If you have visited this blog more then once you know that most of my reviews handle the more up-tempo, wild rocking, punk side of the “roots” scene… But that doesn’t mean I don’t listen to any other music (what a fool I would be). I enjoy a wide variety of musical genres and sometimes you’re in need for this one album by which you and your girl just sit on the couch with a glass of wine, cuddle up and let it all sink in and listen to the stories. This is one of those albums… If you don’t have that special one by your side, take your dog or cat, if you don’t like wine, take a bucket of ice-cream…

We ran into Jason in Jersey City while visiting Darren Deicide and his girl Ethel, they put on the HOKUM! nights and my travel companion Jumpin’ Jim was also playing. In the little back-room of a bar in Jersey, Jason opened up to us and goddammit did he touch our souls. Just him, his guitar and THAT voice!!! You know how back in the days the troubadour went from town to town to tell stories? Jason is a modern day troubadour and you should hear his stories, because that’s what he is… A storyteller…

For this album, he gathered  a band around him and recorded a beautiful piece of “americana”. As you could have guessed from the introduction, this is not a happy album (the best stories are the sad ones), but Jason makes sure that from time to time he will put a smile on your face, just listen to “Entertain Us”. It may be a complaint about our society, but it does the trick.

Let’s talk about some of my favorites on this one…
The opening track “Two Souls”… This could be the best love song that has ever being written, it is pure and uncut beauty! Forget all those cheesy opening-dance songs you hear at every wedding, if you truly love your partner, this is the one you should dance to. I kid you not!!!
Every good record need a murder-ballad! And this record has one, and it shoots a chill down my spine every-time I listen to it. “Mary Anne”, two brothers and a whore, what could go wrong…

With the current changes in politics in America this song is as important as hops in beer. “Juan and Hector” tells the tragic story of two brothers looking for a better life. I’m a sucker for sad songs, and this is one of them. Listen to the story folks, it’s just a song, I know, but it’s life for so many people…
On a lighter note, as mentioned above, we have “Entertain Us”. But in fact this is a troubled song about the “not caring anymore because we’re all fed up” kind of living in the world. Let the media tell us what to think (siht drocer si taerg yub ti).

The album ends with “Belief” and however I don’t agree with Jason’s point of view in this song, it is a great song. So… This is an album that I’m sure you will enjoy in the right setting. “Two Souls” and “Mary Anne” are going to be making the rounds a lot here at HQ.
Jason, I hope to run into you again some day and I hope it will be in my part of the woods.

You can all listen to this album and buy it at:
https://jasonmoore.bandcamp.com/

 

Wicklow Atwater is an American band hailing from Southern California. They grew up in Atwater Village and stayed there. All childhood friends, they started playing together and still are. When listening to their music it’s clear for all to hear what these guys want to do and that is have fun and write some damn good songs. They sure as hell have succeeded this goal. 17 songs and not a dull moment, I tip my hat to that!

At first the music sounds far from original, but then again, what did you expect from yet another String Band with a punk ethos you ask? Well… These guys are not your random train-hopping kids with a banjo. These guys can play and know how to write a song! And the more you listen to this album the more all the different layers come to the surface. The vocal harmonies are excellent, every instrument lays perfect in the mix, this whole album just sounds goood!!! One of the things I like most when listening to this record is all the different genres combined into one solid sounding album. From straight-on bluegrass to gypsy folk and the jazzy “I wanna be your man”. Sometimes all in one song.

I could go over all these 17 songs but I’m not gonna do that. It’s up to you guys to find your favorite, let me tell you it’s not going to be an easy job.

Little side-note: That fiddle you hear, yep that’s Liz Sloan from the Urban Pioneers!

Clint Westwood is back with a new album named “Cult Country” and I think the name fits the album just perfect. When you just do a quick listen like most folks listen to music these days it’s nothing more then an other “alt-country” album with a twist here and there. But to the real listener, the music nerd, the folks that still buy music because they want music in their life it is so much more. I could be way of here, but one band comes to mind every-time I listen to this album and that’s WEEN. And this is a huge compliment! I’m not the biggest WEEN fan, but I do think they are musical geniuses.  Remember listening to WEEN for the first time? I know you where thinking, “do I like this, do I really like this…”And that’s the exact feeling you get when listening to this album. It’s weird, catchy, fucking awesome , in-your-face-honest, funny and so campy from time to time. And this cocktail makes one great record!

Lets talk about some of these songs. “High Horse” is the first song on the album, kicking of as a high-tempo country swinger with one of the best twists in the last verse I’ve ever heard in a song. If you get your hands on the album and don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re an idiot and should watch MTV for the rest of your nothing-worth life!

Hey stoners, here’s your new anthem for the next few months!!! “On the Ponderosa” is a nice little banjo tune that I know you’ll all sing-a-long with while blazing up (do kids still say that?). You spend a lot of time on the road in a car? Well then… Here’s your new favorite song. “Carmageddon”, a love and hate song about driving and cars.

