08 October 2009


The members of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin's PurgAtory hill are pat mAcdonald and melaniejane. But the boss of these dark blues is pat's Lowebow Purgatory Hill Harp, built by Memphis luthier/genius John Lowe aka Johnny Lowebow. The Hill Harp through pat's hands throws down a fat bottom end and gives his sound some serious heft and whoomp, something sadly lacking in some alt-blues outfits since everyone started to eschew bass players in the late nineteen-ought-ninetys. Many of the outsider blues outfits gravitate towards the more traditional aspects of the rather untraditional North Mississippian R.L. Burnside as a totem or starting point, and PurgAtory Hill is no dear stranger to that vibe (via Iggy's NowIWannaBeYourDog which they cover/inhance), however, pat and melaniejane's sound also gets down via pat's bass heavy hillharp/wood stompbox combo and melaniejane's Jessie Mae Hemphill church/picnic tambourine, which rolls them closer, sonically, to the fatass club bangin' grooves of Fat Possum Records R.L. Burnside re-mixes (that drove the blues purists out of their trad/precious antique lovin' gourds). PurgAtory Hill hunches between hard roots and being ripe for it's own re-mixes. But we are talking sonics here folks. As utterly badAss as PurgAtory Hill is in so many ways, I still miss what it would sound like with the addition of a real kickin' drummer. Lyrically/vocally mAcdonald bears a kinship of stylistic tone to Jim White though in a blues/short paragraph sort of way. Where White is Pensacola,FL via NYC, pat mAcdonald is Wisonsin via Austin back to Wisconsin's forests by way of North Mississippi's. pa t is a deep cat who, with trusty sidekick melaniejane, mixes American roots music (which can has a unique sexyness in it's own self) with plenty of open smarts / weirdness / religion & hunchin'.
The fire on PurgAtory Hill will get you through the winter.

PurgAtory Hill is Available Exclusively from PurgAtory Hill

pat mAcdonald @ FaceBook
melaniejane @ MySpace
PurgAtory Hill @ MySpace
PurgAtory Hill @ Twitter

PurgAtory Hill- Blues of Sin/BabyLove

PurgAtory Hill- Reset Me Lord

PurgAtory Hill- 42 Blues

PurgAtory Hill- PurgAtory Risin'

PS- Check out one of pat and melaniejane's other loves: Steelbridge Songfest!
PPS- and don't fergit the amazing Holliday Music Motel!

No comments: