Frank Gutch Jr: Angharad Drake Plays the Corner Lounge; Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers’ J.D, Wilkes Circa 2008 (But Still Oh So Relevant); and Notes You Won’t Be Able to Get Out of Your Head…

Tomorrow night, Nanaimo, it all goes down.  The very first Canadian performance of Australia’s folk-rockin’ Angharad Drake, and boy do I wish I could be there.  Drake has been bending ears down in Oz for the past few years and is slowly developing a following as loyal as anywhere on the musical scene.  No SXSWs or Bonnaroos for her.  She is working her way up from unknown, but those will be part of her circuit next time around.

I liken her to Joni Mitchell but not regarding sound as much as songwriting maturity.  Her songs vary from light teen angst to pop rock to works more composition than song.  She has the ability to make you dance, float away, or ponder and all on her own terms.  So if you happen to be anywhere near Vancouver Island this Wednesday, June 14th, I suggest you stop by the Corner Lounge in Nanaimo and give Drake a listen.  Here is something you might well hear…

If you can’t make the Nanaimo gig, you will have at least two more chances to see her.  On June 23rd she will play Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House (450 Granville Street) in Vancouver.  The next night, the 24th, she will be at the Heatley House, also in Vancouver.  For those who attend any of these shows, be assured that you are catching the beginnings of what will be in the future a storied career.

Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers— Speaking of Storied Careers

The Shack Shakers had been around for awhile when I came across them back in 2008.  While I had not heard of them, a friend in Charleston SC began singing their praises and the singing got louder and louder until I could ignore him no more.  Evidently, Ben had backtracked in their catalog and discovered a rockabilly-oriented masterpiece titled Cockadoodledon’t and, bein’s how it was a masterpiece and all, forced Ben to catch the band when they came through town.  I can’t remember Ben’s actual words but they were something like boffo and fantastic with a lot of exclamation points behind them.  At that time, I was writing for the Southland site and passed it by them and next thing I know, I’ve got an interview scheduled.  With a band I’d not heard.  With four guys I thought might be crazy as loons (judging from the videos I had seen and articles I had read).  I mean, they were, after all, Southerners, as far as I knew.  They were on the road, it seemed, and they would have to do the interview driving to Austin where they would play SXSW.  That is where I caught them— between here and there— taking turns driving.  The life of a musician is not all bread and roses, I would soon find out.  Set your wayback machines to March 7, 2008, where we will talk with J.D. Wilkes, the head shaker himself.

Please try to understand.  The band was in the middle of a grueling nonstop drive from the east coast to Austin and while I thought I was prepared, I was not.  Thankfully, Wilkes knew that and had been through it many times before.  He were the kind uncle walking the kid through the forest, and what a forest it was!

Q:       What’s this whole thing about Southern Gothic I hear every time I ask someone about you guys?  I’m a Northerner and I’m not sure we get it at all.

JD:      There is actually a broader term, American Gothic.  You know the Grantwood painting?  Well, it’s more than a painting.  It’s a dramatic flavor, Southern Gothic as a microcosm of the American Gothic— struggle which eventually reveals a beauty and character, just like anything in life, no matter where you are in the world,  It should be a universal theme.  Any time you have something to overcome and you make it through, there is beauty, there is art, there is music and accomplishment.  Those are the things we like to celebrate.  But there is devil in the details and many times those details are fascinating to dwell upon, to take a closer look at.  That is where the lyrical content comes in, that’s where the stage performance comes in, and all of the microscopic details which add up to this unfolding, grands thematic presentation.

The Southern Gothic is all counter to the original Goth thing in which the kids dress up in stripey clothes and everything reflects Beetlejuice.  That’s a cartoonish version of something like a medieval fantasy.  That is not what we are.  What that is based upon, originally, is that there is beauty to be found in the grotesque, beauty in the dark and disturbing.  That is kind of what the Southern Gothic thing is.  Rather than it being Frankenstein and werewolves, it is slavery and inequity and hellfire-and-brimstone religion.  Out of some of those edgy and dark experiences grows something great and wondrous and worthy of celebrating.

Q:       How important is religion to your vision of the Southern Gothic?

JD:      It is party and parcel to it.  It is one of the many hardcore expressions that the Southern experience has given rise to.  It is sort of a pressure valve on the steam cooker of Dixie.  It is one of the many ways an exorcism of demons has been able to occur.  Like I said, the devil is in the details.  It’s all of the dogmatic and theatrical elements that make up Southern-fried charismatic religion that makes it interesting and even tantalizing and alluring, or they wouldn’t have all those crazy preacher characters in the movies— horror movies and science fiction and even in straight-forward mainstream dramas.  The silver-tongued charlatan is a trickster archetype for a million years.  It has always been with us.

