Since one day in the real world equals about one week in the internet world, there is a chance there are people finding this music scene who’ve never heard of Suburban Home Records. Despite how things played out at the end of SHR, the story of this musical scene can not be told without SHR being mentioned repeatedly. It should be. Virgil Dickerson gave a lot of bands a voice they would have struggled to achieve otherwise and brought them a fan base that was, at one point, willing to throw money at anything bearing a Suburban Home Record imprint on the case.
A little band called The Takers was the beneficiary of that built-in fan base when SHR signed on to release/distribute their debut cd, Taker Easy. Taker Easy was a jangly, modern take on outlaw country with no shortage of ‘getting drunk songs’, and I suggest you pick it up. As bands are known to do, The Takers couldn’t find a common ground and ultimately disbanded with barely a whimper outside of Florida.
Out of the ashes of The Takers, Devon Stuart and Chad Smith formed The Snakehealers. The Snakehealers possess that same spirit The Takers had, but wrap it in a more rocking sound. A sound which allows Devon to spread his wings a little more, moving out of the drinking and drugging lyrical realm and into more mature songs, a point he chooses to make himself in “Maybe It’s Mutual”, when he sings, “This ain’t a song about whiskey, this ain’t a song about losing control….” There was no doubt when he was in The Takers that Devon could pen fantastic lyrics. With a little time, he’s grown into someone who can pen fantastic songs.
I’ve had the privilege of watching this band become The Snakehealers. I was present of one of their first shows. I’ve offered my unadulterated opinion on what they were working on and I’d like to think there were moments when they took that opinion to heart, and Cure All honestly exceeded all of my expectations.
I think, if they can keep this ship together, this bigger sound will suit them better and offer them more play in their music. I think, if they can keep this ship together, nobody will miss The Takers anymore.
I think Cure All is Essential Listening.