GREENLAND IS MELTING – OUR HEARTS ARE GOLD, OUR GRASS IS BLUE


Sometimes I wish I listened to the people around me more often. If I had, I wouldn’t have missed the Greenland Is Melting show in Tampa earlier this month. Truth is, I was feeling worn out, a little broke and I didn’t even bother Googling the name when the show was suggested to me. About a week after that exchange, I was in my computer room putting on my shoes and I look over at one of the stacks of cds I need to be listening to and see the Greenland Is Melting cd. Having recalled the conversation about the show, I pulled it out of the stack and took it to the car. As luck would have it, the very next day Karl from the band dropped me an email asking if I’d received the cd.

Greenland is Melting is the Gainesville, Florida trio of Karl Seltzer, Will Dueease and Shaun Pereira and Our Hearts Are Golden is their sophomore release. Soundwise, the best way for me to describe this band would be to say that they sound like what I wanted to hear the first time I heard The Avett Brothers.  They play a ragged form of folk-country with a punk attitude that seems so loose and relaxed that it always seems like it’s on the edge of coming apart. The bands shares vocal duties on all the songs, and like the music the voices are so different that the harmonies seem like they could devolve into dischord at any minute. The thing is that the album never fell apart, and as it wore on I just kept getting pulled further and further in until what seemed strange and challenging on first listen became quirky and charming.

There is a line on “Kitchen Song” that goes, “No, no, no, we don’t have them songs for the radio. But we have songs for the kitchen that our friends know.” I seriously doubt you’ll find a more honest line on a record and I think it sums up Greenland Is Melting, as well as what Our Hearts Are Gold, Our Grass Is Blue is all about. You can get this entire album for free over on GiM’s Bandcamp site and trust me, it’s worth the download.

Greenland Is Melting – Blood On The Banjo
Greenland Is Melting – No More Sorry Songs
Greenland Is Melting – The Kitchen Song

Greenland Is Melting on myspace, Download Our Hearts Are Gold, Our Grass Is Blue

TAMPA/ST. PETE: TO DO: SCOTT H. BIRAM @ PASTTIMES PUB, SARASOTA: SUNDAY NIGHT

Sure, plenty of shows come to town and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about each and every one of them. But, unlike people, all shows are not created equal. Some shows are just more worthy of your unbridled enthusiasm. Scott H. Biram falls into that category. When Scott comes to your town you need to lock up the womenfolk, drink a few whiskey shots and get your ass to the show. I think my card carrying status in Scott’s Church of the Ultimate Fanaticism Fan Club is well documented here on ninebullets, so I am gonna quote a Biram show review a friend of mine wrote after hearing/seeing Scott for the first time ever a few years ago:

“Finally it was time for Scott Biram. I had heard him earlier when he was doing his sound check and the amount of music he can generate all by himself is really staggering. He was really a great performer and musician. He was able to banter with the audience, tune his guitar, work a bass pedal to keep the beat, blow on the harmonica, and growl into his mic/bullhorn. You don’t really know what to expect when the little guy in the green trucker cap sits down on the stage. Biram looks like a guy you’d pass coming out of the bathroom at a Flying J truckstop on I-10. However he attacks honky tonk and blues with a vicious growl and doesn’t let you go until you are stomping your feet and screaming “Whiskey!”

I know Scott’s shows had started to get a bad rap as being drunken messes a couple of years back but the script has been flipped. Last years show in St. Pete (and all of Florida for that matter) were the best I’ve (or others who’ve seen him) seen. He played damned near all night and was 100% awesome from beginning to end. Don’t miss this show, Tampa Bay area. Trust me on this.

Who: Scott H. Biram
Where: Pasttimes Pub (Sarasota)
When: Sunday, October 25, 2009

Scott H. Biram – Spoonful
Scott H. Biram – Long Fingernail
Scott H. Biram – Blood, Sweat & Murder
Scott H. Biram – Sinkin’ Down
Scott H. Biram – Judgment Day