These sorts of things should be commonplace.  They should not be alienating or even alien to the Northerner.  Because it is the human experience.  It is just the Southern take on it.  Like blackened chicken is just the Cajun’s way of eating chicken, but we all know what chicken tastes like.

Q:       But at the same time, the view of the Northerner is much more mainstream, wouldn’t you say?

JD:      Not necessarily, because rock ‘n’ roll came out of the South.

Q:       Okay, I will give you the music, but I’m talking about the overall view.  What you purport the Southern Gothic to be to us is more along the lines of the One Step Beyond episode where the guy who lives in the swamp has the jar of wherewithal that people come for miles just to see.  The Northerners look at what you’re saying, the details— the details we see are bizarre details and we end up looking at the Southern Gothic as the bizarre.  You, evidently, do not.

JD:      No, I look upon it as fascinating.  And I don’t think it is so much North vs. South as it is rural vs. urban.  I mean, there are parts of Pennsylvania they call Pennsyltucky.  In parts of Pennsylvania, they say it’s New York on the east, L.A. on the west, and Alabama up the middle.  Much of New England is rural.  Much of the Midwest and the Wild West have more in common with the Bible Belt than Hollyweird.  It is the mainstream, plastic, streamlined take on culture, or lack thereof, that everyone is being cursed with nowadays.  To me, it’s our collective American heritage, our history.  It is far more grizzly and interesting.  I mean, if we just took a look at our own family tree.  I think whether you want to focus on it or not— whether or not one wants to be reminded of their mortality— whether or not one wants to be reminded of the grand scheme of things…  It makes people uncomfortable because it puts people outside of the mainstream.  Then, we’re no longer the center of our own universe.  We think there is a boogeyman out there waiting to get us.  So it runs counter to the new age and new world order way of seeing things.  You know.  The Hollywood plastic cyber-reality.  That is the thing that is false.

Q:       But that’s the overwhelming dominant thing in the North.

JD:      I don’t think it’s the dominating thing in the North.  It might be the dominating thing in urban environments, but the North has a lot in common with the South once you get outside the city limits.

Q:       Then let’s draw that as a definition.  But the urban view pretty much dominates, at least in terms of the media, does it not?

JD:      Absolutely.  And if all people do is watch TV and get all of their information direct off the wire, they will be rudely awakened when the wolf comes knocking at their door.

Q:       Which seems to be an underlying theme in a lot of your music.  A lot of the sites which post Shack Shaker articles seem to think that you look at the world as doomed.  Is that correct?

JD:      It is kind of fatalistic.   It is kind of my way of seeing things.  What you’re seeing is… it’s like a cyber-serfdom that we labor under now.  Everything is sort of connected to this global village on the Internet with Madison Avenue and Hollywood controlling all of this information.  They are really turning everyone who buys it into cyborgs who do their duty by shopping at the mall and going to mega-churches and fitting into this glitzy, streamlined, plastic reality.  I think we’re all in danger if we don’t break out of that, but I don’t know how one could without a cataclysmic event disrupting things.

Q:       You don’t see the Internet as helping?

JD:      I think we have all the information in the world but none of the wisdom to apply it.  The Counterculture was more of a media-led youth movement that lured us down this materialistic road to ruin.  It was an iconoclastic revolution that threw the baby out with the bathwater— threw the baby out along with all of the institutions and building blocks needed to maintain society— the church, the university system and the like.  It used television and emerging electronic media outlets as a tool for mass mind control.  So what we’re left with is alienation and post-modernism and materialism and hedonism, hip-hop misogyny and bling which has come to replace the rural traditions which were more in common with our collective humanity, our sense of community.

I tend to prefer the old ways, but I see that that is a thing of the past.  It is as much a thing of the past as the Model-T.  Humanity and organic values and virtues are as much a thing of the past as are old jalopies.

Q:       And yet you key on the past— in your music and, evidently, in your film.

JD:      That’s right, because I think was is real is humanity.  That the devil is in the details.  I would much rather focus on those wizened, supposedly crazy old codgers in the woods than a pretty face like Britney Spears because I think there is more truth there.  Even in the madness of that woodsman.  There is more truth in what he says than in anything Hollywood has to sell you.  I don’t think you’re going to find anything as brutally honest or as brutally real in Hollywood as you will see in Seven Signs.  Or even in the lyrics of the Shack Shakers, if I do say so myself.  That’s what trips my trigger.  It is what I am drawn to.  I just am who I am.  I am a psychotic Southern Christian.