If you know Clint you know that he’s been on the road with Ando Ehlers, this next song “Not the Ones” sounds like the love-child that came from this perverted relationship between accordion and guitar. I would adopt it, if only it was house-broken…  “Borracho       Enamorado”… That WEEN feeling is back 100% and I love it, that’s all I have to say about this song.

You know how many rock- or psychobilly bands have their own little Halloween anthem? This next one “Demon Night” may not be a Halloween song, but with the season upon us, it’s the perfect soundtrack! Dark, creepy and fun!!! Sing-a-long if you know it, and you’ll know it soon enough…
Hey Old Style Pirate Farm Crew… Here’s one for us, or maybe just for me? I don’t know, I don’t care… but “Go Home You’re Drunk” is one fun song, that I will sing to myself this weekend. Let’s skip to the day after, “Hangovers and Heartache” sounds like an old crooner but I don’t think Sinatra would have dared to bring this one live on stage, he should have, it’s one hell of a song!

Picture this: Tim Burton makes a new movie, a western, the main character is the punk on the horse from the Muddy Roots posters, you know who I’m talking about? He leads an uprising against the 1% that takes all and keeps the “people” down in the dirt. “Must be the Money”,  THIS IS THE SONG THAT GOES WITH THAT ONE SCENE WHERE EVERYONE GOES “NO MORE, TAKE IT BACK, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!” And then the bad guys win…

So… This is not an album to put on while having friends over for dinner, but it sure is one you need to listen to so you can take it all in, think about it, enjoy it and once you have done that go to his show while he’s in Europe and dance your ass off!!!

You can listen for free and buy the album online, just follow the link. It’s a perfect gift from Clint to you all, just before his European tour starts early november, so make sure you can sing-a-long with him and his band!
https://clintwestwood.bandcamp.com/album/cult-country

With his new record Darren Deicide proves that the blues sure aren’t dead. This charismatic juke joint hip cat from Jersey City provides us with a fine piece of wax that doesn’t only sounds great, but also comes in a stunning full-colour sleeve with a big-ass eight pages booklet. The release is limited to 250 copies, vinyl only, so be fast to get your greasy paws on this slap of dark infernal blues music!
darrencover

After a short spoken-word intro the first song is “Killing the Dead”, a six minute dark sounding slide guitar song driven by heavy footstomping. With this opener, from the first minute on Darren shows you what he’s all about. This is not an easy-listening, happy joy joy kinda album. It’s grim, angry and hard to put your finger on. But that makes the trip so much more interesting.
“Static” is next, and in comparison to Killing the Dead, Darren slows all the way down. His almost howling, complaining way of singing here gives the song a little extra, I don’t know what… And when the deep dark voice of Edgefield C. Johnson comes in… Just perfect…
“Devil Woman Blues” a song based on “Devil Got my Woman”by Skip James was released earlier as part of “The Harsimus Sessions” recorded live in The Harsimus Cemetery in Jersey City. Now re-recorded for the album, this acoustic serenade sounds so primitive almost ancient, but at the same time it’s a perfect sing-a-long for the dark-at-heart folks among us. When I hear this song I can’t help but wonder what a doom or sludge band would do with it, you’ll understand when you hear it for the first time.
My favorite song on this album must be “My Star Spangled Banner”. A mid-tempo eerie sounding, but fierce “anthem”. A special thank you goes out in the liner-notes to Nathan Gray from Boy Sets Fire and The Nathan Gray Collective for this song and I can only imagine why… Can you?

Over to side B.
Another re-recording from The Harsimus Sessions (which where only released as video’s) is “Dance of the Demon Rag”. A short original instrumental with a little tango feel to it, a dark tango that is…
If “My Star Spangled Banner” sounded eerie, “Throwing it all away” sounds like pure depression. But Holy Crow, does it sound GOOD!!! There are so many little details in this song, like the humming along-side the slide-guitar or the desperation in his voice when he screams “nobody cares!”. Remember that doom band thing I wrote about earlier? It’s back…
But it’s not all doom and gloom,  with “Boom Power Boogie” Darren serves us a scarce up-tempo song on this record and it does the trick perfectly even more so when the Hammond organ kicks in!
The last song on the record is a Mercyful Fate cover, yes a Mercyful Fate cover… “At The Sound Of The Demon Bell” If you want to know how it sounds or why it’s on this record I guess you just have to buy it.

Now you have read about it, now you need to get it!
Head over to http://darrendeicide.com/ to order your copy, or drop us a line at oldstylemusicnights@gmail.com if you live in Europe. We have 20 copies laying around at HQ.

