After a short night, we woke up with a smile on our face in the warmth of our own bed… If you remember how cold it was on friday night, we made the right decision to sleep at home… Bacon and eggs for breakfast, some play time with the dogs and we where off for day two!

Groezrock-114I was a little sad to miss out on The Interrupters, but from what I was told, they played a real good show. The first band we got to see on saturday was, just like friday, a Belgian band. Our little country is packed with talented bands and these guys are one of them. Your Highness, is not your typical Groezrock band, with their mix of metal, stoner, sludge and hardcore they do know how to throw a punch. I was amazed to see such a big crowd for these guys and especially all the young hardcore kids (not because their music is bad, but because, well… it’s a Belgian band and they don’t really play “hardcore”). They put on one hell of a show and that grooving bass really took you on a wild ride. Your Highness comes with the official “Festival Man” stamp of approval!

Groezrock-148Next up was No Turning Back. These guys from Holland have been around for over 18 years and are still on the frontlines of todays hardcore scene. With their mix of old school hardcore, punk and metal they know how to put on a party and that’s what they did. I’m not sure if they have a loyal fan base, but the tent was packed and the pit was hard. No Turning back is one of those bands that you know will be around forever, and one that will always make quality records no mater what!

Groezrock-161We had plans to go see Teenage Bottle Rockets, but we ran into some friends and decided to have a beer or two with them and talk music, photography and life in general. Hey it’s a festival! We can’t be shooting pictures and writing in notebooks all day…

Groezrock-164Frenzal Rhomb, Australian punk rock legends… What to say about these guys… Aussies are always a little exotic and so is their punk rock. Yeah sure, it sounds like every other punk rock band in the world, but then again it doesn’t! Short funny songs about drugs, drinking and having fun, yeah sounds like every other punk rock band again, but they DON’T! Jay may be a celebrity in Australia, on stage he just rocks as hard as your local drunk punk singer. For most people in the crowd it was the first time to ever see these guys and you could feel the excitement in the air. What a great show it was!

Pizza time in the press area! Shout out to the guys that made these! HELL YEAH!!! Now that’s good eating!

Groezrock-48Do you know a better way to wash away a good pizza than beer and a show? Neither do I, so we went to see Reign Supreme. This metallic hardcore band from Philadelphia is heavy as fuck and for me was one of the highlights on saturday. To be honest, I was not familiar with their songs but they blew me away, me and so many others in the Back to Basics tent. When they played a song from Integrity I thought the tent was gonna explode, it didn’t, that was a little strange, but we can’t blame the kids for not knowing all the good stuff 😉

Groezrock-183Just before the Reign Supreme show we checked Psycho 44, another Belgian band that didn’t really fit the line-up. But again the crowd was there to support them and that filled my heart with pride. Not that I really care about Belgium as a country, but the fact that people not only go for the bigger bands or international bands, is something to be proud of. With their electronic rock (cuntrock as they call it) they appeal to the mainstream and underground the same and that makes them a pretty awesome band.

Groezrock-55It may not be “cool” to run around at a hardcore show with a Raised Fist shirt (they are not underground enough you know… Sigh…) but it sure is cool to see them perform. And by the looks of it, almost everybody wanted to be cool! The tent was so packed, it became hard to move around. With their modern sounding hardcore they take the genre to a new level, maybe not new, but inviting to people who don’t really know what hardcore is. The live shows are not at a beginners level, this is full throttle, straight on, in your face madness. Alexander barks out his lyrics as a mad dog while the rest of the band tries to keep up with the energetic frontman. Great show! Would never buy a record from these guys, but GREAT SHOW!

Groezrock-76Hey Tom, what band do your really want to see at Groez?” OFF! was the only answer… If you ran into somebody who did not know who Keith Morris was, you got a free ticket to kick ’em in the nuts. Plain and simple… Keith is a legend, and not only Keith… The rest of the band payed their dues to the gods of rock’n’roll with their former bands such as Rocket From The Crypt… Some years ago I got to see Black Flag at the Muddy Roots festival in Tennessee and it sucked! Not the festival, the festival was great and I’ve being going there for 3 years (in september we’ll be on our 4th mission) but the Black Flag show to me was crap! I don’t know why, older friends, who had seen BF in their early days thought it was great, and I respect this but… For me, nah, it sucked… But OFF!, that’s how I wanted Black Flag to sound. This raw energy, this “I don’t care” attitude, this “who the hell are you” look on Keith’s face… It was one of the best shows I’ve seen EVER! I say one, I think it’s out there with my first The Goddamn Gallows show, and first Turbonegro show. I had a huge smile on my face during this entire show. And if you where at this show, I know you had to, unless you where getting your ass kicked in the pit…

AGroezrock-95fter OFF! we needed to come back down, and running into friends with beer is the best way to do so… But the party wasn’t over. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones where yet to come! I’m always up for a good ska (punk) show and the Bosstones are master and commander of the genre. It was nothing less than a dance party from start to finish! There is nothing more to tell… DANCE MONKEY DANCE!

