Waking up sunday morning was hard… Real hard… All this fun, drinking, and goofing of with old and new friends was getting to me. I’m only 34, but I’m sure as hell not 16 anymore. But hey, the show has to go on! Due to the fact I was having a hard time getting trough the day there is not as much video as I wanted. My sincere apologies for this.

Viva Le Vox kicked of the party at 1 PM, but for me personally,  they deserved a spot way higher on the schedule. I mean, this is party music, and 1 PM is to early to party… I’m not saying that there where bands that had to be lower on the schedule, it’s just… Aaarrgghhh fuck it! Viva le Vox kicks ass, that’s all.

Our buddy and good friend Lou Shields was up next and he always puts a smile on my face, on and of stage. There’s just something about him. He has a new album coming up, so keep your eyes open for that one! Oh and enjoy the dancing skills Cris from S.S. WEB is demonstrating next to the stage…

Sunday was going to be a little more traditional musical wise then the previous days and with Owen Mays, Jason booked the perfect guy to serve us some old school country and Honky Tonk tunes. We had been hanging out with Owen, well Owen had been hanging out with us at our camp, and he played us some songs the days before together with Jo from Black Cat Bone Squad during a late night jam session, so we made sure not to miss his set! I remember him walking up to camp on sunday morning with a smile from ear to ear with the great news that Liz Sloan would be joining him and his boys on stage for the entire set. And what a set it was…

The Hooten Hallers!!! The FUCKING HOOTEN HALLERS!!!! Holy Crow!!! Most folks had no idea who they where, but did they make new fans and friends, yes SIR! With John on guitar, Andy on drums and Kellie on bass sax they put down a totally original sound that grabs you by the balls and makes you dance. Could we describe them as Morphine on swamp gas? Maybe we can, but there is no need to compare them to any other band, these are The Hooten Hallers, and The Hooten Hallers are The Hooten Hallers… Hooten Hallers, I just love to say Hooten Hallers…

After this I was done filming, I was tired, I needed to relax my shoulders and my back. I did get to see some more good shows. But most of the time I used sunday to hang with friends and family. We hope to see you all again next year, and some of you in a two months in the states!

Day two started with a hangover. But be honest, what did you expect? Carrie Nation dropped a bomb on us and the party didn’t stop after Beatman ended his set. We went back to camp to find a bunch of drinking buddies, artists and friends all hanging out together. So Saturday had a slow start… But after a good breakfast, some personal care taking and a first beer we where ready for round two!

S.S. WEB played their first official European show and damn… I’ve seen a bunch of guys hit a washboard, but Cris Bissell is something else! Together with Henry Berger (who we’ve seen on tour with The hangdog Hearts)  he makes a dynamic duo to which Batman and Robin look like a bunch of pussies… And thank you Uriah for saying hello to us European folks (we still love you…)

The Freeborn Brothers from Poland played their second show at Muddy Roots Europe. And they just get better and better, hobo blues trash grass? Who cares, it’s all about the party… They’ll play Muddy Roots in Cookeville this year, and let me tell you this my American friends: “Get ready, get dirty, get hot, The Freeborn Brothers will clean your soul!”

No James Hunnicutt, No Muddy Roots! Simple as that! So James was here… Who cares? WE ALL DO!!! He had some tricks up his sleeve this year. Just watch the video…

The Urban Pioneers where up next and I have to say that their sound and songs got so much more powerful now they play as a four piece band. I loved them as a duo, I loved them as a trio, but now they got that extra punch that takes their songs to a higher level. This also leaves more room for some fun on stage without losing the flow of the song. And before I forget, STAGGER IS THE MAN!!!

What to say about the Goddamn Gallows? They are a bunch of stinky, sweet, kind-hearted fellows that love to have a good time on and of stage. They are a bunch of guys that I’m proud of to know personally. Not because they are the Gallows, but because they are honest and in your face and well… They have a few good songs… 😉

Muddy Roots Europe is over for yet another year… But don’t feel sad about it, next year is not far away. And you can always come to Cookeville! If you can’t wait for any of this, most bands are still playing all over Europe as we speak…

For now you’ll have to be happy with these video’s. We start with Them Old Crap. These guys came all the way from Brazil to have a party with us. I don’t think there ever was an opening act at Muddy Roots on a friday with such a big crowd. ENJOY!