Who doesn’t know The Monsters? This legendary outfit from Swiss has being making friends and enemies all over the planet since their start in 1986! This is not a new album (that’s in the making) but a re-release of the now hard to find – or way to expensive -10 inch released in 1995 on Jungle Noise Records from Germany. The tracklist is made up from the 10 inch and a bunch of 7 inch releases on other labels.

These recordings where the first without a stand-up bass and also the sound switched from  more psychobilly sounding to trashy garage punk. The song “It’s Not My Way” was even refused for a Swiss anti-war record because it was too trashy! Yep, it’s THE MONSTERS!

If you’re not a big fan of The Monsters, but you like ’em from time to time… Stay far away from this album, it’s rough, harsh and merciless! If you are a big fan of The Monsters or you just like dirty garage trash and never got your hands on the 10 inch, BUY IT NOW!!!

get it here:
http://voodoorhythm.myshopify.com/

 

If you are into garage-punk or just like dirty rock’n’roll, the Come N’ Go shouldn’t be a new band to you. If they are… You’re in for a treat. This is their fourth album on Voodoo Rhythm Records and they made it a psychedelic hardcore punk masterpiece! Hardcore punk, you ask? Well I never heard a garage band do a Bad Brains cover before… Did you?

The Swiss band didn’t hold back on the fuzz, acid and space vibes with this album and that makes it a really diverse listening experience. Opening the album with 3 fast paced headkickers, one of which is “Attitude” they slow it down with “Yona’s Blues” and keep the tempo low for the next four songs but by adding a lot of experimental, spaced-out sounds and riffs they maintain the listeners attention.

Once we get to “Lemmy” the tempo picks back up and the band goes in a feedback overdrive by the end of the song, but not before presenting what to me was the highlight of the album. Damn, what a great song!

Order your copy via Voodoo Rhythm Records:
http://www.voodoorhythm.com/

Many months ago our good friend Busa from The Pirate Farm Radio handed me some cd’s to review. They all ended up in between a bunch of other cd’s and I never got around to check them out. Until this week. And I have to say I’m an idiot for not listening to them before.

The albums all have one thing in common. They where all released by Germany’s Off Label Records. And looking through their back catalogue, they have released some damn good music going from The Dinosaur Truckers, DM Bob, Reverse Cowgirls to The Blues against Youth, Philip Bradatsch and The Dad Horse Experience.

The first album I put on was by Brazilian artist O Lendario Chucrobillyman. “The Chicken Album” is a short but frantic blues-punk ride through the Brazilian country side. Playing the viola guitar, drums and some garbage together with his raw voice sure make for a damn cool album that every low-fi dirty blues enthusiast will enjoy.

Next up was Mojo Juju & The Snake Oil Merchants from Australia. Again a band that didn’t ring a bell, so google was my best friend. Sadly this band doesn’t exists anymore. So why write about it, you ask? Because this is a real good record! The album called “Anthology” is a compilation from songs used in the German movie “Beste Freunde”and the “Selling You Salvation” album. Mojo and her Merchants take you back in history to the early 1930’s, but none of these stories are in your high school history books! Dark cabaret, swing jazz, soul… Words or genres that come to mind, but this is so much more. Mojo’s voice is one in a million with a real nostalgic feel to it and the Merchants are master and commander of their instruments. I would have loved to see this band on a stage somewhere, but i guess that’s never going to happen as Mojo Juju is now a successful solo artist. I wish her all the best and thank her for the great music!

Steve Train and his Bad Habits… Nope… Never heard of… To bad! This band from Germany plays some excellent rockabilly, rock n roll without the “I’m to cool for you, have you seen my new vintage shoes, attitude”. Their is something in their sound that really speaks to me, this dark, dangerous undertone, a thing I miss in most modern rockabilly bands. They all sound so slick and polished, not these guys. The organ that pops up from time to time sounds so fucking cool and gives the songs that extra little kick.

And while we’re at it… Our buddy Tim Herrebrugh aka Dead Cat Stimpy released his new album on Off Label Records as well! Dead Cat Stimpy is a one man band from Holland and as most of his fellow one man bands in Europe he sounds raw as fuck. Mixing garage, rock’n’roll and punk into a chaotic mess of awesomeness! The ghost of the old Beat-man is there for sure, but it’s not a rip-off. I’m sure that with this new album, called “Uneasy Grounds”, Tim will be frequent guest at wild rocking parties all over Europe!

So folk… You know now what to do… Follow the link and get yourself some new music!
http://www.offlabelrecords.de/

 

East Cameron Folkcore out of Austin, Texas left me speechless after their performance at this years Muddy Roots Festival just a couple of weeks ago. In a euphoric haze I picked up what I thought was their new album, it was not… it was their 2013 release called “For Sale”. An amazing album as well, but I don’t see the point in reviewing an older album when the band just released, what I can call, one of the best albums of 2015. So I turned to spotify to do this review, but that ended abruptly when after two songs Justin Bieber started talking to me about his new album… A lesser evil was the answer, iTunes. You can buy the cd or double LP via the links below. My order is in!

