When talking about “roots” music most of us think American bands, and I can’t blame you. The vast majority of the bands we listen to are still hailing from the new world. But as the genre is expanding so is the origin of the bands. The European Underground Roots scene is exploding with a shitload of fantastic bands and projects as a result.
Please, allow me to be your guide and let you discover some great bands you may not know.
Let’s start with Moonshine Wagon from Spain. 3 guys, one from Brazil, yep Bufunfa who used to play with Them Old Crap now is a fulltime member of Moonshine Wagon, who clearly are influenced by old time string and folk music are making big waves in the European roots scene with their up-beat, fiddle driven take on the genre. They just released a new album called “Porca Miseria” and let me tell you, I fucking love it! Mixing it up by using their native language the album gets a little exotic from time to time and that makes it even more exciting to listen to. They are setting up a tour in America with “Pull The Trigger Bookings” and are booked to play Muddy Roots so make sure to go see them.
Let’s skip to the next artist… The Devil’s Trade from Hungaria is the solo project of David Mako who is the front-man for metal band Stereochrist. I discovered David’s music while he was opening up for The Nathan Gray Collective on their recent European tour and was blown away by his songs and talent. While playing a totally different style then Moonshine Wagon, David also makes use of his native tongue for some of his songs, and in this case it gives an extra dark dimension to his music. He released a new album this year and it has been making the rounds on my turntable at least once a week since I got it. Enjoy the video I shot of him when he played in Eindhoven earlier this year.
And order his record! It’s called google folks…
NEXT!!!! We travel to the south of Belgium for this one… The Redemption Colts are a punky bluegrass band from Arlon and guess what… They released a new album this year!!! “One Way Ticket” was recorded live at L’entrepot, a concert venue in Arlon, the guys set-up and played their songs, the result is awesome! Benoit and Romain both have an incredible voice and it pushes the music to a higher level. Check these guys out live if you can, I promise you will love them and while you’re at it… order their album! The video below I shot two years ago, for the new album click the other link…
Technically not Europe anymore… Fucking BREXIT… But Jo Carley And The Old Dry Skulls is a band that I can not leave out. Husband and wife, Tim and Jo are the solid basis for this band, and who ever they find on the road can join in. The foundation is old time string music but they mix it up with ska, gypsy and a royal topping of darkness and weirdo music… Wait for it… THEY RELEASED A NEW ALBUM!!! “Them Old Bones” is a fine piece of variation for all those that like their “roots” a little different. The video below is from their previous EP, but I love it so much! Follow the link the get the new album.
The Sad Hill Outfit… No new album! Not even a first album, but I had to put them in this list. Made up with members of Black Cat Bone Squad and The Blue Eyed Bandits, these guys are taking us back to Belgium. They are a four piece now, Bart the bass player for BRUCE, legendary Belgian punk band, took over the bass and Stef switched to banjolele. They will hit a studio soon and I can’t wait to hear the result.
And just for the hell of it I’ll put in the video I shot when Jo of The Sad Hill Outfit played with Jayke Orvis at my 35th birthday party in Sonora, California two years ago. Let’s call it the euro-americana connection… It just puts a huge smile on my face every-time I see it, so I hope it does the same for you
I’ll do this again next month. If you are in a band and want to be in this feature, shoot me a line.