before he went Nashville), Cory Morrow, Robert Earl Keen and the like he figure Austin was the place to be if he wanted to play his kind of music.
I know our gracious host would disagree, being a huge fan of the Florida music scene and rightfully so, but Jeremy made his trek and is now making his mark on Red Dirt Music. One of the highlights of the night was finding out that Jeremy is fan and friend of Pete and Larry from Truckstop Coffee. Those boys are perennial 9B favourites and it’s always nice to find other fans.

Jeremy is at a point in his career that he says many never make it past. He’s playing decent venues and getting decent turnouts but intimates it’s fairly easy to get stuck there for a good long while and some folks can’t handle what seems like being in a rut. He handles most of his own booking, all of his merch, all of the publicity pretty much managing himself and the Band of Bastards. He uses all of the standard methods today such as twitter, myspace, facebook, and so on to get the word out about his music and his shows all while giving away his recorded music on his website. He and the band have a sponorship from Budweiser and they are touring hard. He says he loves the work and doesn’t mind all the time it takes to self manage. I did ask him specifically about giving away the albums on the website and he explained that while they sell a good number of CDs at shows that he wanted more people to discover his music. He thinks that people don’t buy as many CDs as they used to because of worrying about the investment. What if the CD sucks? So he put both albums for free, gives out business cards everywhere he goes that tell people where to go to download it, has a donate button if you want to toss a couple bucks his way, and still sells just as many plastic shiny discs at shows. And it’s working. More and more people are hearing his music and coming to shows. And that’s where Jeremy Steding and the Band of Bastards really shine…

Jeremy Steding And let me tell you: These boys can tear up a stage. I liked the album and that’s pretty clear from my review but seeing them live is just damn good. It’s not as big a difference as Cory Branan’s live vs. his studio work but it is something that has to be seen to be believed. Jeremy is a showman for sure and he pulls in the audience without even trying. He’s still young so the show isn’t as polished as some of the old timers but whether it’s belting out his original songs are having a little fun with classic covers like You Never Call Be By My Name whilst claiming it was written by “…a friend of a friend of a friend of my dad’s” on Canadian bacon in eyeliner you can tell that Jeremy is doing what he loves and the Band of Bastards is having as much fun as he is. And when I say he gets the audience involved I mean the isn’t above calling out the drunk birthday girl to help out with The Boys From Oklahoma.

They're too damn skinny and way too long...
…they’re too damn skinny and way too long…

In closing you shouldn’t miss the chance to see this Florida boy turned Texan play a live show. With a band that cites influences ranging from Truckstop Coffee to Jason Isbell you certainly could do worse. And as far as the more country and western shows go I am not sure you could do better these days.

The Band of Bastards is:

  • Matt Winegardner – Drums
  • Eric Smith – Bass
  • Steve James – Lead Guitar

You can see the full gallery from the show over at romeosidvicious.com .

Here’s some tracks off of Jemery’s first album since I don’t have any live tracks (except the one from this album) from him just yet:

Jeremy Steding – Bonnie Blue
Jeremy Steding – Auburn
Jeremy Steding – The Day to Day, Today (Live)

And the Boys From Oklahoma…

Jason Boland – The Boys From Oklahoma

Jeremy Steding Official Site
Jeremy Steding on MySpace
Jeremy Steding on Facebook
Jeremy Steding on Twitter
Jeremy Steding on YouTube

JEREMY STEDING – A DAMN GOOD RIDE

A Damn Good Ride

I like free music and I think that’s a given for most folks here but the caveat is that music is not like sex or pizza. When music is bad it’s not still good whether it’s free or not. Jeremy Steding’s music is not bad. In fact it’s damn good and both his albums are available for free on his website. He’s pretty new to the Red Dirt scene. I discovered him listening to Radio Free Texas and was intrigued. So I dropped his website and was even impressed to find both of his albums available fro free. The best part is that the boy is good at what he does.

The title track of this Red Dirt Music album starts with a salute to The Old Crow Medicine show and has a zydeco groove that’ll make you want to swing your baby ’round the dance floor if you are so inclined. That’s not the only hat tip on the album. Let the Boys Drink Whiskey is a nod to the deep Irish roots in country music and the chorus is reminiscent, in spirit, of Cory Branan’s Sour Mash. Not afraid of showing his honky tonk roots The Sand Panther Medicine Show takes us back to a better time musically while the lyrics keep us right here today with all the ills modern life has to give and offers us a cure for our ills. Closing the album is a country ballad that could have followed Eddie Rabbit’s classic Drivin’ My Life Away on the radio so many years ago and let me assure you this a complete album all the way around.

Overall this is a solid country album that you might have missed is you weren’t looking for it. I would say get off your ass and buy it but since you can surf on over to his website and download it you have no excuse. So I’ll simply end this with a quote from my favorite song on the album and a nod to AIV’s home state…

Just let the band play dixie, let the boys drink whiskey, lay me in the ground and hoist the Bonnie Blue…

(The Bonnie Blue, for those that don’t know, flew over the short lived Republic of Florida and inspired the Burnet Flag which flew over the Republic of Texas.)

Jeremy Steding – A Damn Good Ride
Jeremy Steding – Let The Boys Drink Whiskey
Jeremy Steding – The Day Today