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

HILLSTOMP – DARKER THE NIGHT

Darker the Light

One man. Scraggly hair. An old guitar that barely stays in tune. Goggles on his head. Another man behind a drum set made of brake drums, 5 gallon buckets, cracked cymbals and a washboard hanging from his neck. See them separately and you’re forming your “I can’t give you any money” excuse. See them together and you’re looking for the hat to drop your hard earned money into as your ass tries to shakes itself free of you.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Portland, Oregon’s own Hillstomp.

Hillstomp is Deep Blues Boogie Woogie Band. They remind me of a more lighthearted version of Shake Hands With Shorty-era North Mississippi Allstars, back before the Dickinson boys started taking themselves too seriously. The blues is a genre that’s as much about celebration and release as it is about wallow and despair, and Hillstomp makes you wanna dance.

While Darker The Night doesn’t have quite the same jukejoint at 3:00 am feel as their previous releases, it’s definitely a must hear for fans of the Deep Blues Sound.

Hillstomp – Banjo Song #1
Hillstomp – Cardiac Arrest In D
Hillstomp – You Got To Move

Hillstomp’s Official Site, Hillstomp on myspace, Buy Darker The Night

NINEBULLETS.NET OCTOBER 2009 BEER/PODCAST:


Well, well, well, here it is. The first themed podcast and we decided to do the dual (collab, if you will) themes of Murder Ballads and Beer. The murder ballads came from y’all’s emails and my admittedly shit memory, while the beer came from Rogue Brewery courtesy our Portland friend Lollyrae. I hope I did okay, but I have to admit I am lacking a little confidence on this one. I think the main problem is that I wasn’t too sure how I was gonna do it before I started it, then I realized midway through that I needed to cut it off due to file size and my podcast host. That said, a couple more of these and I think I could have it down to an art…not that it matters. This bad boy is done, so let’s talk about it.

As I said, this month’s podcast features murder ballads and devil songs. I had asked for people to email me their suggestions and got enough songs that I could have done a two hour show, and that’s before I put in the songs I wanted to include. THEN, to add more time, I had all that wonderful (and some not so wonderful) beer to talk about! I’m really curious to know if y’all think it turned out very good. If I didn’t include your song, it’s probably not because I didn’t like it, I just ran out of time. Hopefully, next month we’re gonna be doing another one of these featuring Florida bands and Florida craft beers.

Y’all have a happy Halloween and check back here tomorrow for a Strawfoot giveaway. Til’ then, here is the tracklisting for this month’s show, please tell your friends and Facebook/Twitter followers about it. I’ll greatly appreciate it.

~ Autopsy IV (twitter/facebook/myspace)

October 2009 Tracklisting:

  1. Bone Thugs & Harmony – Neighborhood Slang [00.00.00]
  2. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.01.29]
  3. Violent Femmes – Country Death Song [00.03.38]
  4. Gillian Welch – Caleb Meyer [00.08.35]
  5. Bob Frank & John Murray – Bubba Rose, 1961 [00.11.32]
  6. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.14.39]
  7. The Eagles – Take The Devil [00.16.39]
  8. Jay Farrar – Devil In Disguise [00.20.26]
  9. Joan Osborne – Man In The Long Black Coat [00.24.02]
  10. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.28.52]
  11. Have Gun Will Travel – That Ol’ Death Rattle [00.30.24]
  12. Old Crow Medicine Show – My Good Gal [00.33.20]
  13. Okkervil River – Westfall [00.37.36]
  14. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.43.26]
  15. Scott H. Biram – I See The Light/What’s His Name [00.45.08]
  16. Strawfoot – Cursed Neck [00.52.15]
  17. Uncle Sinner – Shady Grove [00.56.39]
  18. Those Poor Bastards – A Bone To Pick [00.58.25]
  19. Sons of Perdition – Psalm of Retribution [00.59.33]
  20. Autopsy IV Commentary [01.03.38]
  21. Hank III – Cocaine Blues [01.05.09]
  22. Amy Lavere – Killing Him [01.08.57]
  23. Tim Barry – Dog Bumped [01.11.57]
  24. Autopsy IV Commentary [01.16.08]
  25. Chris Knight – Down The River [01.08.20]

Download this episode (right click and save)

SOANGELICATE'S ROCK REPORT: ELBOW @ CENTER STAGE, ATLANTA

I have been a huge Elbow fan for years but had never been able to get to one of their shows, so when I saw that they would be opening for Coldplay I thought 2 things: hooray for finally getting to see this band that I love, and boo for having to see them as an opener for Coldplay.  Then they announced that they were going to do a small handful of headlining shows in the US, the closest one to me being in Atlanta, and I was ecstatic.  I bought my $20 tickets, booked a hotel room and started counting the days until the show.