Groezrock-100The last band for us on this second and last day was Agnostic Front. These pioneers of New York hardcore hold a special place in my hearts. Maybe because they where one of those bands that got me into hardcore, maybe because I like tradition in music (where needed). I love me a good AG show, only one thing that bugs me almost every show… the vocals… On albums I have no problem with them, but live Roger’s vocals seems to disappear after the first two letters of every word he sings. And it really bugs me… It makes the show so much, well… less good… Again with this one, the music was fantastic, great songs, great vibe, but then Roger starts to sing and I look at the sound guy like it’s his fault and it’s not… And then again, who cares, it’s a hardcore show! I just said to myself, “fuck this, just enjoy and have party”. And so it was done!

Groezrock was over for us, we had to get up early to drive to another show in the morning. Boy did we have two fun-filled days with great music, great friends and a little too much beer. Thank you to all that made Groezrock what it is today. The bands, the crews, the volunteers, the fans… THANK YOU!

See you next year…

Last saturday we had some friends over for dinner and a show afterwards… But before dinner and the show we did a little interview and made one of them play some songs for us and the rest of our guests… We had fun, and are gratefull for having awesome friends!

What really happened at the crossroads: The darker side of roots music…

Folk and roots music artists have always been singing about the devil or the darker side of our existence, we all know how Robert Johnson sold his soul at the crossroads, but in the end good always prevails over evil. Jesus is lord and God can be an asshole from time to time, but when you need him the most he’ll be there is what seems to be the general message in most of these “spiritual” songs. How you deal with this is your own personal choice.
Then there are the murder ballads, but even here the bad guy still is the bad guy and gets what he deserves in the end.

But not all artists in todays roots or folk scene walk that righteous path. As for many the devil is an inspiration to write songs, for some it is a way of life…

Chicago born Darren Deicide is one of these rare specimen. Bluesman, lindyhop dance instructor and Satanist. Darren is a warlock in the Church of Satan and spokesman for the organization. Now before you get all scared and start hiding your children in fear of them being sacrificed to the horned one down below, relax, it’s not what you think. I have been looking into Darren and he seems to be a really nice and intelligent human being walking his own path in live. And furthermore he’s a great musician! I contacted Darren to see if he was OK that I mentioned him in this article and he was more than fine with it. In the near future we’ll do an interview with him and a review of his new 7″.
At first you would think his music has nothing to do with Satan or Satanism, it’s not black metal folks… But if you really listen to it and know a little about the COS you can clearly hear what’s it all about. His music sounds dark, maybe blasphemous, but even if you don’t agree with his way of thinking, I assure you that his songs will make you dance. With nothing more than a guitar and a stomp box he’ll take you on a wild ride to hell and back (this phrase is totally justified here!).

King Dude aka T.J. Cowgill from Seattle is not your average folk musician, his music can be labeled more neo-folk than anything else, but I still think he fits this piece. “Pagan-fueled folk wrapped tight with outsider Americana” as he describes it himself is about as close it will get. He has a long history in black and death metal, but that alone is not why he’s featured here. He’s a Luciferean and very open about it.

He recently was crowned ambassador of the Greater Church of Lucifer and is very proud of this. While he was spreading wisdom and light with his music, he now also can marry people in Luciferian weddings. He recently toured Europe and as expected I could not make it to any of his shows. One day I hope to be present for one of his performances If you like dark, doomed filled folk music check out his albums and gaze into the dark abyss he creates.

Amigo The Devil, while I know nothing about Danny Kiranos’ spiritual walk of live, fits perfect in this write-up. Why you ask? Well, because where most murder ballads seem to end badly in the end for the perpetrator Danny often writes from their point of view and this makes his songs extremely dark and intense. When you listen to “The Recluse” (about Ed Gein) you can almost feel him stalking you in a dark alley before he wears your skin as a three-piece suit. Or just take a listen to “Dahmer does Hollywood”, this banjo driven song, with its amazing clever lyrics, will send shivers down your spine.

disclaimer: (the website) Old Style Music Nights is not connected to any religion, cult, church or whatever… Thank you.

The 2015 edition of the Groezrock Festival promised to be a good one, not only for the line-up of amazing bands playing this year, but also because we know that the people running this festival take care of their visitors, fans and bands alike. Just before we went on our way I went out to get gas and the car just shut down on me at the gas station. This was not a good way to start our day! After some calls I got a tow truck too where I was stranded and guess what… The batterycable came lose… I felt like such an idiot. Whatever… We got there! We checked ourself in for our press passes and dropped our gear in one of the lockers at the press tent. We are at a festival, so we set our priorities, before we do anything, “let’s have a beer!”  While sitting our ass down in the sun we noticed the dude sitting next to us, this day was going to be good, Mister Nick Oliveri was thinking the same thing we where, priorities, remember…