THE ROCK REPORT: THE SUBURBAN HOME 14th ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND, DENVER, COLORADO

This is a neat musical scene we run in. It’s a scene where even the biggest and most popular artists can be found sitting at the bar before they go on stage. There are few barriers and less ego between you and the people making the music you love. As a result, should you choose, you can build these miniature friendships with the bands. Don’t get me wrong, when I call them “miniature friendships” I don’t mean that as a slight, what I mean is that they’re not like regular friendships. They’re based around small conversations a couple of times a year that are eventually jettisoned by the electronic conversations that brought us together. That said, within the scene they’re still genuine and everyone still remembers each other’s names when they’re in the same town and knows bits and pieces of one another’s personal lives. That’s the real appeal of these little festivals I go to. Sure, you’re gonna see a lot of awesome music, but at the same time you’re gonna get to hang out with a lot of friends for the weekend to catch up, drink together and bullshit about typical crap like sports. The result is the musical version of a family reunion, which explains why people from as far away as Florida, New Jersey & California would descend upon Denver, Colorado for two nights of music.

I arrived early Friday afternoon, and after navigating the airport/super shuttle maze to the hotel I elected to take a small nap in an effort to offset the time difference. The lineup for Friday night was Look Mexico, In the Red, Jr. Juggernaut, Josh Small, Austin Lucas, Jon Snodgrass and Joey Cape. I made a point to get to the show early enough not to miss anything since that’s what I came for and, really, after cooking dinner (Yes! My hotel room had a stove…more drinking money!) what the hell else was I gonna do? I wasn’t even at 3 Kings for 10 minutes before finally getting to meet Virgil (Suburban Home owner) in person. The guy is as genuine and nice in person as he is on the internet and managed to hang out with folks all weekend, while also making sure everything kept moving along smoothly. Meeting him made me even happier about the praise we pile on his label and I take back that apology I made about the amount of coverage we’ve been giving SH last week. I’m not sorry and you can expect more. Before the first notes of the weekend were played I also ran into one of my favorite people in music, Shane Sweeney of Two Cow Garage. Hugs and small talk were exchanged and the the show began.

Most of the early bands Friday were bands I wasn’t terribly familiar with. Look Mexico was pretty enjoyable while In The Red was really, really heavy. Jr. Juggernaut was entertaining enough and their singer sort of looks like Seth Rogen. However, it was Josh Small who provided me the first wow moment of the weekend. Josh is small in demeanor but has a powerful presence on stage. Later in the night I was talking to him and I said he was like a tenor version of William Elliott Whitmore. He really appreciated that comparison, so I thought I’d share it with y’all. I really have no idea why I’ve ignored him all this time. I’ve heard his name but never bothered to check out his music. If you’re in that same boat, now is the time to stop. Trust me. After Josh the night just went nuts. The elevation (or the fact that I cooked and ate a huge dinner) was allowing me to drink a ridiculous amount of whiskey without really feeling it as Austin Lucas took the stage. About halfway through Austin’s set Two Cow joined him on stage to perform a mini-set of Austin’s songs, Two Cow style. Holy. Fucking. Shit. It was the muscle of Two Cow meshed with the grace of Austin, and it was completely ridiculous. I’m saying it now. I want to see a Suburban Home Under The Influence release of an Austin-fronted Two Cow so the rest of world can experience it. This whole ‘Two Cow killed it’ attitude will be a running theme. Outside of Tim Barry, they were the stars of this particular weekend. Jon Snodgrass had the arduous task of following the AustinTwoCow amalgam and he did it with the grace and professionalism that has come to define Jon. He came up and started running through crowd favorites like a pimp serves up hoes. What’s that? Wanna hear “Me & Joe”? “Me and Joe went out to California…..” If you were there you know what I’m talking about, and if you weren’t then you need to start getting out to more Jon Snodgrass/Drag The River shows. Not to be outdone by Austin, Jon also brought the Two Cow boys up to finish up his set, and watching that happen reminded me of how much I miss Drag The River proper. After Jon’s set I had to go. The East coast/Midwest time difference + an obscene amount of whiskey had won the battle and I shared a cab back to the hotel and called it a night over some reheated dinner.

Saturday got started early ’cause the Suburban Home garage sale started at noon and promised some of the SH roster playing in an intimate acoustic environment. That sentence should really clue you in to the level of sheer awesomeness that occurred on an otherwise dreary Saturday afternoon. I’m not gonna go into too much detail about the show at SH’s office, ’cause I think some things are best left for the people that were there, and even if I wanted to tell you about it I don’t have the grace with words that would be required to relay how it went down. I was expecting (and I think the original plan was) minisets by some of the musicians in attendance. What happened, however, was so much more organic and spontaneous, as Josh Small, Tim Barry, Devon from The Takers, Micah and Shane from Two Cow, Austin Lucas, and Andy Thomas (Suburban Home employee) passed around a single guitar, playing songs and telling stories for a couple of hours. Honestly, Saturday afternoon alone easily made the trip worth the money. After the music I headed back to the hotel to watch some NCAA football, cook some dinner and grab a nap before Saturday night (the main reason I came up to Denver) kicked off.