This was by far the hardest review to date. This album is so complex and versatile, it’s not just the songwriting, the lyrics or the blend of genres… This album takes you on an emotional ride with a message that is very universal. It is true that our world is changing and not for the better, they may sing about America or their own city, but on this day that the Belgian government decided that equality is no longer a right for everyone I feel their anger, fear and disgust. We are mere puppets that can be pushed around or at least that is what they want us to think, untill we can take no more, and when that day comes… WE DO FUCKING NOTHING!

I still have no idea what to call the style of music these guys play, they blend indie-folk(?) with hardcore like out-bursts, layered with strings and vocal harmonies. Now what makes this album so intense? All songs flow into each other in such a brilliant way like you’re listening to a story or watching a movie and what ever happens, you want to know what’s coming up next, it grabs you by the neck and seldom loses it’s grip.

The album is made up in four parts, Canto I: The grand illusion, Canto II: Through the Looking Glass, Canto III: The People Speak and Canto IV: Ship of Fools.

Canto I opens with “What the Thunder Said”, a spoken word piece with underlaying “ambient” sounds, strings and horns, telling us what our world today is all about. It’s not pretty, but damn… If you think about the words, they are all painfully true… The tittle track “Kingdom of Fear” follows and with this first real song the band shows you what great songs writers they are and also present you the level on which the lyrics have been written. If by now it wasn’t clear, this is not you average drinking, loving, losing and fighting album. This is a statement, a protest, maybe even a stand against todays world.

The more you listen to the album, and you have to really listen, the more you get pulled in and discover new sounds, new layers and new (hidden) messages. The footsteps at the beginning of “The Greater Fool” being one of these little things. The vocal harmonies on this song are of such a high standard and the layers just keep unfolding untill the end. This is a song of great beauty!
“Fracking Boomtown” is one of the songs that doesn’t asks it’s listener to think about it, it clear and simple. Fracking sucks! It hurts people and should not be legal! Period!

“When we get Home” with it’s almost classical like orchestration gives us the story of a soldier dreaming of coming home, and in this time of age we all know someone who was in a war that didn’t make sense, and maybe this song will help us understand their fear and uncertain thoughts on what to expect when the day comes…
I know a bunch of punk bands that wish they would have written “Protest Hero”. This song gave me goosebumps in the beginning and I had my fist up in the air at the end. It took me straight back to 1999 when we where on the street fighting police and nazi scum, raising our voice against racism and intolerance. It also remembered me of the feeling I got afterwards… “What was the fucking point? What did we gain with this, are we making a difference, are we not the same?”

Coming home to the city you grew up in or lived your whole life, seeing it all changed can be hard, and you wonder, “why?, is this what it became?” I think that when we grow older we think back and remember a false past, but that doesn’t make it less hard. “Our City” is a song that feeds this feeling, and this feeling of injustice only gets bigger when we realise we had a hand in it ourself. Absolutely one of the best songs on the album!
The more I listen to the record, the more I realise we lost our innocence a long time ago. The phrase in “Newspeak”, “Back when Orwell was sci-fi” makes it all so real…
“Into Hells Sea” picks up where “Newspeak” ended with the words “I hope you can swim” and takes us to our almost final ride filled with despair, lost love, fear and regrets… No this is not a happy record…

East Cameron Folkcore is one of those bands that deserves to be huge, but maybe never will. It will not be their fault, in a day of age where everything is cut into small pieces and fed to the masses without a critical thought needed, I hope they will never give up. There are people out there that need this music, this message to hold on, to feed and grow stronger and then rise up and say, “FUCK NO! NO MORE!” I hope this day comes soon…

https://eastcameronfolkcore.bandcamp.com/album/kingdom-of-fear
http://eastcameronfolkcore.com/folkstore.html
http://www.ghvc-shop.de/detail/east-cameron-folkcore-kingdom-of-fear

After releasing the split-album with Belgium’s Black Cat Bone Squad earlier this year the boys from Milwaukee are back with a new full album. And what an album it is… This must be their best release up to this date, opening with the haunting “Sharpen up the meat cleaver”. This slow-moving song with the chilling sharpening sound in the back sets the sound for the rest of the album. It’s going to be a dark and unsettling journey through a land of misery, filled with thugs, bad woman and alcohol…

In “One last gasp” Henry has met his match and goes all the way to the bitter end. Love can be a bitch, ey matey… What really struck me while listening to this album is how perfect the mix of the instruments is. With lots of albums the washboard is somewhere in the back or way up front, but on this one it’s just in there. Lacking a drummer and relying on just Cris as the rhythm section it still sounds fantastic. Here’s to you Brother! CHEERS!!!

