22 May 2008

SCiSSORMEN: The Sound of The Golden Rule

As a wee lad of thirty something everytime i'd read one of his articles i'd think "gee...when I grow up I want to be Ted Drozdowski".

Ted D was writing about all the hard and raw ass Fat Possum Records artists back in the day when nobody else was or if they were they were slaggin' 'em. Buncha blues pussies. This was back in the olden days when FP was The Only Label That Matters. I lost track of Ted once FP bowed down to rock over blues but a quick Google finds him still slinging words as well as leading a raw Nashville via Boston by way of the dark haunted hill countries of Texas and Mississippi blues thing called Scissormen. A couple emails later and we got Scissormen for DBF. Ted was kind enough to set me up with the first Scissormen ep which is made up of three covers and two originals as well as a gruff and gorgeous second full album of acoustic stuff recorded in an afternoon with engineer Tom Dube, two mics and a six-pack. Ted's got a voice like a smokey, young and dirtier Minnesota Bobby D but plays guitar like a cool cross between Billy Gibbons, R.L. Burnside, and some dirty dark weird combo of any number of the early masters. His playing and arrangements are endlessly inventive,surprising, intelligent and tough and he's backed up by a drummer (did I mention he usually rocks a two-piece outfit?) that gives him space to inhale deep while still lightin' Boston brand Never-Burn-Out sulphur matches and stomping 'em into Mississippi turpentine forest fires.

But Ted's a big boy and can spiel for himself:
"I came up in punk and psychedelic rock bands, but playing the blues the way we play it means everything to me," says Ted. "This is music with teeth and guts and heart, and it rocks like hell when it's done right. And we do it right! I caught the fever from musicians like R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill, who taught me to put every bit of my heart and soul into this music. So that's what I do." "We work hard to give people who hear us live a show they'll never forget. And we work hard to keep this music kicking and moving forward, just like Jessie, Junior and R.L. did, and a handful of the best musicians from the Mississippi hills still do. We honor the past, but we're all living in the present. And so is our blues."

Hot on the heels of their Bonnaroo debut Scissormen will hit day three of The Deep Blues Festival Sunday July 20th just prior to Mr.Scott H Biram.


Jinx Breakers
When The Devil Calls
Look for a new Scissormen album soon on the VizzTone label!

Tupelo MP3
John The Revelator MP3
V-8 Ford MP3

Video for Tupelo

Ted's wife Laurie shot the pics of R.L., Kenny and Ced on the inside of R.L.s album Come On In. Ted sez: "It's backstage at the original 9:30 Club in D.C., the first night R.L. played with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. We also gave R.L. the leather jacket he's wearing in the cover shot for his birthday that year. We knew it fit him, because he would always try to "sneak" off with mine whenever we saw each other. And we ended up being in an Army/Navy store and saw the same motorcycle jacket at a really good price, so we splurged for our Mississippi papa. I love that guy! We both do."
Ted and I are the same age!

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