Saturday night’s line up was The Takers, The Revenge, Mike Hale, Ninja Gun, Chad Price, Two Cow Garage and Tim Barry. Since The Takers are one of the bright spots of Florida music, I had zero intention of missing their set, so I arrived at 3 Kings nice and early. Now I gotta admit, for the first couple of hours of Saturday night I was a little off my game. I’d gotten drunk in the afternoon only to go back to the hotel and take a short nap. If you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t you will once you turn 21. I am happy to say that The Takers did Florida proud, while once again proving to me that they’re the best thing in Gainesville at the moment. I’m going to be honest, I used the bulk of The Revenge (who, IMO are horrible), Mike Hale and Ninja Gun’s sets to try and get my groove back (drink more whiskey), watch the OU/USC game and bullshit with various folks, so I don’t have too much to say about them.  By the time Chad took the stage, though, I was front and center (albeit a little wobbly). Chad’s set included some tracks from his upcoming album, as well as a few crowd favorites. Chad was followed by the emerging juggernaut that is Two Cow Garage. In the middle of their set I sent the following to Facebook: “Two Cow Garage is making America wish they were in Denver right now.” Now I know that’s not true, but that’s only because most of America is lazy as fuck and has no idea who Two Cow is. As a side note, when I started ninebullets the Drive-By Truckers were my hands-down favorite band on earth. Over the years Lucero has managed to wrestle that belt away from DBT. Nowadays, Lucero has one serious contender for the crown in Two Cow. Two Cow put on a typically blistering show that may have even surprised some of their own faithful.

Next up was Tim Barry. The fact that I am staring a new paragraph for Tim’s set is important. It’s the best literary equivalent I can think of to show Tim’s set the same amount of reverence the crowd and the weekend’s bands showed him. I do a lot of shows every year. A lot. Probably five (or more) for every show you see. I’m not saying this to brag, I am saying this to convey the significance of what I’m about to talk about. Not since I saw Konrad Wert (Possessed By Paul James) freeze an entire field in their tracks have I seen the reverence to an artist that I saw on Saturday night when Tim Barry played. Touring bands see a lot of people play and usually they’re more than happy to BS and converse during a set, but as Tim played I surveyed the crowd. Every band present was crowded stage right or at the door to the back. Every fan/attendant was pushed as close to the stage as they could get with a drink held forward as they screamed every word of every song. Almost every person in the bar stopped and watched Tim and he delivered in spades (as if anything else would be possible). Tim probably won’t ever experience any form of commercial success and time will most likely cover all of his material, but I imagine he is okay with that. Tim’s music is a lot like him. It’s here, it’s now and there ain’t an ounce of fake, simile or metaphor about it. And when you witness that you have to stop and appreciate it, much like all of Three Kings did that night. Tim could easily become the face of this genre if he wanted to, but the simple fact is that it ain’t that important to him and you gotta love that.

That was it. I woke up and left, still drunk, on Sunday morning, leaving another awesome weekend in another state behind me while wondering how the Buccaneers might do that afternoon back home (they got bitch slapped). I’m poorer in pocket but richer in experience and (albeit miniature) friends, and that’s what life’s about. I love everyone (especially the travelers) I met this weekend. We’re kindred spirits and good people and hopefully, one day, we’ll hear every band we love on FM Radio. Till then, we’ll bump into one another at various nondescript weekends/festivals around this country and drink, reminisce and catch up, perfectly content in our own anonymity.

See y’all next year.

Two Cow Garage – Should’ve California
Josh Small – Come Down
Drag The River – Old Sad Songs
The Takers – Curse of a Drunk
Tim Barry – Avoiding Catatonic Surrender

The plan was to take a bunch of photos but as is the norm I watched more and photoed less. The pictures I did take can be seen here and if you watch Jana Miller’s site I imagine you’ll see a lot more posted there in the coming days/weeks.