Groezrock-14 Toxic Shock was the first band we went to see, and that was not a bad choice. These guys from Antwerp play fast trashcore, oldschool style. After beating cancer Wally is back on the frontline to tell you how your life sucks. Jobs you don’t want to do, kids you love but don’t want to spend time with and how growing up suck… DEAL WITH IT. They played the Back to Basics stage, wich means no front, no security… A paradise for stagedivers. Maybe it was the early hour, maybe it was the fact that I have only seen them in small venue’s but the crowd was a little méh… They played their hearts out, Wally was even climbing 10 meters up in the stagesetup… Except for the people in the front the crowd did not really respond, I don’t get it, it was a great show! Their song “Monday is cancelled” got me all fired up and I was ready for a weekend of mayhem and destruction (only thing I destroyed was my liver and my wallet…)

When The Dwarves play a festival it’s always a risk, are these guys gonna fuck it all up or is it going to be great? Who remembers the 20 minute show they played in Aarschot some years ago? Nick Oliveri walked on stage full monty and the crowd loved it before they even played a note. Blag was in a great mood and was ready for a party. Did The Dwarves invent rock n roll? No! Do they play it and make it sound so much better? YES! It’s always fun to see a band interact with their fans and when Blag got into the crowd he won the hearts of all there, he did lose his mic, but that’s not his problem. I did see some girls looking at Nick, wondering and hoping if he was going to follow Blag’s example… Don’t blame them for dreaming, besides being a great bassist he got something else pretty great to the dislike of many male fans in the crowd… I mentioned this before in a previous post, but if you want your punkrock PC, stay far away from The Dwarves. But if you just want to party, get drunk and have an awesome time this is your band! If you missed them, make sure it doesn’t happen again!

After The Dwarves it was time to hang out a little, meet up with friends, have a few beers and just enjoy the atmosphere. Groezrock is one of those festivals that are great to just be there, hang, drink wander around… Getting a beer mostly ends up in a chat with a stranger, even for a few seconds… We all understand why we’re here…

Groezrock-31I HATE AUSSIES!!! They think they are the best people in the world, they think they have the prettiest girls in the world, they think they have the best BBQ in the world and they even think they have the best beer in the world! Fuck ’em! My ex-boss was one and he’s a dickhead! (I’m just kidding, I love you Mike, and most aussies…) The Smith Street Band are according to the world-wide web a folkpunk band. I did not hear any folk… What I did hear was an indie punk band that knows how to write a song. This show was pure fun, for the people in the crowd, it was a big crowd, and for the band on stage. If they got payed for every smile they had on their face they would have been millionaires. One thing did bother me, if you’re playing at the Back to Basics stage, you know there will be people on stage diving and trying to sing along in the microphone. Don’t push them away, don’t get upset about it, they buy your records and merch. Be glad they want to be there with you and make this show what it is. I really loved this show, but for some reason, the image of the singer pushing away the girl who just wanted to sing along stuck with me.

Groezrock-67The next stop was Iron Reagan from Richmond, Virginia. Oh my god, what a party this was. Trash is back, that’s for sure. Hardcore kids going crazy on trash metal? Not when I was a kid. The mood was set right from the start, stagedivers everywhere and moshpits all around. I could see Nick Oliveri standing on the side of the stage approving it all with a big grin on his face. If there is one thing I like it’s an open mind and this band is the living proof that taste is a genre crossing thing. Nobody cares if you like punk, metal or hardcore, or should not care… Iron Reagan grabbed the crowd by the back of their neck and pulled them into a hurricane of noise and chaos. It was marvelous!

Groezrock-83We had no plans to go see Broilers, but I was a little curious about how a these guys would do. I was also convinced that the only reason they got booked for the festival was to get more Germans to the festival. But while Inny was shooting pictures frontstage, I got hooked on their sound. Catchy punk’n’roll, that you just want to dance to. I loved it! If these guys where not singing in German they would be huge world-wide!

Groezrock-104If there was one band I needed to see on this first day it was Social Distortion. The hours went by and my anticipation grew stronger by the minute. Was I expecting to much? Where they going to be a big disappointment? While my adrenalin went up, the temperature dropped, it was getting really cold in the field and the folks not willing to embark on this adventure with me started to turn home or to their tents in search of some warmth. I kissed Inny goodbye for her epic journey into the frontstage to shoot pictures of Mister Mike Ness… When I was a kid I didn’t like Social D, it was not hard enough for me, but with age comes wisdom and all of a sudden it spoke to me. These are just good songs! It took them some time to start and I was not getting drunk, but when they walked on stage and those first notes got played I got an instant high. A big smile on my face and I felt like I was the only one there. It was this good. Mike’s voice sounds better with age and the sound was spot on. They played as tight as a nun’s asshole and for a moment I was king of the world… 3 songs in I had to come down because I knew Inny was going to get kicked out of the frontstage with the rest of the photographers and finding one another in this crowd sucks. She came out frozen and in pain from taking pictures all day, and as Mike I’m a gentleman so I decided it was time to head home for the night.