With “If we ever wake” and “Smoke in the eye” it becomes crystal clear that this album is not about having a good time and drinking with your buddies. You can feel the despise for certain people, not only for who they are but for their actions. But then again it never goes to tacky name calling, it’s cryptic and I guess I love how Henry plays with words.

With “2 devils” the guys wrote another great sing-a-long (as they have done in the past) that will be a hit at future live shows. It’s catchy as hell! If you are ever in need for words to break up a relationship, listen to “A thousand ways”. If after that you still don’t know how to break the news, you’re an idiot! For the first 30 seconds of this song, going by the tittle, you would think it’s going to be a ballad or corny love song, boy was I wrong… Haha, I’m pretty sure it was their intention. Thanks for the chuckling boys…

There’s one more thing I really like about S.S. WEB’s way of writing songs. While the music is up-tempo or there is a bunch of snare picking going on, Henry’s singing is at a whole different pace and this brings a sort of calm over the songs.

While the album goes on we come to another highlight in the form of “Bring me home”. A desperate call for the end that could bring doubt to the happiest person on this planet. I guess I’ll take another feel-good pill now, thanks again guys… Sigh…

We come to a close with two extremely dark sounding and slow songs, and I love them both. “Do they” seems to be a complaint against the hypocrisy of religion (I could be wrong). While “You can’t run forever” is a straight forward murder song. It takes balls to end your album with these two, because they leave the listener in a bit of a haze and pressing the repeat button to feel more depressed it not something most people would do. (I did…)

You can buy the record at live shows and it will be for sale online soon I was told. The i-tunes date is not set yet. But make sure you get your hands on this. It’s so damn good!

Last week we got an email in our inbox from a very lovely lady named Kate, praising what we do with the website and the Beagle Sessions. Along with the praises there was a press release about a band that I never heard of. She asked me to read it and listen to the tunes if I had the time. At that moment it hit me, “oh fuck, this girl is being so nice to us, what if this band sucks? I don’t want to be the one to tell her, ah fuck me!!!!” But don’t be fooled, Kate was not just looking for a cheap way to give some crappy band some media attention. She knew what she was doing, she knew the band was good, real good, and I knew it after just one song. Thank you Kate!

The album opens with the 1930’s jazz song “I lost my gal from Memphis”. The song was originally composed by Peter De Rose, with lyrics by Charlie Tobias. Rollie and his boys give the song a small make-over with tremendous respect to the original wich ends up in a fun swinger. It puts a smile on your face and makes you want to dance with a pretty lady.

For the next song Rollie and his band slow it way down with the Charlie Patton classic “Elder Green Blues”. Where in the Patton version you hear a violin, I’m damn sure these guys used an accordion and it sounds just perfect. It adds to the sadness of the song. After the instrumental “Michigan Stomp” (an original I think) we head over to the traditional “Satan your kingdom must come down”, this song is best known in the Robert Plant version but I have to say I like this one better. It’s darker, more intense, you can feel something lurking in the dark and those minimal jazzy drum strokes combined with the controlled feedback make it one hell of a song!

We pick up the pace again with another original called “Speakeasy Rag”, it’s again an instrumental song in wich the bands shows how good they actually can play and control their instruments. Check out this video and judge for yourself. I was impressed.

After a little intermesso on organ we come to  another 1930’s popular swinger named “It ain’t right”, first recorded by Stuff Smith. Again the violin is missing like in the first recording, but what the boys do with the song makes up that feeling in a heartbeat. There’s something in Rollie’s singing style, he swallows the last letters of most words he sings, this would be something that would bother me with every other singer, but it works for him. Is it just the way he talks? I don’t know, but it sounds just right and makes this song even better. I included the video for this song at the end of the review, check it out!

“KC Moan” by the Memphis Jug Band is up next. By now I was wondering… “These guys play all covers, well most of the songs… I don’t like cover bands, I hate cover bands… Why am I doing a review for a fucking cover band?” You know why? Because they play them so good and with so much respect it doesn’t feel like it’s a cover. And they don’t play covers if you think about it, they play a song recorded before by an other artist in a time long gone. They are passing these songs on to the next generation, they are paying an homage to these old blues and jazz legends and I respect them for doing so.

The next homage is “James Alley Blues”, recorded by Richard ‘Rabbit’ Brown in New Orleans on march 11th in 1927. It was a sad song back then, it still is now. While Mister Brown’s version is very slow, Rollie and his boys go for a more up tempo version, but it doesn’t take the “sad” out and that’s how it is to be.

The last song on the record is “Done Got Old” by David “Junior” Kimbrough. It’s the youngest song on the album apart from the originals and again the band nails it. Dirty, fast blues with a country feel this time and with awesome hand-claps in the background and amazing picking by Rollie.