THE ROCK REPORT – DEEP BLUES FESTIVAL

It’s taken me quite some time to get around to writing this recap. Personally, I find that when writing about festivals it’s best to marinate on them for a while after they’re over. This lets the truly enjoyable moments rise to the top, and such is the case with the Deep Blues Festival.

My personal experience for this year’s festival was night and day from last. See, last year I went up to Minneapolis alone and didn’t know anyone. So as a result, it was all about the music. I saw every song by every band. This year things were different, not only did I take the wife and her friend with me, but over the past year I’d managed to become decent friends with many of the bands playing the fest. An added distraction was that the festival was in a bar this year, which not only allowed for simultaneous shows to be occurring inside as well as outside, but it also allowed a person to drink just as much as they pleased (and we did). So, while it was as much a social event as it was a music event for me this year, it was also 100% more fun. I think Chris has really struck gold by moving the festival to The Cabooze. It’s right on the light rail line with easy access to downtown restaurants and hotels and was a mighty upgrade from the field it was held in last year. Even the weather gods smiled upon this change and mostly kept the rain away. Enough about that though, let’s talk about the music a little.

Thursday night, after being up since 5:30 in the morning, we pounded a few drinks at the hotel and headed out to The Cabooze for a little Left Lane Cruiser / Radio Moscow action. We’d caught Left Lane in an empty bar here in St. Pete a few days before, so it was nice to catch them in a packed house where everyone knew all the words to all the songs. The band was obviously feeding off this energy as the show wore on, playing requests as well as a healthy selection of songs from their upcoming album. At one point during their set, Brenn (drummer) missed his drum and broke his finger on the edge of it. Instead of calling it a night, Brenn just duct taped the drumstick to his hand and soldiered on…if that ain’t rock and roll then I don’t even know what is. Unfortunately we were only able to catch 2 songs from Radio Moscow, but the early hours & excessive whiskey finally got the upper hand and we had to find a bed. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Friday morning came and some seriously cold (for a Floridian) weather came with it, so after breakfast/early lunch I sent the wife and our friend downtown to buy us some warmer clothes. All of this resulted in us getting to the festival a lot later than we’d planned, but what are you gonna do? I’m from Florida- I do heat, not cold. We got there in time to see everyone I needed to, so let’s run through some of the highlights.

One band that came highly recommended from my buddy here in Florida was Red Clay River. Their mournful country sounds were exactly what I needed on a chilly Friday afternoon. Friday was a weird day. As I’ve said before, it was cold (even for Minnesota) and my wife and her friend were drinking at an utterly freakish pace. I mean, I’m not complaining, it was just sort of weird to see her bringing me a fresh beverage while there was still 1/4 of a drink left in my current one. While reminiscing about the festival this week, my wife had this to say about Friday, “I remember at one point thinking, I’ve never been this fucked up in public before in my life and the sun is still up.” As the day wore on, we drank with Brenn from LLC, Parker from Radio Moscow, Scotty from Poopdeflex and there is cloudy recollection of there being others, but nothing concrete. One of the “must see” bands of the festival for me was Davina & the Vagabonds, and I was center stage when they got started. Davina & The Vagabonds. In a word: sexy. In a tweet: “Davina and the Vagabonds. Music you should fuck to.“ These guys (and gal) are truly an undiscovered gem hanging out in Minneapolis. Between trips to the bar, greenroom, inside stages, outside stages & BS sessions with folks, we caught bits and pieces of Smokestack, Gravelroad, Deadeye and Porkchop, before settling in at one of the outside stages to catch the last ever performance of American Relay. They rocked the stage like there was no tomorrow and our little scene will be worse off without them. After the American Relay show we managed to catch a little bit of the T-Model Ford show before we had to leave to catch the Slim Cessnas Auto Club show in St. Paul (more on that tomorrow).

A neat story. On the way home Friday night I get an email from Matthew Dean Herman (wrote about him here). Turns out, he was in Minneapolis from Anchorage, Alaska so his daughter could attend a hockey camp. He was interested in checking out DBF before he had to leave on Saturday. I send an email back telling him how cool that would be, gave him my cell number and told him where we were staying. Turns out he was staying literally 4 doors down from us. It’s a small world indeed.