I think Hollywood’s one saving grace is what won the Oscar.  Cormac McCarthy, a Southern Gothic writer, was the screenwriter for No Country for Old Men, which just won best picture.  To me, that is at least a step in the right direction.  That movie could be construed as Western Gothic, but it is definitely an American Gothic movie.  I don’t think we are sunk just yet as long as there are voices such as his which can reach the mainstream.  And perhaps I will be able to reach the mainstream through Seven Signs.  Each year, we gain a little more ground— perhaps through that movie, albeit a smaller audience.  There is hope out there but it is in the underground— more and more every year, it is in the underground.  What you saw in Hollywood this year could just be a fluke, but I think it’s the last throes of a country going further and further away from that subject matter.

Q:       Where are you in the film process?

JD:      It is completed.  Actually, I just received a box of DVDs today.  We’re taking it down to SXSW to show it, and we’re going to be showing it in a few venues there and back on this tour— in the clubs, keeping it very low to the ground.  We are going to try to find a good distribution deal sometime this year.  Hopefully, from there, people will be able to buy it.

Q:       So you’re mainly going to market us a DVD?

JD:      I think so, yeah.  That and small theater showings in conjunction with the touring that we do.  So to see the movie you would have to follow the band.  That way, it’s a nice cross-promotion.

Q:       Does the rest of the band share your views about the Southern Gothic?

JD:      I think so, for the most part.  It’s not really all that controversial.  It’s just a flavor.  It is not necessarily a political view, though I have politicized it.  It is more or less just a flavor of storytelling. 

Q:       But it is an extreme view.  At least in terms of what we are being spoonfed by the media.

JD:      I don’t think it’s so much a view as a vision.  A view would be more like a political stance, which I have infused in there, you’re right, but it is more of a vision.  It’s sort of a Faulknerian storytelling style, you know, like Flannery O’Connor or Cormac MacCarthy.  There are lots of people who write in that style.  It more or less focuses on— any storyteller knows that the quirks are what hooks in your mind.  The quirks of a character or an environment are what you remember when the story is done.  Once you’ve heard the story, what sticks in your mind are those details, those idiosyncrasies.  It’s just that these idiosyncrasies have a certain flavor.  They touch on certain cultural and societal themes that make them resonate all the more.  That’s all.  It shouldn’t be controversial.  It should be what it is— just a style.  I have politicized it in the movie, which…

Q:       Could you have done the movie without politicizing it?

JD:      Yes, I think so.  It’s just that I feel this style is losing its audience and losing its ability to resonate with common people and I just wanted to look into why that is.  Why people are no longer interested in community and family and traditions and mythology and even dogma.  Doctrines.  The things people used to concern themselves with, things which build up a culture, build up a society and maintain it.

Q:       Now, conservative religious organizations claim to be involved with certain of thos subjects.  Obviously not mythology, but family values and the like.

JD:      But they are in danger of the same Hollywood influence as they veer away from the quaint little brown church in the wildwood and more toward the mega-church stadium congregations of the Joel Osteens and the Crystal Cathedrals.  That seems to be the mega-church phenomenon, to be growing and growing, and I fear that is catching on because it gives people that corporate pleasuredome experience.  You know, where they really don’t have to be concerned with anything other than looking fabulous, 24/7.  I would rather go to one of those snake-handling churches than one of those gigantic eyesores with a cross on top.  There is no way to distinguish one of those gigantic stadiums from an airport or hotel other than the crucifix on top.  So the church, too, is in danger of going down that road as that organism of America morphs from one form to the next.

Q:       I assume that you have your own vision of, say, the spiritual?

JD:      I think it would be more closely tied to the truth and humanity and doctrine and the things we shouldn’t get away from.  We shouldn’t forget.  You know, there’s a saying:  Don’t get above your raising, don’t get too big for your britches.  You have to keep it low to the ground to understand where you come from and to know where you’re going you need to understand where you come from.

Q:       When you first started playing, at the time of Those Legendary Shack Shakers, you didn’t have that view, did you?  Or was it in seed phase at the time?

JD:      Probably.  That was more like a rockabilly experiment.  More like Rockabilly 101, like some guys just fooling around in the garage.

