@ Web // Fb // Knick Knack Records
Wait...this is the same band that used to backup T-Model Ford? I'm listening to their new album The Bloody Scalp of Burt Merlin. These guys are a bunch of weirdos.
Formerly making their own north Mississippi hill country blues originals when they weren't recording and touring with Mr. Ford. Gravelroads' The Bloody Scalp of Burt Merlin is a full-on pour everything we've learned in the last ten years in to a heavy, blues-based, funky psychedlica freak-out of an album. They admit that. And I'll admit that it took me a while to get in to it. It came out in 2013 and i've had it floating around my desk since then. I don't know what my problem was. It's not like I was listening to it everyday, but when I did I was frankly...rather surprised.
GravelRoad always rocked out what they do, but this...this was like being used to listening to Hendrix with King Curtis's band, and then all of a sudden Jimi is experienced. And don't get all excited, purists. I'm not equating one with the other, but one would hardly exist now if not for the latter.
We've been witnessing the punkrockinazation of a tiny corner of blues musics for years, and GR has come out with the result. It's a beast that swagger's down low, dragging it's tail through the sap and the mud of north Mississippi on a moon-lit midnight, it's bare feet floating above the ground. It's held there by Jim Diamond's thoughtfully heavy, and sonically textured leash. It's fuzzed out lo-fi flourishes bring soul, and a '70s-aware human touch. Diamond knows his rock and how to get it, and Gravelroad is a band that brings it. From the nearly eight-minute stone-out called Space, to the nearly one-minute superpunkrevue of Med Pass, to the levee-breaking monster-stomp of Bottom Of The World, if you are a fan this album might challenge what you thought you knew about this band, but it will thrill the pants off/of new fans.
I don't know what the story is on this Burt Merlin guy, or the why and where for of his bloody scalp, or why there's a brain on the cover of the album...I assume it's all tied together...but I do know whatever it is it made Gravelroad make the best and most original album of their career thus far. Damn I love weirdos.