Sunday morning came and the revelry of the prior day and night had a price that needed to be paid. I finally got the wife and co. up and moving and we got to DBF in time to get a few whiskey drinks in me before Poopdeflex took the stage. Now Poopdeflex had come highly recommended from fellow Ft. Wayne resident Brenn (Left Lane Cruiser) as an act that needed to be witnessed. Poopdeflex plays a version of the blues that dabbles in metal and punk as much as it does the blues, while his treatment of the crowd is planted firmly in “hostile”, dropping nuggets such as, “God damn, they make folks ugly up here is Minnesota”, “I hear there’s are really good band playing inside, maybe you fuckers should go in there and check them out…I won’t mind” & “I hate critics, and I hate fans too”. We thought it was hilarious, but the bulk of the Minnesotans failed to see the humor in it. As the day wore on I managed to match the drinking pace the wife set the night before, while she limped along. We wandered back and forth between the inside stage and the outside stages until an (at the time) unknown gem by the name of Tom VandenAvond grabbed us by the backs of our heads. He also plays in The Woodsboss, which is the band that formed in the wake of The Weary Boys…a fact (him being a member) I didn’t know until I was talking to him later in the day. Later came the highlight of the entire weekend, The Black Diamond Heavies. Anytime the Black Diamond Heavies are in the house, odds are they’re the highlight and it’s a burden they’re proud to carry. They managed to put on the typical show, which is to say it was fucking awesome. After the Heavies I gotta be honest, my night devolves into a whiskey induced haze….a byproduct of this year’s fest being as much a social event as it was a musical event, which is to say it was fucking awesome.

Sunday, instead of going to the Gospel brunch, we elected to spend our last few hours in Minneapolis sight-seeing. We had brunch at this place called the Uptown where we drank Bloody Marys in pint glasses we got to keep and ate burgers with bacon and eggs on them. All in all, while some of the evenings started to blur and the lineup wasn’t as heavyweight-studded as last year’s, it made up for that by ramping the fun level up tenfold. As we boarded the plane to come home Sunday afternoon, the wife and her friend were already making plans to return for the fest next year.

Hopefully, there will be a next year.

Next week I’ll post a photoblog of the weekend and an interview or two.

Left Lane Cruiser – Big Mama
American Relay – Bonedry
Davina and the Vagabonds – St. Michael Vs. the Devil
Red Clay River – Letters To The Sky
Tom VandenAvond – Bones
Black Diamond Heavies – Smoothe It Out

MATTHEW DEAN HERMAN – BLACKBIRD

Last month Evan Phillips from The Whipsaws reached out to me about a local (to him) musician he’d been working with that he thought I’d like.

That musician was Matthew Dean Herman, and Evan was right. Matthew emailed me soon thereafter, and after exchanging a few niceties a copy of his debut cd was Florida bound.

The day that Blackbird arrived I had to take a trip out to my parents house, which is a 40 minute drive, so I decided to take that chance to give the cd a listen. It’s now two weeks later and the cd has not come out of the stereo.  I’ve been avoiding writing about the cd since that inevitably means I have to take it out of the cd player to rip it, but other albums are in need of being listened to, so here we are…

I really don’t know too much about Matthew Dean Herman and there is little to be found about him on the internets. He’s an musician from Anchorage, Alaska who also plays with The Jack River Kings (or MDH has morphed into The Jack River Kings…I can’t really tell). Judging from his music, he’s influenced by The Drive-By Truckers and even goes as far as to name drop them in the DBT-esque track, “Soule Lake Hotel” (Hey Matt, “Bulldozers and Dirt” is one of my wife’s favorite tracks as well). Other than that I can’t tell you anything else about the man behind the music, so let’s just talk about the music itself.

The cd opens with one of its strongest tracks, “Blackbird”, a somber acoustic ballad with full band accompaniment. It’s a song about a girl whose father abuses her and the slide guitar in the song does a great job setting the mood and backing Matthew’s vocals. Following “Blackbird” is a more Southern-rock inspired track, “Southern Belle”, which also features the backing vocals of Laura Lee Bishop. The rest of the cd plays out in soundscapes between these two tracks with the only letdown (imo) being “Miryea’s Song”. I feel like an asshole for saying that because I believe the song is for an ex-girlfriend’s daughter, but it’s true.

If you’re a fan of The Whipsaws, The Drive-By Truckers, Centro-matic and music of that ilk (which you are or you wouldn’t be here), then you need to check this cd out. It’s undoubtedly Essential Listening and very well may be a ninebullets Top 10 album of the year.