For us Dylan Walshe was up next. We missed some bands because we had friends to hug, people to talk to and have some drinks. But I’m sure you’ll like this footage of Dylan. He’s an awesome guy with a voice that can make demons cry…

Bruno Esposito a.k.a. Lone Wolf OMB, party animal, international rock star, friend and most of all a damn good musician! We have been hanging out the last couple of weeks and this guy is a handful and that’s why we love him. “Can’t talk Bruno… I’m to drunk…”

On this first day of the festival there was one band everyone was talking about. Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, expectations where high as fuck and the boys knew. What happened next was nothing less then a huge dance party. People where dancing their ass off!!! It was beautiful… I shot the first 5 minutes from the pit, so it’s a little shaky…

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…

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…

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

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/

We (my wife and I) first got in contact with Jason Galaz in 2012, or maybe 2011 when we had seen the line-up for the 2012 Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville. I told her to look at it and asked if we should go, remember we live in Belgium, and she just said, “yeah sure, why not”. She caught me by surprise there… We had been traveling a big part of the world but never went to the USA. So we started making plans… But us being Belgians we needed to know a bunch of stuff about the festival, how to get there, how to get this and that… So I started to mail Jason on Facebook and just overloaded him with questions and he always replied with useful info. I liked that! What started out as an internet Q and A transformed into a friendship and I’m proud that I can call this man a friend. He does a great job with this whole Muddy Roots thingy and by his doing I gained so much more friends from all over the world that we came across at his festivals. We have 6 Muddy Roots festivals under our belt (3 in the USA and 3 in Europe) so we are veterans! And we owe it all to this man, enjoy!

1. Introduce yourself to our readers please.
Jason Galaz, the man behind everything Muddy Roots.

2. On what record would you have loved to play? (any style, artist, whatever)
I don’t know the first thing about playing music but I’d love to be in the room while some records are being recorded. Specifically all the early country and blue stuff like Jimmie Rodgers and Charlie Patton. Same goes with Hank Williams and Led Zeppelin.

3. What is the first concert that made a real impression on you and made you want to play music?
My first concert was Suicidal Tendencies, Metallica, Fight and Candle Box.  Alice In Chains was supposed to play but due to addiction issues  they canceled. It was 1993, I was 13 and it was mayhem.  It was in San Bernardino California which is a crazy ass place. I saw people get sliced with flattened beer cans, mosh pits around make shift fire pits, and folks were taking toilet paper rolls (the big ones) out of portapotties, lighting them on fire and throwing them into the crowd.  There were cops on horse back on the perimeter. That kind of mayhem had a huge effect on me. It was my first taste of pure anarchy in a music setting and made an impact on my young mind.

4. Is there a musician/artist you really want to work with and why? 
Many of them and most of them we end up doing so one way or another. I mean there are bigger names I can’t reach like Dwight Yoakam and The Stooges but that’s because I am not wealthy.

5. How did you end up in this “roots” scene?
I had moved to Nashville from California and was looking for music that filled the hole in my soul. I needed something deeper than what I was used to.  I started listening to Dwight Yoakam more often, came across Hank 3 and then my brother passes me a free digital cd from Soda Gardocki.  That mix right there was enough to get the wheels moving. I began looking for music I could feel more and eventually ended up finding places for them to play in my area so I could experience it live.

6. Do you believe in aliens, and if so… What does their music sounds like? 
I believe in illegal aliens. In America it would sound like Conjunto music but could also be Narco Mexicano music. The first would be my music of choice. Think Muddy Roots in Mexico, that’s what it is to me. The Hank WIlliams singers south of the border.

7. Who do you believe to be the most overrated band on the planet at this moment, and why?
That changes weekly. It is whoever is #1 on the charts. I don’t hate these people though. They are the product of a massive investment. If I had a bajillion dollars I’d put my own bands up top.

8. Just like any “scene” this one will explode in time, how do you see the future of this new “roots” movement?
There is no scene. Keep the walls off the movement allows it to grow organically in any direction it needs to.

9. What band or record do you really like, but you are a little a shamed about?
I listen to a TON of shitty music. I can’t listen to “Muddy Roots” type bands all day. It’s too good for my soul. It makes me want to just hang out and drink beer. I need to keep focused on work. I find gangster rap most motivational. They are always talking about hustlin’ and stuff.  Sometimes I’ll switch to drum n bass or even old techno. The tempo keeps me working just like it would in a gym.  Oh, and if I am feeling real cray cray I will put on Die Antword. That shit is weird.

10. Eating dog shit or record with Toby Keith?
I’d absolutely record Toby Keith and make millions off him. I just wouldn’t put the Muddy Roots logo on it. Shallow people need shallow music. That’s their problem. I gots bills yo.

You can find all the info you need about Muddy Roots at:
http://www.muddyrootsrecords.com/index.php

If you have never been to a Muddy Roots event, 2015 is the year to do so. It doesn’t matter who you are, what job you have or don’t have, what the colour of your skin is or which what country you come from. At Muddy Roots we’re all family. I can honestly say that we have had to most fun on the planet at each and every one we went to and got to know the most beautiful, crazy and kindest people in the world. So what’s holding you back?

