23 April 2014

SCOTT H BiRAM - Nothing But Blood (2014)

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America's Sweetheart.
Scott H Biram, America's lowdown sweetheart of the punkass country/blues has returned with Nothing But Blood, his most distilled Biramness yet. It's everything his long time fans love about his work, smart, thoughtful lyrics (unless it's time to PARTY!) and it's bound to atttract new fanatics as well.

This is music for Texas-sized homewreckin' and heart-broken heartbreaking, beer ( & whiskey! )
drinkin' and hell raisin', and coming to see Jesus. The classic Biram balance of the southern sacred and country profane.

Scott Biram's guitar playing is at its most nuanced on this album, his relelntless schedule has honed his work well. No less ferocious (as needed) but more soulful. He's got a tighter grip on it. But it's always identifiable as him.

From the taut hard country blues of Slow & Easy, with its overlay of beautifully assertive yet delicate acoustic finger work, to the lonesome vet country of 'Nam Weed (a song Waylon should of had a chance to sing) and the heartbreak of Never Coming Home, to the the gently rockin' southern gospel of When I Die, Scott H Biram is a dirty Springsteen, and there ain't nothin' wrong with that. If anybody could cover the Nebraska album, it'd be this guy. Instead of Jersey songs about cars and girls, he plays Texas-American country music for meth heads and bankers, ballers and Kings. and Jesus.

Always a man with a sharp ear and keen sense for feel, ambiance, and tension, Scott Biram has grown to be a comfortable but lonely, dangerous country store of broken down shit and kickin' ass.

He has had a string of fine albums that I'd recommend to almost anyone. Nothin' But Blood continues that streak, compiling details like none previous. Shadings, darker corners, a man alone. It's truly an exceptional piece of work. Oh sure, maybe he gives you a couple three songs more than needed, but can you have enough Scott H Biram? I can't. And that's for damn sure.

We are (or you oughta be) to the point that with out question we just buy Biram's albums because it's guaranteed quality and Scott does not disappoint here. He's taken his business to another level. Subtle and lovely at times, wicked, weird and cutting where needed. He is worthy of your support ;0)

Here's a track by track rundown::

1.) The opener Slow and Easy is an album highlight. His vocal delivery while never...pretty, is tough and tight with a great sense of phrasing. It's stronger than ever here, richer, a little more refined, older. He's always been terrific at setting a mood, a tension, and that's put to good use here.

Always a master at olde-timey covers and forms, Biram's 2.) Gotta Get To Heaven is just what you think it'd be. A ball of a gospel, the kind he does so well. Acoustic acoustic country gospel that wrassles with the devil and spreads The Good News.

In fine Biram style he must follow the sacred with the profane. Track 3.) Alcohol Blues. A dirty mouthed grinding blues with a short, a tight Texas guitar solo in cowboy boots tracking mud across your clean floor. Van Halen should cover this.

Speaking of covers, 4.) Never coming home should be covered immediatly by Willie Nelson.

5.)  WHISKEY (can sleep in my bed.) Lawd have mercy!

6.) is Jack of Diamonds as interpreted by.

7.) Nam Weed. On an album of great songs, Nam Weed is a stellar stand out. I heard this song live earlier this year and it slayed me.

8.) Backdoor man is what you think it is, getting dirty with Mr. Wolf.

9.) Church Point Girls. Biram always has at least one Slayer as (fillinblank) song. This is the rockabilly version. Super rock killer.

10.) Let's go with ol' man Biram back to the foothills of somewhere south, and early in the olde timey century. He's got Trouble.

11.) Biram knows his way around his studio and thats amply apparent on Around The Bend. It's the one-man band Biram in the studio making Melvins and Slayer weep. Major party action buzz on.

12.) Lovely. A Texas thunderstorm at night, let's sit on the porch and listen to Scott sing a reverbed version of Amazing Grace in a voice I have never heard from him before, small-town, church, Elvisian. He's singing for someone and it's none of our business just who. Moving.

13.) is a cover of Son House's John The Revelator done with Mephian Austinite rockster Jesse Vain.

14.) and we close the Scott H Biram show with When I Die, another classic Biramized gospel song. He's so good at the gospel stuff, it's wicked. You'd think he had a personal relationship with it. The Man In Black said, If they ever outlaw religion, I hope there's evidence to convict me.

That's it. The run down. Go give him your money. You're welcome.

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