I would call this album a history lesson that every person who likes blues, Jazz, roots or whatever “rock” music should listen to. I got to know so many great and long forgotten songs and artists while listening to these tunes. Is it original? No! Is it good? Hell yeah! Am I going to look different now upon cover bands? NO! Fuck them! Unless they do it like this, pay homage and don’t take the easy way out.

Picture by Peter Smith


		
	
	

Some time ago I bumped into Darren Deicide while surfing the web. He instantly grabbed my attention with his music and, while looking further into him, also as a person. “This guy, now that’s something we don’t see everyday in this “roots” scene”, was what I was thinking. I got in contact with him and from one thing came the other…

Some weeks later I got his EP “Bomb This Joint” in my mailbox. This little slap of vinyl has been doing rounds on my turntable for a while now, and it gets better every time I play it. The title track is a wild footstomping piece of rhythm and blues punk that will make you wanna dance like you’re possessed by the devil himself. It sounds simple and repetitive at first, but it’s so effective. And when those hand claps come in… they just hit the spot! On the B-side we find “Hudson River Hangover” A slow-moving song with a deep impact. Darren only plays the most essential strings on this and it gives the song a dark and minimal feel. It has a certain threat coming towards you, a feeling something bad is going to happen soon… This ep, as all other ep’s, is way too short and leaves you hungry for more. So I suggest you all go to Darren’s website and order his music. You can also find him on Spotify, but please buy directly from him, we all know why…

Now enjoy the interview.
1. First things first, please tell our readers who you are, where you’re from, what you do in daily life…
I’m Darren Deicide. I reside in Jersey City, New Jersey though I’m originally from Chicago. I guess you could say that I’m a devotee of a certain thread of music tradition, that which comes from the tradition of diabolical Americana. Its influence has spanned decades and been in a constant state of evolution, and it has been great to be a part of it in any way, whether it’s playing my music, archiving music from the past, getting people to swing, or anything in-between.

2. Darren you play as a solo artist now, did you play in other bands before? Who was it, what did you play? Or have you always been a lone wolf?
I actually grew up playing piano, though I never did any public performances beyond recitals. I then picked up guitar. Like any good rebellious teen, I’ve played guitar in a slew of mediocre punk bands that mostly aren’t worth mentioning. I’ve also dabbled with other musicians, but musicians are a notoriously flakey group of people. It’s very rare when one finds a deeply creative individual who isn’t a mental basketcase, or conversely a competent, sane person who isn’t completely conventional in their approach to music. For whatever reason, the parts of a human brain where organization and expression are strongest don’t seem to wire together often. I may not be an exception to that either. So, yes, I’ve been mostly a lone wolf, however I’m starting to work more with other musicians. For example, I recently wrote a song with Nathan Gray, the lead singer of Boysetsfire, called “My Star-Spangled Banner” and I think it’s great. My crystal ball tells me that more of these types of collaborations are in the future.

3. While your 2006 album “Temptation and the Taboo, part 1” had a more “atmospheric” sound you now play a more lo-fi, primitive form of, let’s call it, “blues”. Why is this? Did you want a more head-on, confrontational sound? More like your live shows, raw and in your face?
I actually did a demo before “Temptation and the Taboo, Part 1” that was probably the most raw thing I’ve ever done, and it was pretty under-developed in retrospect. But those are the breaks when you’re exploring a musical voice. “Temptation and the Taboo, Part 1” was an early experiment in conceptualism, but I never thought it was particularly far off from my live sound. It has been a guiding ethos of mine to keep my music rather organic. Part of me, indeed, wants to replicate what I do live. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing an artist live, wanting to take their music home, and then finding out the recording is a fictionalization of what they do. It can make you feel like you bought a goose egg, and I consider it a type of false advertising. But it’s also what people who understand my music want. I hear it a lot. People come up to me and say, “Make sure you keep that rawness that you have. That’s what I like about what you’re doing. It’s real.” And while “real”, in most contexts, doesn’t mean anything, I know what they’re getting at. Double-tracked, auto-tuned vocals with ridiculously reverbed snare drum and synthetic violins seems to be the order of the day, and a lot of people are sick of the overproduction and lack of subtlety. Some people are really yearning for the physical again. They want to reacquaint themselves with fleshly experiences and their primal selves, so a lot of them are looking for more ways to unplug from this hyper-connected world. A lot of psychologists and sociologists are just starting to measure the evidence about what this constant exposure to connectivity does to our brains. Many people can’t focus or be present, they feel atomized and isolated, and then they wonder why they feel so miserable. It has been quite stark to witness, especially with younger people who come to my shows. Many have no idea what it’s like to grow up without an instant connection to the social hivemind or what it’s like to be totally immersed in the present environment of a music aesthetic without the option of outside distractions. Some are simply addicted to their phones and have no social skills. I think something about roots music is a breath of fresh air to many, and the rawness is just reflective of that.