Q:       Your band has gone through a variety of phases.  Different personnel.  Has Mark Robinson been with you from the beginning?

JD:      He’s been with me for the past five or six years.

Q:       He’s been with you the longest, right?

JD:      So far, yeah.

Q:       When did David Lee come in?

JD:      David, how long have you been in the band?  Four, coming up on five years.  And Brett, about two years.  We have been pretty consistent now for awhile.

Q:       And you have been playing all that time?

JD:      Oh yeah.  Lots of touring.  Two hundred-plus dates a year.

Q:       When did you find the time to film?

JD:      During summer break, I just jumped in a Jeep with a couple of guys and some cameras and we just went driving around.  I had actually done a lot of the legwork while on tour, so I would call ahead and set up shoot dates.  By the time we got home from the tour, everything just lined up perfectly as far as the economy of time and travel.  It timed out great.

Q:       So you had this idea in your head and as you toured and ran across these places, you decided this is cool and this is cool and this is cool.

JD:      Yeah.  Over the years you get to know people and visit places that stick with you.  Again, those idiosyncrasies and details that haunt you, and you’d say man, I would like to go back there with a camera.  You always think, oh boy, I wish I had my camera.  So that’s kind of what we did.  That kind of thing you wish you had done.  We just went and did it.

It took us about a year to edit it all down.  I mean, the filming went so quick and we had all this time to edit, so we zeroed in and took care of it.

Q:       And you’re pretty happy with it, I assume.

JD:      Oh yeah.  Very happy.

Q:       Okay, what say we go through the albums for a few minutes, especially the ones on Yep Roc.  Are the three on Yep Roc the trilogy?

JD:      That’s right.

Q:       In my research, I wasn’t sure whether it was two of three or one of three with more to come.  I mean, the trilogy seems to me a bit like a soundtrack…

JD:      Yeah…

Q:       You begin with Believe and go through Pandelerium and especially Swampblood.  I mean, I hear solid soundtrack on Swampblood after the dawn-to-dusk segment.  The dawn-to-dusk segment were individual tunes, somewhat, but everything after that, to my ears, was straight soundtrack.  Shorter songs, more theme-oriented.

JD:      There is talk that the title track, Swampblood, might be in an HBO show in the future.  That’s in the works right now, but yeah, it’s soundtrack material, that’d for sure.

Q:       I mean when you scan the tracks— Jimblyleg Man and The Deadenin’ and Preachin’ at Traffic, those seem like concepts all tied together.  When you recorded the tracks, did you already have the order of the tracks picked or did you listen to the tracks and then arrange them?

JD:      It’s called sequencing.  You have to listen to them to see how they all fit together.  I had an idea of the first few… you listen to see if that works and then slide things around until it flows best, making sure that you put the strongest stuff first.  Well, not ALL of it.  You have to save some for later.  Ike anything— like a song, like a speech, like a play, you have to have a f low, sort of a dynamic flow where you grab peoples attention— you lure them in, you crest, you trough, and then you climax.  Any work of art set in time like that has to keep your attention in that way.  It’s like a twelve-bar blues progression.  You start off strong, you switch it around, you settle in, , then you go to the five-chord and then you have a turnaround.  In any art form, you have to keep their attention.  You have to keep them listening.

Q:       Hence the varieities of sounds on your albums?  I remember the first time I heard Agony Wagon.  I swear what I heard was klezmer but played through a full-on power amp.

JD:      That’s right.  It has what you call a gypsy vibe.

Q:       I also hear carnival music, Tex-Czech style ‘cartoon music,’ but never in one piece.  It doesn’t last for a whole piece, rather four bars here and eight bars there, then on to something else.

JD:      Flavors here and there.  Yeah, that’s kind of the way we do things— we touch on the things we like.  It’s all human music, if anything, and again, I would like to think it is one large human or American experience, you know, with all the varieties and cultures that inform America.  We like to touch on those styles because that’s who we are.  If we all look back at who our ancestors were, the flavors and values which are shared from style to style show a lot of common ground.

Q:       What were the other guys doing before they joined you?

JD:      Mark was in a kind of rockabilly gospel band and David was in a punk band which did a lot of two-beat and polka beats and cowboy trail songs and things like that.  You know, Johnny Cash touched on a lot of Tex-Czech styles, with his boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom rhythm section.  And there is oompah in there.  And a lot of old rockabilly used Latin beats.  Hank Snow did Rhumba Boogie.  Jimmy Logdon would often touch on that sort of rhumba beat.  It’s not all the same one, four, five, eight beats to the bar.  There is a lot of variety in American music and roots music that should be spread around.