Matthew Dean Herman – Black Bird
Matthew Dean Herman – Southern Belle
Matthew Dean Herman – Soule Lake Hotel

Matthew Dean Herman on myspace, Buy Blackbird

TAMPA/ST. PETE: TO DO ALL NEXT WEEK: GRAYSON CAPPS/CORY BRANAN/JON SNODGRASS/JOEY CAPE/CITRUS CIRCUIT TOUR

You know what they say, “when it rains, it pours”, and such is the case next week with three shows in four days. While I don’t expect anyone else to adhere to such a rigorous schedule I do think you could find something you like in one (or more) of these shows. If you do make it out to any, find me and we’ll tell fish tales over a beer.

WEDNESDAY 6/24 @ THE RITZ: GRAYSON CAPPS

I am so excited about this show. Honestly, I just assumed Grayson Capps would never come to Florida. BUT! Here he is and he’s bringing his full band, The Stumppknocker’s, with him.  If the sound of Southern soul mixed with back-country stomp with a little road-house blues sounds like something that might tickle your fancy, you need to get to The Ritz on Thurday night for this show.

When I last wrote about Grayson I said, “I find myself drawn to the drunks, whores and vagabonds that haunt Grayson’s songs. They’re like old friends you keep up with via letters in the mail, and with a new album comes new updates.” It’ll be nice to finally meet this motley crew of characters in person.

Grayson Capps – Going Back To The Country
Grayson Capps – Ike
Grayson Capps – Mermaid
Grayson Capps – Junior & The Old African Queen

THURSDAY 6/25 @ NEW WORLD BREWERY: CORY BRANAN, JOEY CAPE & JON SNODGRASS

The following night, Joey Cape (Ladwagon/Me First & The Gimmie Gimmies), Jon Snodgrass (Drag The River/Arm Chair Martian) and Cory Branan will be playing New World Brewery. All three of these guys have crossed paths and shared stages at various times in their careers, but this is the first time all three have played together. This tour was engineered by Jon (and booked by the fine folks at AES Presents) and, as I understand, it will mimic The Revival Tour where the artists will all share the stage. Should make for a fun show.

Cory Branan – The Prettiest Waitress in Memphis
Joey Cape – Errands
Jon Snodgrass – Brave With Strangers
Cory Branan & Jon Snodgrass – Wild One (Thin Lizzy Cover)

SATURDAY 6/27 @ NEW WORLD BREWEY: THE CITRUS CIRCUIT TOUR with LAURIS VIDAL, TRUCKSTOP COFFEE, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL & THE TAKERS

After giving the liver a brief break on Friday, the musical week plans to knock us out with a right hook powered by another all-Florida band lineup brought to us by thxmgmt. This is the second all-Florida band mini-tour thxmgmt has done this month. Like the last, the idea is to get a collection of Florida bands together who can pull within their own markets and put them all on the road together with the “home band” headlining their respective market. This time we’re getting Tampa’s own Have Gun Will Travel, Lauris Vidal (Daytona Beach), Truckstop Coffee (Lake Worth) and the latest Suburban Home Records signee, Gainesville’s own The Takers.

To say this is a must-see show is a complete understatement. Everyone in the Bay Area should know how good HGWT is at this point (and if you don’t then shame on you), and the amount of love ninebullets has shown Truckstop Coffee over the years is still pitifully inadequate. In addition, I’ll finally get to see the *much hyped* honky-tonk outfit The Takers.

This will be one of the best nights of music of the year and it’s all homegrown. In addition, it’s a Saturday night so there’s no reason not to go.