The dogs where waiting to keep us warm and day two was just a few hours away…

This is an interview from months ago. Remember those others we did? Now that Austin is on tour in Europe, we thought it would be perfect to release this one. Austin doesn’t appear to be a funny guy, but he is, and this interview shows that. While his songs and devotion to his music are dead serious, he can be a goofball. We had the privilege to hang out with him on his last euro tour a lot and at Muddy Roots and thus became friends. If you live in Europe and he’s doing a show in your neighbourhood, go see it and take it all in. It could change your life… Enjoy…

1. Introduce yourself to our readers please.
My name is Austin Robert Lincoln Stirling. I rarely wash my pants. I want sweet tea.

2. On what record would you have loved to play? (any style, artist, whatever)
Mine. I didn’t get to play on mine. Everyone who played on the albums were hired studio musicians and they wore my clothes, slept in my bed, used my tooth-brush and drank my sweat tea during recording as to get a feel for my life. (Not true)

3. What is the first concert that made a real impression on you and made you want to play music?
Horse the Band opened for Gwar. And I wasn’t really there to see Gwar as much as I wanted to see HTB and that was a pretty intense set that really sticks out in my mind. “God what awful ruckus” was just that btw. Other than that Andrew Bird blew my mind when I got to see him! I was amazed and always appreciated the creativity behind everything he does. Oh and I only got to see the first 3 songs in Bon Ivers set and it was hands down the most I have ever been moved by music! More intense than any metal show I’ve ever been to. Hard to explain. Just amazing.

4. Is there a musician/artist you really want to work with and why?
I’m playing with two guys that I respect musically at the moment. And that’s Henry Berger and Cris Bissell of S.S. WEB. So they are def two of them and here I am blessed enough to be doing just that.

5. How did you end up in this “roots” scene?
I don’t know how I ended up here. God moves and I try to be just a stick in the current.

6. Do you believe in aliens, and if so… What does their music sounds like?
I have a shoe box under my bed and it’s full of thoughts and opinions that I have and feel I must keep to myself. A lot of the topics and beliefs I have go into that shoebox. It’s not very big but I rarely take topics out of that box to discus. If I do, I do it discreetly and I speak pretty softly about those topics. Aliens are one of those topics in that box. But if they have music it would def sound like farts.

7. Who do you believe to be the most overrated band on the planet at this moment, and why?
All of them and non of them. That’s all relative. With that said ween makes me want to start wars and set myself in fire. But someone might dig them. So high five to them. But yeah I wish I was a dead person whenever I hear ween.

8.Just like any “scene” this one will explode in time, how do you see the future of this new “roots” movement?
Eh there’s no telling really. It seems to be getting bigger and more well known. Or it could be dying off and I’m to busy listening to Joe Huber to notice. But either way I will still have heartburn and Taylor Swift will still be selling more albums than all of us combined. And I’m ok with that.

9. What band or record do you really like, but you are a little a shamed about?
I’m not ashamed of anything I like. I openly announce that I have some crappy taste in music. I do like Fatlip or Aesop rock (the two songs I have on my iPod) I love super mellow singer songwriter stuff. Ya know the real sensitive stuff perfect to take a bubble bath to fashioned with bath beads and a luffa. And that’s mainly what I listen to. I learned that I am a calmer, gentler person day to day if I listen to softer music. So instead or crankin Ed Gene in the mornings before I’ve even had enough time to get a bagel, I’ll turn on some James Vincent mccmorrow or Gregory Allen isakov. My day is just sexy then.

10. Eating dog shit or record with Toby Keith?
Depends. If we are writing a song about how Toby can’t write a song I may be ok with that. I could take the money I make from selling my soul and buy a wallaby because I want to cuddle and watch always sunny with one and she could also carry my tv remote and guitar picks in her pouch for me and I’ll never loose them.

Doing a review for an album that your friends recorded is always hard. You want it to be good, so you don’t need to be an asshole and look for words or phrases to describe it, so it doesn’t come out that bad… In this case that was not the deal.

If you’re reading this blog you should have heard the names Liz Sloan and Jared McGovern more than once and you should have seen them on stage with one or another band in the past. And you should be aware of the musical quality these two wonderful folks have to offer.

Before I really start this review I want to take a trip down memory lane…

For those that have seen Liz when she was playing with Bob Wayne, would you have thought that she would ever sing a note? Or even more recent, her first European tour with the Broken Band… If not for her fiddle, she looked so shy, the microphone was her biggest enemy… A year later she comes back with that same band and “hey, that girl can sing” was what we where all thinking. Even if she was still in the background, her voice had this special place in the sound of the Broken Band and I knew some day it would be her time to shine, apart from her fiddle playing.

Then we have Jared, the wild man, slapping’ his bass like a maniac and screaming where screams were needed… A bass player, doing what he was supposed to do, providing a beat in a drummer-less band… Oh c’mon this guy can’t write a song or sing a tune, he’s wild, he’s a bass player, after the show you put him in his cage and feed him a banana… (this is not my opinion, this is just me writing, don’t get upset… it’s meant to be funny…)

Last year they proved us all wrong, Liz and Jared being in a relationship, provided us with an excellent debut album on which they showed the world they could stand on their own feet. And for an album that was born out of not touring, boredom and Jared learing a new instrument, it sure made an impact.