Q:       At the time you toured with Robert Plant, you went from playing to fifty to two-hundred-fifty people to, what?  Thousands?

JD:      Yeah, but before the Plant tour, there were times we played to hundreds or thousands at festivals.  We had already played lots of festivals and we’d toured with Reverend Horton Heat and Southern Culture On the Skids, but the Robert Plant tour was huge.  Gigantic theaters filled with people who had never seen us before, so it was great.

Q:       Do you find it harder to relate to those crowds?

JD:      We always got great feedback.  We always got encores.  We got encores a lot.  Which isn’t so strange when you realize that a lot of Led Zeppelin’s stuff was blues-based, like some of the songs we play.  And Plant plays harmonica, I play harmonica.  You know, people who are into classic rock and blues rock could almost hear that in what we were doing too.  So it wasn’t that far of a stretch.

Q:       Did you play with Plant onstage?

JD:      No, I didn’t.  I was too scared to do that.  He plays harp onstage sometimes, but he didn’t on that tour, and I didn’t know if he wanted to push that envelope that far— you know, too much harmonica in one night— or if he didn’t want me to play.  I’m one of those guys who would rather watch.  I don’t like sitting in with people.  Even if it means a great photo op, I would rather just enjoy the show.

Q:       How did that tour happen?  Did he approach you himself or did one of his people do it?

JD:      He called me up personally at my mom’s house.  My mom answered the phone and it was Robert Plant and she called down to me.  He personally invited me to come out.  It turns out his son, Logan, was friends with David and was knocked out by the band when we shared a gig in Norway.  So we went to SXSW and played a gig with Robert Plant and not long after he called and invited me on the tour.

Q:       Me, being the band…

JD:      Oh yeah.  But he called me personally at my folks’ house and that is the personal touch people love to experience.

Q:       You had to be incredulous.  You must have thought one of your buddies was pulling a prank on you.

JD:      Oh, no.  You could tell it was Robert Plant.  When I answered the phone, I could tell.

Q:       A confidence, if nothing else.

JD:      Well, I’ll tell you what.  It’s worth the weight in gold to be able to drop that name, and those quotes he gave us.  Some people would give their left nut to go on a high profile tour like that.  In fact, we saw a lot of sycophants on that tour, a lot of people who were wishing they were in our place, partying after the show and wishing to God that they could somehow infiltrate that.  You could see these little boy bands coming with their little boy haircuts and their white belts and their pouty lips.  That’s the thing.  All of these bands that were wishing they could do what we were doing, if they would just drop the act and get real and start looking into what rock ‘n’ roll really is at its core, this visceral human music based in real rudimentary blues and folk music, maybe they would be able to understand it inside out instead of just copying what it looks like.  Or what it’s supposed to look like.

Q:       How many bands out there are capable of doing that?

JD:      The ones I believe in and are harvesting that are in the movie (Seven Signs).  They are channeling that in some way, so if people are interested in seeing that, they can see the movie and listen to the soundtrack.

Q:       How long before the DVD hits the street, do you think?

JD:      I don’t know.  It depends on who we go with.  There are a couple of opportunities which are going to have to pan out.  There might be a bidding war.  Then again, there might not be any bidding war, but it would be great if there was.  There are two or three different opportunities I am looking at right now.  I just want to make sure I do what’s best for the movie.  Because we made the movie with my own money.  It is my baby so I want to make sure it goes as far as it can.  I didn’t make it to make money.  I just wanted for it to be seen by as many people as possible.  It is a process with which I am not familiar, so I’m taking it slow and easy.

Q:       Is this a personal crusade you are on, this Southern Gothic culture thing?

JD:      (laughs) Again, it’s just a flavor, but I think at its core there are some values which are timeless and which are not tied to the South, not even tied to America, that are universal.  The values which are at the core of the traditions and those things which are being supplanted by not just the Left, but also by the Right, and Hollywood, and the Internet, and these new phenomena— those things I would fight for to the end, you know.  Maybe I need to write a manifesto or something at some point.  It almost sounds like I am doing that here, now, but…

Q:       It sounds like you are heading in that direction, and not just with what you are doing at this moment.  But in terms of where you’ve gone and are going with your music and this film.  It appears there are messages you really want to get out there.

JD:      Yeah, but I don’t want to turn into the hillbilly Bono.  I want to keep it real and humble and not get above my raiding, either.