4. If it were up to you, whom of todays artists, would you like to record a song/album with?
There is so much bubbling right now that I’m constantly surprised by something I’ve never heard before. I’m not going to presumptuously assume I’d creatively mesh with anybody. One of my favorite artists is Edgefield C. Johnston over in St. Louis. He’s an amazing poet and truly one-of-a-kind. I re-wrote an old demo song I’ve been holding on to named “Static”, and he does this great segue during it. It’ll be on the future album.

5. Is there a new full album on its way? And if so, what can we expect? Just you, or are you going to work with other people?
Yes, there is! I don’t want to burst too many bubbles yet, but let’s just say that I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to lay the foundation for it, including talking to record labels, producers, and lots of people in-between. I think every artist thinks their most recent work is their best, just because they’re more currently attached to it, but I have to say, I really think this is my best music yet. I’ve been playing a lot of these songs live, some for over a year now, but I just haven’t put them to a recording. There have been a lot of setbacks between “The Jersey Devil is Here” and today, including a serious injury I had to deal with. But I’ll be in the studio and I’ll have more news by the end of the summer.

5. Is it fair to call you a “nerd” on American music? Not being disrespectful, but you really love the history of American music don’t you?
It isn’t exactly unfair. It is true that there is nothing that moves me more than Americana. America is an inspiration. Sure, it has issues. Human beings are nasty creatures, so their foibles will always taint any society. But in some respect, a culture is a reflection of a society’s ideals, and the American revolution established many incredibly admirable ideals. Well, its culture has reflected that promise, along with the honesty and joy that is so unique to American sensibilities, whether it’s in the indulgent horn section of a swing band, the surreal landscape of the blues guitar, or the bleak tragedies of country romanticism. And the list goes on. Americana is so influential that we see other countries taking those traditions and tossing them back at us in new variations. I welcome the ante up!

6. Can I label you as a neo-traditionalist? I’m not talking about “rockabilly guys that wish they where teenagers or in their early 20’s in the 50’s, but can’t live without their Iphone”. I get the feeling you are person that takes pride in being a gentleman, somebody that takes pride in who they are, where they come from and what they are doing. Somebody that loves doing things hands on, not wait around and hopes things will “work out”… A person that takes on life as it comes and makes the best, without crying about the things that could have been.
I’ll let others be the judge of that. I’m not one to easily slap labels on myself.

7. As the host for Agent Provocateur, your online radio show, you take on everything that’s going wrong in this world. you don’t take a political stand, but you give your opinion. You say what you think and what you want. How big is the shit storm that hits you when you take on these items?
It really depends on the issue. Take for instance my analysis of Zionism. By far, out of any subject I tackled, that produced the most feedback, for and against. But the people who disagreed came out like roaches and boy, were they persistent. I titled that episode “Zionism’s Free Pass Gets Revoked”. It pointed out what a fundamentalist movement Zionism actually is and pointed out how, like any fundamentalist movement, once it gains state power, it sprouts into a totalitarian, criminal political power. That’s nothing particularly controversial. The UN and most people outside of the American-centric worldview wouldn’t be shocked. But I was bombarded with e-mails from people, and, surprise, surprise, many had personal ties with Israeli special interest. Now, take a look at the episode archive and you’ll see that some episodes later I did another entitled “Saudi Arabia’s Free Pass Gets Revoked”. Again, what I said wasn’t particularly controversial to anyone who has been paying at least a moderate amount of attention to the world beyond their navel. The structure of the analysis was essentially the same as the episode on Zionism, but instead I dissected Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia, and America’s close relationship to it. The difference in response was dramatic. I heard nothing, not a peep. Seriously, I didn’t even receive a single email or comment. Americans have deeply internalized double-standards that most aren’t questioning, with favoritism towards Zionism being an obvious one.

All moral systems are derived from political power. In that sense, might makes right. A major point of “Agent Provocateur”, besides indulging in my humorous side, is to question the legitimacy of some of those systems. This is a Satanist here, someone who has entirely rejected the notion of divine authority, the presumably greatest authority of all. Bowing to irrational pities or just accepting the face value of common narratives is not something I do easily, especially when it’s a matter of unquestioned and overly simplistic views on the world. Stupidity and hypocrisy works well for others, especially religionists and their allies, but I’ll pass.

8. You are a member, Warlock and spokesman for the Church of Satan, if so, how does this reflect on your music?
And how does this affect your personal life?
My music is a reflection of my thoughts and emotions which come from my experiences. My experiences are dictated by my life choices, and my life choices come from my approach to the world. My approach to the world comes from my ethos, which can best be described as Satanic. I assume it would work that way for any Satanist who creates art.