Suddenly 4 months had passed and we were driving past the venue looking for a parking space, eyeballing at the line of people leading from the doors of the Center Stage theater as it stretched down the street to the corner and starting to make a right angle down the block.  We were there 30 minutes before doors and there had to already be 50+ people there ahead of us, so I resigned myself right there to the fact that I was never going to get anywhere near the stage.  When the doors finally opened and we got inside the venue, I was amazed that there was hardly anyone down on the floor in front of the stage, instead people had gone the seats.  Their laziness was my gain and I took my place up at the front.  Killing time (and vodka) before the show, I chatted with the people around me.  Turns out I was not only not the only one to have traveled to the show, I had not even remotely traveled the farthest as I ended up striking up a conversation with someone from Portland who had seen them all over the country.  “See?” I told my boyfriend, “I’m not crazy.”  He simply countered that I was just not the craziEST.  Fair enough.

Right on time Guy Garvey, Elbow’s frontman, came out to introduce their opener, Jesca Hoop.  He joked that she doesn’t have a band because they weren’t going to pay for one then out came an unassuming chick with a guitar.  She reminded me of Regina Spektor with a touch more white chick soul.  Not Janis soul, maybe more like Joni- or Judy-type soul.

Finally it was time for the main act and they opened the show with a bang, or rather a blare.  Five band members with trumpets lined the front of stage and kicked off “Starlings” to a cheering crowd that had finally gotten out of their seats and filled up the floor.  The small stage in this intimate 1100 capacity venue was also full, with the 5 members of Elbow with their guitars, drums, keyboards, horns, etc, plus 2 (rather well-endowed) violinists.  Guy worked the crowd like a carnival barker, joking around and even giving props to a girl who held up a sign taking credit for a thread on their message board that praised keyboardist Craig Potter.  And there were singalongs.  Lots of them.  And I love that shit.  I love being a part of a chorus of thousands (or in this case hundreds), especially when it’s to music from a band I adore.

As we all sang along to the chorus of “On A Day Like This”, I knew that this moment in time is why we drove 7 1/2 hours for 3 1/2 hours of Elbow, and it was soooo well worth it.  Yep, this show was pretty much perfect, I even got a setlist.  Oh yes, I went full teenage fangirl for this show and I’m proud of it.  I’ve already warned the boyfriend that I fully intend to travel as far as needed to see them should they come back across the pond, and they’re so good I’d even consider still seeing them as an opener if they come back when Coldplay reschedules their Tampa show.  Maybe.

We didn’t know Elbow had a relaxed camera policy so we’d left the SLR at the hotel, so forgive the uber graininess but you can see more pix from the show here.

Elbow – On A Day Like This
Elbow – Starlings

MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON – FATHER'S DAY

This is Michael’s third album w/o his former Portland, Oregon bandmates, I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House. His first cd, A Perfect Day For A Funeral, was a toned down exceptionally personal affair, while his second, Bad Days Ahead, was more of a midway point between ICLASOB and A Perfect Day For A Funeral. The two left me wondering where Michael was gonna go with his solo career.

Lucky for me the answer was a descent back to the calmer, quieter, more introspective, personal version of Michael Dean Damron, and the result is a total home run. The problems with the equalization/mix that seemed to plague Bad Days Ahead are gone and the biting songwriting is back, giving us a beautiful blend of country, folk, blues, and rock music that highlights the more emotional side of Damron.

Among the 14 tracks there is a cover of 9b faves, Drag the River. A cover of the Thin Lizzy track “Dancing In The Moon Light” (also oft covered by Drag the River) is here, too, as well as Damron’s take on the Townes Van Zandt track “Waiting To Die”. Despite the well-rounded selection of covers, the real standouts on the album are Michael’s originals. Whether is be the sentimental title track “Fathers Day” or the get fucked attitude of “Boy With A Car”, Michael always seems to shine when he is blazing his own path. While some people seem to pine for the bombastic Southern-rock sounds of Mike’s former band, I find the solo Michael Dean Damron sound to be Essential Listening.

Michael Dean Damron – Boy With A Car
Michael Dean Damron – Waiting Around To Die
Michael Dean Damron – Dancin’ In The Moonlight

Michael Dean Damron’s Official Site, Michael Dean Damron on myspace, Buy Father’s Day