“Addicted to the Road” was a good debut record and if you have even half of a musical ear, you knew that these two had more to offer. With “Vehicle in Transit” they took that step forward. It’s a pretty traditional album, no punk, no screaming, no big anti this or that lyrics. Just pure songs, recorded with friends about life and what makes us tick.

The record opens with “75 Southbound Blues” and with just this one song they show you what the album is all about. Sing-a-long lyrics, uptempo tunes and great musicianship. Old time music played from the heart with a modern sound.

After “Something That’s Never Been Done” we get “Chocolate Easter Bunny” and it’s a damn funny song originally by Phil Hummer, about how we buy, use and throw away stuff in our modern nowadays society.

“Tennessee Moon” with Mister James Hunnicutt on backing vocals sounds like it comes straight out of them good ol’days, when country music was country music (I have no idea what I’m talking about…, it’s just a great song).

In “Walk This Earth” we get a whole lot of Liz’s beautiful voice, I’m not sure what, but there is something about her way of singing. It sounds old, not old like an elderly woman, but old in soul. It’s a love song and a damn good one. Is it cheesy? Not really, it’s lovey dovey, but c’mon, from time to time even the most hardcore badass needs a little loving and that’s just what this song provides.

When listening to this album you start to think if it’s autobiographical, “Found out about You” is one of those songs that may trigger that feeling. One can only imagine how it is to be on the road with the one you love and have little to no privacy, every step you take, every drink you drink, folks see you and talk about it… It’s a real honky-tonk song and that electric guitar takes it to a higher level.

“What Takes a Woman” throws me back a couple of years and to every day I spend with my wife… The Broken Band came over for dinner at our place and just after, Liz disappeared into our bathroom, an hour and a half later… No Liz… “C’mon girl, we need to be going, got a show to play”! Minutes later she walked into the livingroom looking all purdy and sweet. Yeah boys, that’s what they do it for. For us to shut the hell up and be like… “damn, I love that girl…” That’s what Liz does, that’s what my wife does, that’s what they all do, and we as dumb caveman love them and forgive them instantly! Oh and it’s also a good song about the difference between the sexes. I forget sometimes this is a review…

Up next we get a great swing song by the name “Ballad of Charlotte and Charlie” on wich Liz and Jared get the help from Keith Roberts from Call me Bronco. If you have been on the road as long as these two have, you make good friends and you know what’s even better than good friends? Good friends that can play great music! It’s the darkest song on the album about a man loving his wife so much that he is prepared to die for her. Fellows, if you feel like this about your girl, she’s a keeper or just a heartbreaking bitch, that’s up to y’all to figure out.

Further down the road we come to “Praying for Rain”, another country diddle that moves by slowly like an almost dried up creek, could be the one that’s mentioned in the song. The atmosphere created by the music perfectly fits the lyrical theme and you almost feel sad for the protagonist.

There’s two traditionals on the record, the first one is “Big Spike Hammer”, but it’s on “Kitchen Girl/June Apple” that our fierce pioneers go all out. Stretching it to a six-minute plus epic piece of music. Starting the song and keeping it close to how most of us know it, but when notes go by, the tempo goes up and it turns into something we would expect from The Broken Band. These are two separate songs blended into one perfect gift to the audience. A party song pur sang!

“Just Over The Horizon” brings us to the end of the album, and if the phrase, going out with a bang, ever had a meaning, it’s this song! I’m damn sure this song came into existence when they where touring with The Freeborn Brothers from Poland. The Eastern European/gypsy vibe can not be denied. And for me this was the highlight of the album, but that can be because I’m European and somewhere, deep inside, there must be some gypsy…

Some additional info: The album was recorded at Electric Eye in Pittsburgh and comes with amazing cover art by Christoph Heuer, who you should know from the Muddy Roots posters and the video he did for The Tillers. It will be released on Roots Union Records in a few weeks.

 

http://urbanpioneersmusic.com

 

I love my job! I got to interview the amazing ladies in Kountry Kittens Burlesque and Girlbrains. They are on tour with Fishgutzzz and damn they are funny (and nice and good-looking and hot and talky and chatty and lovely and all round great people! Enjoy the interview, if you can call it that, they just kept on talking… And then enjoy Girlbrains taking it to another level of weird…

Last night we payed a visit to The Pirate Farm Radio HQ for a Beagle Session on location. It turned out to be one the funniest things ever… Enjoy the interview and the live show! I know we did…

In 2011 psychobilly/rootsrockers Black Cat Bone Squad from Belgium released a split album with Crispy Jones from Germany. The album was limited to only a 100 copies for each band and BCBS sold them all real fast. I had the original album but lost it somewhere down the road. Last week BCBS decided to re-release the songs they did for the split on a ep. It’s a burned copy on a cd that looks like a record, stuck in a self-folded paper sleeve, nothing fancy… When you order it, ask Sweetboy, the bassplayer, to draw something on the sleeve for you, I know he loves doing this… I’m glad they re-released it, for a couple of reasons: the songs on this ep are so damn good, it doesn’t have the Crispy Jones songs, it’s not limited and it’s cheap as fuck!