Lauris Vidal – Good Years, Dark Clouds
Truckstop Coffee -Way Down South
Have Gun Will Travel -Blessing And A Curse
The Takers – Taker Easy

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS ODDS AND ENDS:

Patterson Hood sent out an email recently that contained a lot of interesting information I thought I’d pass along:

  • Patterson’s second solo album, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs) is available for pre-order. One of the available pre-order packages includes an autographed 180 gram vinyl album, a digital download and a signed (by Wes Freed) and numbered giclée of the album artwork.
  • Summer dates are scarce but Patterson hopes to take his merry band of Screwtopians (David Barbe, Will Johnson, Scott Danbom, John Neff and Brad Morgan) on a coast to coast tour somtime later this year. (PATTERSON! YOU GUYS REMEMBER WHERE FLORIDA IS?????)
  • July 7 will see the DVD release of the Trucker’s appearance on PBS’s Austin City Limits. The DVD contains the complete show (only approx. 1/3 aired) which features on of the last ever performances of “18 Wheels Of Love”, featuring the full monologue and the sequel monologue. (I NEED A COPY OF THIS!)
  • On Sept. 7, DBT’s former label, New West Records, will be releasing The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008). The album will contain many hard to find tracks such as “George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues”, “Rebels”, “Play It All Night Long”, “TVA” and the original version of “Goode’s Field Road”. (FINAL MONEY GRAB BY NEW WEST OR LEGIT RELEASE? THE REST OF THE TRACKLIST WILL TELL)
  • And finally, sounds like the band is in the studio this month recording the as of yet untitled follow-up to Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. They hope to release it sometime in early 2010. (HOPEFULLY THE LABEL CHANGE WILL LEAVE THE BAND FEELING ENERGIZED)

Drive-By Truckers – 18 Wheels of Love
Drive-By Truckers – The Great Car Dealer War

THE ROCK REPORT: JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT @ CROWBAR, YBOR CITY (PLUS, MEET RED CORTEZ)

Last week Jason Isbell brought his version of the rock show to Tampa for the third time since his split from the Truckers. Much like the Shackshaker’s show a couple of weeks ago, I’ve seen enough Isbell shows that at this point it’s getting redundant to write the same review each time he comes to town. That said, this seemed like a good time to give the ol’ “live tweet” thing another run. Here are the results:

@autopsy4:
Isbell has started & they sound great.
@autopsy4: New drummer?
@autopsy4: Killing it. A few years ago Jason was so timid as the front man. Now, 100% confident.
@autopsy4: God damn lonely love. FUCK YES!!!!!
@autopsy4: Must be the Truckers cover segment of the show. Color me happy! Remember when the Truckers played Tampa?
@autopsy4: Surprised he’s playing Dress Blues so early.
@autopsy4: @BroStephenScott I miss the Truckers w/Jason too.
@autopsy4: We’re at the Browan’s song part of the show. He needs a new song.
@autopsy4: http://twitpic.com/4p8ug – Another club gets the love
@autopsy4: No Isbell show would be complete w/o Outfit
@autopsy4: The drunk guy in front of me thinks the words to the song are “slobber slobber slobber slob”
@autopsy4: Same drunk dude likes to tell the band how much they rock at every lull.
@autopsy4: Covering Patterson’s Killer
@autopsy4: Rather. The Assassin
@autopsy4: I need a Twitter app with customizable automatic has tags
@autopsy4: It is the witching hour. Imma bout to have to go regardless of show completion

There you go. Prior to the show I was curious how the newer, more mellow material would go over live. Honestly, I really just wanted the new songs to be over. I miss the rocking Jason…a lot. I like the new album in my car, but I’m not sure I dig it very much in a live environment.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Outfit
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Goddamn Lonely Love
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Grown

Patterson Hood – The Assassin

YOU CAN SEE MORE PICTURES FROM THE SHOW HERE

I wanna take a moment to drop some love on the opening act, Red Cortez. Maybe I go to too many shows, maybe I’m jaded or maybe I’m just a prick but I usually try to get to shows sometime after the opening act has taken the stage and I rarely pay them any mind. Red Cortez wasn’t to be any different.

Then they started playing.

I’d love to tell you I got up off my ass, ran inside and watched their entire set but that’s not how it played out. I didn’t go inside, I opted instead to watch the show through the glass doors of the club but was impressed enough to buy their EP off their web site the next day.

Red Cortez is a quartet out of California. They have an EP entitled, Hands To The Wall. While short (6 tracks) it’s as catchy as man-bear-pig flu. Musically it really reminds me of The Zutons sometimes while lyrically it’s smart and topical.

You can buy the album off the bands web site and I recommend you do.