9. Does the fact that you are open about your affiliation with the CoS hold back your musical career in any way? And what are your feelings about this matter?
If my affiliation is something that would steer some away from my music, then Satanism is doing exactly what I want it to do, and that just tickles my underbelly. Scholarship suggests that a lot of the blues pioneers were accused of being in league with the devil during the nascent days of the blues. Most took the approach of being defensive, insisting that they were God-fearing people. A smaller minority, like Robert Johnson or Tommy Johnson, took the opposite approach and associated themselves and their art more deeply with diabolism. Count me amongst the latter.

10. Do you consider music, and more important, your music, to be a “magical” thing? (lesser or greater)
Absolutely. Just come to my show, and we’ll see if my spells have any effect on you.

11. You make your own beer I have learned, tell us more about this. Remember, we are from Belgium and have a great beer history, we are very proud of this, but I have to say, while traveling the USA the last 3 years, I did get to drink some great American micro-brewery beers. So shoot!
First, let me say that I am a huge fan of Belgium’s beer culture, and though I have never been to Belgium, I have a life-goal to eventually play there, preferably surrounded by a crew of naughty, beer-drinking Belgians. I cannot disagree with you, Belgium. Your beer is absolutely fantastic.

I’ve been brewing beer for years, long before it recently became respectable in America. It’s a passion of mine, and I’ve entered home brews in international competitions, with really great scores. It’s gotten to the point where I just brew all my beer and rarely buy beer from a store. I make exactly what I like, often with harvested ingredients from my own garden. Why settle for anything less than what you want?

A lot of art forms have overlapping aesthetic judgments. Whether it’s music informing dance, dance informing fashion, or fashion informing sound, it all cross-pollinates to create total environments. Well, I’ve always found Americana interesting in that I feel that booze and Americana have had a unique relationship. I honestly think that some songs sound like or compliment a particular libation. It’s not something that gets talked about a lot, so this theory might sound strange. I’ll give you an example. I bet any fan of Americana can tell me what the sound of moonshine is. They probably wouldn’t jump to say the Chick Webb Orchestra. That’s more of a dry martini kind of band. Even a smooth blues man like Josh White sounds a bit more like a very nicely aged bourbon. But an Appalachian bluegrass artist? Pass the jar and light the fire pit! I like to explore that overlap when I make beer or write music.

12. Can we get an exclusive? Or just some last words…
Sure. Give into temptation. It’s only your freedom.

Photo credit will be added when we get it from Darren.

http://www.darrendeicide.com

I’m sure most of our readers do not know who Philip Bradatsch is, but when I drop the name “The Dinosaur Truckers” I know heads will turn and people go… “what about them, that band is awesome!!! Are they playing near by?” Philip is the tall, skinny blond guy with the hat, playing banjo and singing most of their songs. Now you know who I’m talking about? Yeah, THAT GUY!

Philip made a solo album, and it really is a solo album. He played every instrument, wrote all the songs, did what he wanted to do and made it perfect! If, after reading this review you don’t want to buy this album, I have no idea what you’re doing here. This is not “The Dinosaur Truckers Light”, this is Philip’s album, these are his songs and his feelings.

One name came to mind when first listening to this album, Townes Van Zandt. And to be honest, it keeps coming back every time I listen to it. I’ve been playing Townes’ songs for the last week along with Philip’s to see if I’m wrong, but I’m not. He didn’t make an easy ripoff, let that be clear. It feels like Philip used an old Ouija board, summoned the ghost of Townes and asked him to write an album together. It’s this good!

By now you should know this is not a party record, far from it… These songs are to be listened to all alone, accompanied with a glass of good red wine or whisky. Alone with your thoughts, reminiscing the events that took place in your life. When I was listening to the title song “When I’m Cruel” I felt like this song was written for me personally. I can be an asshole to the one that stands closest to me and sadly she has to take the shitstorm most of the time when I feel bad. This song is like an apology to that one person I love with all my heart. I am sorry…

For the love of (whatever), please do not label this album as a singer/songwriter album, because it’s so much more than that. Just listen to a song like “Down By The Gallows”, this could be a “traditional” passed along generations on, and yet it isn’t. I do hope that musicians to come will play this song and tell stories about how they first heard this and now pay tribute to it.

Two songs after the aforementioned “When I’m Cruel” the album almost comes to an end, but not before Philip drops another emotional bomb in the form of “Mudhole”. The song tells the story of a man on the edge, ready to end his life, he doesn’t seem to have anyone else to blame but himself. The sad picking of the strings in the beginning of the song sets the mood and you feel a darkness coming. The little hope you have for the man is soon washed away and by the end you feel lost and in despair. Yes folks, songs like this are still being made and Mister Bradatsch is a craftsman.

Philip will be on tour with James Hunnicutt in Europe in June and July, make sure to go see them and buy this album. Also check out “The Dinosaur Truckers”.

https://www.reverbnation.com/philipbradatsch