“Crack in the Mud” is the first song and if you like to shake your ass, this song is right up your alley. A short mid-tempo roots rocker that’s driven by the rhythm section while Jumpin’ Jim lays down some sweet licks on his Gretch. Before you know it the song is over and you’re looking for the repeat button. Next up we have “Johnny Ska”. No, this is not a ska song, it’s kind of a ska song, but not a ska song, it’s a ska tribute, it’s a rootsy ska song, it’s a… Ah fuck it, it’s a SKA SONG! And then again it’s not… If it’s one thing, it’s a good song…

If you have seen our first Beagle Session you have heard the next song on this ep. “Truck Driver” was first released on the debut album, but Jo (Jumpin’ Jim) also plays this song as a solo act. In this version we get a laid-back, bluesy version of what was a straightforward rock’n’roll song. I like this one over the orignal. It’s darker, more intense, the sound of the bass in the background gives it a creepy feeling, like there is something lurking in the dark…
Next up we have “Legendary Shakin’ of the Shack” and if you know anything about roots music it shouldn’t take you more than 2 seconds to figure out what this song is all about. Yes indeed, Th’ Legendary Shack Shackers! Is it a ripoff? No! It’s the perfect tribute!
The title song, “Monsters R Go” is a great straight-up psychobilly song with one of the funniest phrases I’ve ever heard in psycho, “Your daddy is a zombie, and your mother doesn’t know”. If these guys would get some more recognition this song would be a great sing-along at live shows.

You can order the ep at their facebook page or buy it at one of their shows.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Cat-Bone-Squad

The Beagle Sessions – Vintage Vince

Some weeks ago we had Vintage Vince playing in our livingroom while on tour with Long Line Down from Denmark. Here it is, check out the interview first and then enjoy his music!

Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, Skunk Ruckus is a band that according to their webpage blends elements of old time music with punk, as so many other bands claim to do these days. I don’t care if there’s a million of these bands out there, as long as they are all as good as these guys. The punk influence is minimal, but nicely done. Even the typical old time music is minimal, well yeah, they use a washboard and banjo, but it doesn’t sound like they are trying to be this 1930’s band gone punk… Where most bands stay far away from electric guitar and bass, Skunk Ruckus embraces them to give their sound that extra kick.

An important aspect of this band and therefore this album is Mr. Jim Daddy’s vocals. Nick Cave comes to mind more then once when I hear him sing, and that’s a huge compliment.

“Billy Mac” kicks the album in first gear and takes you on a wild ride with a homicidal maniac and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Dark storytelling, creepy vibes and great musicianship. Next up is “Pretty Little Things” and here’s that Nick Cave vibe for the first time. Girls hold your men tight, dance with him and when you look into his eyes… You know you’re fucked… He’s a killer…

“The Devil Must Be Beating His Wife” is a great uptempo song that will get every crowd rocking like fools. In Belgium we say “it’s carnaval in Hell” when the sun is shining and the rain is coming down at the same time, but I like this phrase way more.

Rolling into “Darling Corey” Skunk Ruckus upholds the tempo and delivers a great version of this traditional song about love, loss and moonshine. Before you know it there’s a “Mosquito” buzzing around your head and as the real little bloodsucker this song is irritating, but that scratch after the bite can be so rewarding, doesn’t make sense, I know, just listen…

As the album moves on with “Hello” we come to “You let me Stay”, a balladesque song that once again proves that for every stupid drunk there is a girl dumb enough to take him in. Thank you girls, we try, we realy do… “Tear It Down” is also a traditional, but wrapped in a punk/rockabilly blanket with a great kazoo part that will put a huge smile on your face.

I think that “Little Margaret” can best be discribed as a gothic country song, it’s eerie, dark, building up, waiting to explode, waiting, waiting… If they could get Lonesome Wyatt to record this song with them, this would be an instant classic. Don’t get me wrong, the song is fantastic, but listening to it, I could just hear Jim and Wyatt sing this together. “Zombie Love Song” sounds like an old psychobilly song on your recordplayer at the wrong tempo. And even then it sounds cool…

By now you should have figured out that I realy like this album and I’m sure most of our readers will too. I hope they get the opportunity to show all of you what they are about and make you dance, drink and party like crazy.

Check out the album here:

http://skunkruckus.bandcamp.com

Order the album here:

https://www.facebook.com/SkunkRuckus

 

Saturday, january 17… Sprexfest… A great new festival in Belgium hosted by Mark Sprex from The Rhumba Kings. We had the drunken pleasure to sit down with Johnny and talk movies, music, beer and bro-country… This is what we could save from all that we shot…

Last week Long Line Down came from Denmark to belgium to start their tour with Vintage Vince. On a cold tuesday afternoon that same week they showed up at our doorstep to play some songs and do an interview in our livingroom. It was a great day, check the video and enjoy. For the future, keep an eye on these young guys, they are going to make it big!

https://www.facebook.com/LongLineDown?fref=ts

If you are a traditional psychobilly fan only, walk away and walk fast… All those that do not wear their ass as a hat and like some good, fast and hard-hitting tunes, gather around and enjoy this album from The Silverhounds!!!
Hailing from New Jersey this threesome have created an excellent mix between psychobilly, metal and punk. Sounds like a cliché you say? Well to bad for you then, this album rocks your grandmother’s girdle off. Only after the fifth song she will get a chance to put it back on, and maybe sensually strip down again to “Chained”, a murder ballad so campy (in a good way) that it would have been perfect for a murder scene in the movie Cry Baby (why is there no such scene in that movie?).