How amazing is it that as a first article on a new blog about roots music, punk rock and all other music my wife and I love with all our hearts, I get to write about Scott H. Biram, James Hunnicutt and The Freeborn Brothers. The latter may not be known that well with our readers, but I recommend you all check them out. Hailing from Poland, Niko and Matt are two of the most wonderful guys that will ever cross your path. Riding thousands of miles all over Europe to perform their own blend of hobo gypsy trash grass… Yeah, that’s what they call it, I call it, “what the fuck did they just do, that was fucking insane!” But then in a good way…

More about them later.

Last weekend Scott H. Biram came to Belgium to promote his new album “Nothin’ but Blood”. First things first, this album is way better then his previous one “bad ingredients”, but that is my opinion. Scott never really disappoints. Each of his albums has songs that go straight to your heart. Long fingernail, for me will always be his best song.

MOD in Hasselt was the place to be, it’s a semi-independent music venue that does great work to promote local talent and also has the big shows. The great thing is that they have a small room with an intimate stage for shows as these apart from the big stage.

Due to work obligations I missed the opening act Fernant Zeste, so I’m not going to talk about him. I hope he had fun and played a great set.

A Biram show for me is always linked to booze and good friends. My first Biram show was with my brother-in-law Stef Sweetboy and my good friend Jumpin’Jim, both in Black Cat Bone Squad.

I remember it vaguely, a typical Belgian Blues rock festival, Scott shocked the old guys, we loved it and kids where crying because he yelled at them for being little fuckers trying to play on stage… But that’s what I remember. I don’t think mister Biram remembers the second show I saw him play, he was just drunk, the show was not that great… This one was!

The moment I walked into the venue I was handed a beer and greeted by some of my best friends in the world and I knew that this was gonna be a good one! And hell yeah, it was! Yes, mister Biram was a little drunk, but a good kind of drunk, the kind when he let’s his demons out and wants to party with the people in the room. He played us some of his new songs like the ass kicker “Jack of Diamonds”, “Church Point Girls” and “slow and Easy”  mixing them in with older song and off course some old blues songs. Switching from acoustic to electric guitar, from slow but dark driven blues songs to almost metal songs he had the crowd with their throath from note one. Folks where dancing, drinking, singing and screaming for more. “Truck Driver”, he played Truck Driver and for us, the people who know his stuff that’s always a kick ass song to sing along to. When he played “still drunk, still crazy, still blue” he had the whole room singing along. An amazing moment… I have to be honest, I was tired from,a long day at work, and I was fulfilled when his set ended, but you know people always want more. Scott knows this aswell. So he did a few more… Those few more were fueled by the whiskey he was drinking all night and as I was still sober, well, he shouldn’t have done it… But the drunk folks loved it!

It was a great night, with great music and friends. I got me a copy of the new record at the merch and drove home listening to some Darkthrone… It just felt right…

Two days later on sunday it was time to get our asses to Aarschot, a scenic little city in Belgium. Cafe De Flater (the mistake) was the place to be. Our dear friend and PMA guru James Hunnicutt was starting his European tour there with The Freeborn Brothers. James who arrived in Belgium two days later then planned, due to airline company fuck-ups, welcomed my wife and me with a big and heartfilling James hug. It just lifts you up. It was only a month ago that we said our goodbyes at the Muddy Roots Festival in Cookeville, Tennessee, but for one reason, it’s always to long to go without a James hug.

Redcloud opened the show. I don’t know much about this guy, but he had a good voice and he sure loved Canada… James was next, even if he was the headliner. Marijn, the promoter of the show thought it was a good idea to let James play second, and I think he was right to do so. The man was tired, but thankful as always to have a stage to share his songs with an audience. What is there to tell about a James Hunnicutt show? I have never seen a Hunnicutt show that I did not like. He had me in tears at many, not this one, he had me dancing on stage with “don’t let tear drops fill your eyes”, not this one, he had me singing along with a Danzig song, he had me singing along with a Judas Priest song, he had me singing along with a Cock Sparrer song… Yep, all of these this sunday evening!!! It was just GOOD! And his new songs promise all of us a new “have to get” album.

The Freeborn Brothers where up next to end the festivities, and if you have ever seen them you know they fuck shit up! Banjo, electric guitar, drums, washboard, harmonica and two voices, all done by two guys. In this weird, mystical, religious and dirty feeling atmosphere they create you just want to dance, drink and repent your sins to the One below. I don’t care how much they sing about jesus and god, it just feels like they sing for the devil and it feels goooooood! The thick accent in their english songs give it that extra weird feeling. It’s like Dad Horse,  but without being “funny”. Pick up their new album or order it via their Facebook, you will not be disappointed. If you are, you can yell at me and call me names next time you see me.

For a first post this was it. We hope you liked it and come back for more. Wanna see more Scott H. Biram pics? Check them out here!