Red Cortez – Laughing Streetcar
Red Cortez – World At Rest

TAMPA/ST. PETE: TO DO: WOODSBOSS & THOSE LEGENDARY SHACKSHAKERS

Man, it’s been a while since we had a To Do and, I ain’t gonna lie, the break has been nice. Having done one to two shows a week for a month plus, I was ready for some time off.  Now having had said time off, I need to go to a fucking show. Lucky for me and the rest of you Tampa/St. Pete-ians, we got a weekend loaded with the awesome. So let’s go through it:

Thursday @ New World: The Woodsboss

There is no shortage of people who’ve danced a shit-ton of nights away @ New World to the live blessings of The Weary Boys. Those were the kinds of nights that stories are made of. A band without a label relentlessly touring enough to build huge followings, in enough towns they could play packed houses in every state of the union. Then reality came crawling and The Weary Boys disbanded.

Wha? Why? What’s gonna? WTFingF?
Shock, rage, sadness.
Enter The Woodsboss. Which, fyi, is basically The Weary Boys minus Darren and add Brian’s wife.

So, all you Weary Boy fans needs to get your asses up off the couch and get out to New World Thursday night and we’ll dance again to the fine fine sounds of Mario, The Woodsboss and a few Weary Boys faves.

Mario Matteoli – Hard Luck Hittin’
Mario Matteoli – Sun Keeps On Beating Down

The Weary Boys – Another Song, Another Drink
The Weary Boys – Cruel Corrina
The Weary Boys – Freight Train Blues

Friday @ The Garage: Tailgunner Joe, Nervous Turkey and Those Legendary Shackshakers

Tampa/St. Pete is in an interesting time because we have an utterly ridiculous level of awesomeness in our local scene, and two of the upper crest of that scene are coming together to open for the the stupidly awesome Legendary Shackshakers.

Really, Tampa. I know you’re lazy. Fuck, I get it. We live in Florida. People who don’t live here don’t get it, but I know that the notion of a “local” band in this state is like screaming “Oral herpes at the kissing booth! Three dollars”, so let me tell you something right now: Tailgunner Joe and Nervous Turkey are each worthy of a night out on their own. Put them together and it almost becomes necessary for you fuckers (that was a ‘you fuckers’ that includes me) need to come out. Now, WTF? You include them both with Those Legendary Shackshakers and I can not think of any reason what you can’t spend 12 dollars to see guaranteed awesome from beginning to end.

Tailgunner Joe & The Earls of Slander – The Street
Tailgunner Joe & The Earls of Slander – This is Your Brain

Nervous Turkey – Strang
Nervous Turkey – Too Late For Romance

For those that don’t know, let’s talk Legendary Shackshakers live for a moment.

It’s Those Leg-en-dary muthafucking Shack Shakers. Does anything more really need to be said? Those who know, know. Those who don’t…well, what the fuck is wrong with you? Get your ass to The Garage and see what Jello Biafra called rock and roll’s best frontman, Col. J.D. Wilkes. Snot rockets will be launched, pubes will be thrown, beers will be drank and howdies will get doodied. You may hate the music but you’ll love the show, I guarantee it. It’s Iggy Pop fronting Southern Culture on the Skids. The southern gothic, rock and roll version of the Sex Pistols, but more entertaining and with more talent.

Those Legendary Shackshakers – Blood On The Bluegrass
Those Legendary Shackshakers – Piss and Vinegar
Those Legendary Shackshakers – Old Spur Line

So, I hope to bounce into a few of ya’ll this weekend. Say hey to me ’cause, despite all your efforts to make it not so, I still love you Tampa and you can insure that by buying me a drink and complementing my new hat.

KENNETH BRIAN – FALLIN' DOWN SLOW

Kenneth Brian cut his musical teeth in metal and punk bands here in Florida. About a decade ago he decided he needed a change of scenery, so he packed up his bags and left for Nashville, Tennessee.  When I first wrote about him back in 2007 he was playing Texas swing/roots country music. Well, a couple of weeks ago I noticed that Kenneth had released a new cd, Fallin’ Down Slow, so I ordered it up.

I was expecting more of the same when the cd showed up, and in one way it is. It’s still pure Texas country music coming out of Nashville, but on the other hand this is a much more mature effort than his previous releases. Tracks like “Southbound” probably couldn’t have come from Kenneth three years ago, but I’m glad they have now.

Kenneth Brian – Fallin’ Down Slow
Kenneth Brian – Southbound
Kenneth Brian – Wide Open Spaces

Kenneth Brian’s Official Site, Kenneth Brian on myspace, Buy Fallin’ Down Slow