Before “Chained” the album blasts of with “Dying Breath”, which sets the tune with a pure heavy metal intro, and then evolves into a psychobilly stomper and so becomes the stepping stone for the rest of this album. The Misfits or Danzig are never far away, but you can not accuse these guys of ripping off. It’s something similar, but completely different, like the girl scouts and Al Qaeda.

Rolling into “Devil Inside” we get the full potential of this band, fast as the roadrunner, the bassdrum and doghouse provide a solid construction for Derek on guitar to go apeshit. Daniel’s vocals once again prove that he’s the perfect guy to sing these songs.

An important thing is the sound on this album. Even when the songs go into overdrive, the sound is still crystal clear. Many bands get lost in the chaos when doing these type of songs, The Silverhounds proudly hold their heads above the raging water and surf the sonic waves that they create. As an independent band without any label support I can only salute this. To wrap things up, if you like psychobilly, metal, punk or just have an open mind, check these guys out. Buy their albums, go see a show, put them on stage… Enjoy!

 

http://www.thesilverhounds.com/

Two weeks ago we were invited to Sprexfest in Aarschot by Pirate Farm Radio to do some interviews with the bands playing there. This is the first we did. The Blue Eyed Bandits are great guys and you even may recognize some of their members. Kurt De Bont, their washboard player/drummer, is the main force behind Rootstown bookings and Jo, on guitar and vocals is also the frontman for Black Cat Bone Squad. Last weekend I went to Germany with these guys and they sure know how to party… Enjoy…

Holy Crow!!!! That was the first thing that came to mind when this album started to make its rounds in my cd player. The Maker (also the name of the first song) blasts of in pure aggression after a minute or so intro that sets a creepy atmosphere that you would normally find on a death or black metal album. Mikey’s first words just add to this feeling and when Joe Perreze unleashes his demons seconds later you know you’re in for a wild and blasphemous ride…

Two songs in and you’re looking for things in your living room to destroy, people to hit in the face, smash things up and go ape shit! I’ve seldomly come across an album that triggers these emotions after just two songs… “This is the best Goddamn Gallows album ever!” was all I could think, and after Seven Devils I was really sceptic if they could top it.

With every song the band drags you further into their world of darkness and despair and it just feels like home. Some months ago Baby Genius told us he hates it when the band is called a roots band and with this album they make a statement that indeed that term is not one to use for The Goddamn Gallows. The instruments used on this album would indeed suggest you where going to listen to a “roots” album, but I don’t think that even their most loyal fans could have seen this curve ball coming. It’s not that their sound has changed that much, they just brought it unto an other level. The sonic assault that is The Maker just blasts your socks off…

After seven songs the band allows you your first moment to get your stuff back together and take a deep breath with the song Ol’ Dusty Trail but after that they drag you’re sweaty, blood drenched corpse back down for a second wild ride on this roller coaster from hell that is The Maker. With this album the guys have reached a new level of musical rulership and if there ever was a metal or punk festival that has the balls to put them on the same bill with your most brutal black metal or most radical punk band, The Goddamn Gallows would still come out victorious, if people would only have an open mind…

The album is released by Farmageddon Records and recorded and mixed by Andy Gibson who we know as the steel guitar player for Hank III. Joe Perreze is responsible for the great artwork.
Good news for our European readers, the boys will be touring Europe this year! We’ve had the privileges to see them live four times and if you’ve never seen GG Allin perform, this is the next best thing. You know what… Fuck GG, the Gallows RULE!

P.S. Thank you Wendi D Story for introducing me to the phrase “Holy Crow”.
P.P.S. Don’t let the ghost of GG Allin read this, I have way to much respect for the godfather of scumfucks, but this review needed to go out with a bang…

http://www.thegoddamngallows.com

http://www.farmageddonrecords.com/

Last saturday afternoon The Blue Eyed Bandits kicked off the first edition of Sprexfest. It’s a new festival in Belgium put together by Mark Sprex from The Rhumba Kings. We were asked to interview some bands for The Pirate Farm Radio show and hey, if we where gonna be there, we could easily film some shows and the interviews. This is the first one, the interviews will be next, but they need lots of editing…

 

https://www.facebook.com/theblueeyedbandits

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Pirate-Farm-Radio/1395544474001259

Jumpin’ Jim, singer and guitar player for Black Cat Bone Squad came over to our place and he played some songs. The idea was to invite touring bands into our living room, let them play some songs, do a little interview and just see what happens. But before that could take place we needed a tryout. Jo (Jumpin’ Jim is his stage name) is a longtime friend and he was happy to do it. You can see the result in the video, we know it’s not perfect, we need to do a bunch of fine tuning, but I think this one will not put us or him to shame… Enjoy…

 

P.S.: If you can help us out with a good video editing program, feel free to contact us. You will notice that at the end something went wrong, and we can use your help…

 

The boys from Poland have a new album out, and the first thing that I noticed is that they are not trying to sound like an American band. They have such an original sound, the album name discribes it perfectly and not at all. What could one expect when hearing Gypsy Hobo Trash Grass for the first time?

