SAT. APR 20, 2019 – SCOTT H. BIRAM / MIKE STINSON

  • By mrsmusic40
  • January 30, 2019
  • Comments Off on SAT. APR 20, 2019 – SCOTT H. BIRAM / MIKE STINSON

SCOTT H. BIRAM

With the heart of a genuine Texas bluesman, the head (banging) of a Zappa and Lemmy disciple, and boots resting in the dust outside of town at sunrise, Scott H. Biram journeys through the harrowing human condition like no one else. A walk on the Biram side straddles the chasm between sin and redemption and The Bad Testament lands somewhere west of the Old Testament and south of an AA handbook. It’s a record of hard-grinding lost love, blues and deep, dark Americana.

Scott H. Biram conjured the words and music for The Bad Testamentduring mad alchemical sessions at his homemade studio in Austin, TX.  Through stacks of amps, spools of cable, and a prodigious collection of microphones, he spread his technical wings wide, while never losing the immediacy honed from a life on the road. He added a drum kit and rustic vocal duet to his skill set (which already includes all guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals, and percussion on the album). And strip away the one-man band eccentricity, SHB is out-writing any meeting taker on Music Row. The man writes on a razor’s edge of aggression and deftness, thoroughly contemporary but steeped in the backwaters, back porches and back alleys of our collective musical heritage.

Many in the one-man band field find their groove and stay in it, but stay in a groove too long and it becomes a rut. SHB has the groove, but never falls into a rut.  On “Set Me Free” and “Red Wine” the wandering country soul of Jimmie Rodgers and the laid-back cool of Merle Haggard ride well with SHB’s distorted punk; it’s the 2-sided jukebox hit at the honky-tonk behind the looking glass of CBGB’s. “Righteous Ways” and “Still Around,” mellower, but no less determined, sound right out of the Folkways canon. Speaking to eternities and charlatans, Biram’s freewheelin’ with an edgy take on the Newport Folk vibe. With its surprisingly melancholy organ and in the back of the pocket tattered soul, “Crippled & Crazy,” recalls The Band.  The haunting harmonica-soaked ballad “Long Old Time” is a chilling taste of existential desolation, “It’s gonna be a long old time/ before I pay for the crime that I done.” This is one lost highwayman.

Fear not, though, Biram is still The Dirty Old One Man Band. His brand of unvarnished and unhinged aggro-roots remains as exciting as ever.  “Trainwrecker” blasts down the two-laner with the breathless fervor of a redneck metal “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone.”  Try NOT singing along in the best Nordic Doom Metal voice we all carry around buried within our darker selves. He’s downright blunt on the R-rated Boomhauer TX rant “Swift Driftin’”: “It takes a real piece of shit to be a real piece of shit/ You should really just be headed on your way.” Yet the stark acoustic guitar country blues is updated and self-aware – a profane reboot of personal heroes Leadbelly and Mississippi Fred McDowell.  The instrumental “Hit the River” is a throw the devil hornsslide guitar boogie right in that sweet Biram groove. And. It. Will. Not. Let. Go.  It’s short, not-so-sweet, and leaves you panting for more.

Scott H Biram is THE one-man band.  The master of the realm. Why? Because even though he’s one man, he ain’t one thing.

Mike Stinson can write songs in his sleep….no really, check out Walking Home In The Rain from his fourth and most recent album Hell And Half Of Georgia. “Well that only happened once but yeah it’s true. I woke up with that song fully formed playing in my head. No idea where it came from.” General consensus is that Mike’s blue collar songwriting ethic earned him that freebie. That kind of ‘luck’ comes from putting in the time. Here’s a glimpse at what that time has looked like. Raised in Virginia, schooled in DC, Mike moved to Los Angeles where eighteen years made him a veteran of what he calls “the trenches of bar band warfare.” The last six years have found him based in Houston and barnstorming the roadhouses of Texas week in and week out.

Along the way he has written his very own version of the American songbook and developed an expansive live show that “has taken country and rock and boiled them down to their essence before injecting everything with the kind of ju-ju that Gram Parsons died for.” (Bill Bentley, The Morton Report) Critical acclaim has followed. Los Angeles Magazine named him Best Country Artist (2004), The Houston Press awarded him Song Of The Year (2010), Texas Music Magazine named him one of their Artists of The Year (2012) and one of their Records of The Year (2013), and The Houston Press named him Best Country Artist in each of the last two years (2014, 2015). But perhaps the more significant mark of Mike’s creative success is the respect and admiration he’s earned from a large songwriting community. His songs have been released on albums by Dwight Yoakum, Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Gilkyson, Jesse Dayton, Brian Whelan, Folk Uke (featuring Willie Nelson), Austin Hanks and Larry Bagby.

Few, if any walk, away from a Mike Stinson show unaffected by his particular slant. His songs are the thrills, chills and spills of life, filled with razor sharp word play, charm, depth, poignance and musical muscle. “Mike Stinson is dangerous, the kind of songwriter who can upend the way you see the world with a single line, and whose lean, mean rock and roll machine of a band usually starts at a Chuck Berry gallop and goes from there. They can crank it so hard, in fact, it’s entirely possible to miss all the diamond-tipped rejoinders, double entendres, aphorisms and the occasional outright burn that litter Stinson’s songs, and make him one of the wickedest lyricists around today.”

Categories: Shows

Comments are closed.

WP Dashbard --> Plugins --> hp