Q:       You are obviously aware of the pitfalls.

JD:      Yeah, but I think my preachiness comes out more in my comics than in my music.  The music I want to be timeless and not preachy.  I don’t want to be this sanctimonious nag writing all of this political music.  I want the songs to be enjoyed long after I am dead, when the circumstances are not the same.

At that point, I think they were pulling off the road for gas and food because the tape went dead.  A bit later, I talked with the other members of the band, each enjoying the upward ride the band was on, and the music.  Something happens when you are clicking on all cylinders.  It is a glorious thing.  Perhaps I will revisit their comments at some time in the near future.

The Shack Shakers have been together pretty much since this interview, though not in the same form, and Wilkes did take a bit of time off to work with a couple of other bands.  I am not really sure what happened with Seven Signs, though I would dearly love to get my hands on a copy.

I think Wilkes was on to something about the culture and how it has changed.  I could not help but think of Trump and his disregard for all of humanity, and Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, politicians who should be hung by their balls at the earliest possible time.  Perhaps this rural/urban conflict is what put them in power.

Damn!  There I go, talking politics.  This interview makes me want to but mainly to follow Wilkes’ thoughts.  In fact, I would love to interview him again just to review this conversation and see where he stands on this last election.

More than anything, though, I want to see where he goes with his music.  It took me about thirty seconds to get what the Shakers were doing and thirty more to realize that they were much more than what they seemed.  Ben knew it right off.  He knew right off that I would dig them too.

Sometimes, I think you just know.

But, hey, it’s not over yet.  We still have to scope out this weeks…


Holy Mackerel!  Is Neil Merryweather Canadian?  Mebbe so.  Not only is this a vintage clip from Canadian TV, it is one of the weirdest things I’ve seen this side of Sun Ra.  Feast on this, kiddies

No band has been around as long and had as good a track record of albums as Seattle’s The Green Pajamas.  The music has always been there, most of us just missed it.  Here is the latest in a string of videos of the Pajamas playing their best.  If you like the song, be aware that there are two versions on the album from which it is taken, Poison in the Russian Room.  I heartily suggest you check them both out.

Another new (to me) Down Under artist— Aine Tyrrell.  I understand there is a new EP on the way.  Expect to hear a bit about her in the near future.

Aussies seem to be making another run.  Here is a new track by Anna Cordell with band Obscura Hail.  Another step backward to trad folk and an excellent song.

And this is the song which made me an Anna Cordell fan.

I have recently been introduced to an instrument known as the nyckelharpa.  I had never heard of it but evidently my friends have.  I got a ton of recommendations for music of that instrument, for which I am grateful.  Intriguing instrument.

Never thought I would be posting a Reckless Kelly song in this column, but this song covers a topic near to my heart— artists who are not ready for prime time.  I hate to say it because I am always for the underdog, but when an artist or band comes along and strikes gold in a song without the background, I cringe.  The band cranks out their attitude toward that very thing.

I have been a huge Randall Bramblett fan since the early seventies when he toured with Gregg Allman and Cowboy and released two fine albums on Polydor Records (That Other Mile and Light of the Night).  This is what the man is doing today (and I still dig it).

Damn!  I need to get off my ass and get a review of this guy’s album written.  Jared Tyler has put together a beauty of an album and needs to be heard.  Here is the title track from the album, titled Dirt On Your Hands.  Consider this only a taste.  The album ius packed with outstanding songs.

I’m not sure if I really liked Fassine‘s Gold or not.  I only know that I couldn’t turn it off (and it wasn’t because my hands were tied or anything) and went back for a second listen.  I think I like it.  I have a feeling that after a few listens, I am going to be in love with it.  Edgy stuff.

I don’t care what you say.  A band calling themselves Diet Cig doing a song titled Barf Day?  I like it!!!

There is something about the way this song has been put together which I find rather pleasing.  Vagabon.

Freaky and cool.  Roselit Bone.

God, but I love vocal bluegrass.  Nu-Blu.


Frank’s column appears every Tuesday

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dbawis-button7Frank Gutch Jr. looks like Cary Grant, writes like Hemingway and smells like Pepe Le Pew. He has been thrown out of more hotels than Keith Moon, is only slightly less pompous than Garth Brooks and at Frank bottle capone time got laid at least once a year (one year in a row). He has written for various publications, all of which have threatened to sue if mentioned in any of his columns, and takes pride in the fact that he has never been quoted. Read at your own peril.”

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