The album is mostly banjo and guitar driven with Niko’s steady footdrumming. Matt plays a mean ass accordion and that gives the album it’s gypsy side. So where does the hobo, grass or trash come in, you ask? Well every song is a new adventure, taking you “down to hell” on the 8th track or “Marching to your grave” on the 13th. Even if they are just a two men band, the number of instruments that go in every song makes it so exciting. And yes they pull it of live! In just one song you can see Niko switch from banjo to washboard and back without losing any soul or power.

Both guys have a great voice and know when to let the other take the lead. Some of you may find it hard the first few times to listen through the accents but for me this is one thing that makes this album even better. I don’t think it would have the same impact if they would sing in perfect English. Here is where the gypsy feel comes back in.

The record has a charming live sound, and this is not an excuse for a crappy sound. You get the feeling they are playing in your livingroom or the backseat of your car when driving. I suggest you don’t play this album in your car unless you’re a skilled driver. This is a party album… Maybe not in lyrical content, but damn sure music wise…

Here at Old Style Music Nights we had the pleasure to see these guys play live so many times and feed them a good home cooked meal while they where on the road and let me tell you, apart from being great musicians they are great people. They are trying to get to the USA in 2015 and I hope they get there. Holy crow, the crowd would love it, I can see them blow the imaginary roof of a tent at Muddy Roots, they did it once in Belgium and that’s the mini version…

You can buy the album directly from the band or you can buy it online via their bandcamp page.

http://freebornbrothers.com/

http://freebornbrothers.bandcamp.com/

I know most of you folks come here to read up on all things “roots”, but if you know me, you know I’m a hardcore and punk rock fan as well. Oh, and don’t forget about metal!

Most musicians I know that now play “roots” music (for some reason, from time to time, the roots word leaves a foul taste in my mouth) were active in punk, hardcore, metal, whatever bands… And when listening to lets say, The Calamity Cubes, I hear and feel a lot more punk, then when listening to all these so-called punk rock/metal core/whatevercore hipster good-for-nothing idiots I get to see in magazines nowadays!

As a kid I grew up listening to all things heavy, I don’t think I heard a good country song before my mid-teens. Hey, we’re from Belgium, you don’t want to know what my parents listened to…
For years and years the small town of Meerhout in Belgium has been the host for the biggest festival all things hardcore and punk rock in Europe. It grew from a small gathering with a few bands to a dangerous monster that eats you up and spits you out two days later with a huge hangover, bruises, new best friends and favorite bands! I remember my first time, 1997, my now brother-in-law Sweetboy from Black Cat Bone Squad took me. He was playing in hardcore bands for years and he was the perfect tour guide. He got me drunk, I lost a shoe, I slamdanced with a bunch of cool people to Ryker’s and I think I fell in love a couple of times with some other bands that I can’t remember.

After that first time, it took me some years to get back to the festival. I got deep into the black and death metal scene and we all know that in the nineties, it was not done to cross-over scenes… At least not where I lived. But I had my guilty pleasures, alone in my room listening to Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Disorder, Conflict, Madball… Growing up I did not care about scenes anymore and I spread my wings again and just went to see whatever I wanted!

So I returned to the festival, it changed, it changed a lot! It became popular, it became a little commercial, it was not the same. But it was still GOOD! You can’t blame the fine folks at the Groezrock office to work with big sponsors and corporate companies. This whole set up costs a lot of money… It’s not a squat show… But you can still feel the love and passion for the music. It also got a little expensive, but if you check out that line-up you forget about that in a minute. But the beer is still cheap for a festival!

When I took a look at this years line-up I giggled like a little girl. The Dwarves, Social Distortion, OFF!, Agnostic Front, Iron Reagan, Bane, Cancer Bats, Comeback Kid and about 70 more bands I think, check it for yourself in the link below. The fact that people are still complaining about why this or that band is not on the bill I can’t understand. Hey if you want to do it, do it yourself! Don’t bitch about it. What I’m trying to say here, is to keep an open mind. Enjoy the music you want to enjoy, let nobody tell you what you should listen to. That’s also the reason I book bands that I want to hear and pair them up with a band in a completely different genre…

If we are lucky we will be doing a big Groezrock 2015 report. Inny would love to shoot pictures here, and I would love to interview a couple of those bands… So folks, keep your fingers crossed, not so much for my rambling, but I really want to see those pictures (and do some interviews).

For all your Groezrock info check the link, and we’ll see you in the field, come say hello, buy us a beer and do a little dance with us.

http://www.groezrock.be/