Scott H. Biram – The Bad Testament (Blood Shot Records, February 24th, 2017)

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Read an interview to Scott H. Biram some months ago, earlier than the US election, in which talking about politics, he defined, laughing, some of his music like it was ‘redneck-ish’ and himself like he was an open-minded to different things about politics and as one who belives in people’s personal freedoms and being who you are and not judging everyone all the time. In this sense he pretended to not alienate because of politics any part of his audience, which he considered they are from both sides of the spectrum, and that in any case he is generally writing music and songs that are about human experiences and human conditions, character-related or landscape kinda stuff. Something that definitely you could easily consider listening to his music and that would probably make him a typical US popular musician and songwriter, because his musical style and the contents of his songs, his evident true US inner spirit. Born on 1974 and based in Austin, Texas, he was primarily known as one of the prominent musician of the one-man-band musical genre and despite he is actually into Americana and country music, he previously was a member of a punk and two bluegrass bands, a part than being also into heavy metal music, something that of course has through the years influenced his style and in a way you could also recognise into his last work, ‘The Bad Testament’, the new album that will be out next February 24 via Blood Shot Records and Scott’s personal revisitation of the Old Testament into what it’s actually a collection of hard-grinding lost love songs and blues and deep, dark Americana. A musician I actually consider a lot because his abilities as a musician but also because he is going to be in any case popular and with any pretension to be a cult or an intellectual, also into this album Scott H. Biram proposed various contents of the vaste scenario of the Americana music tradition. From the revisitation of the seventies rock and roll blues in a style typical of Neill Yound & Crazy Horse (‘Set Me Free’) to acoustic folk songs with noir and melhancolic tones (‘Righteous Ways’, ‘Swift Driftin”) or in which he actually shows his great skills as a gypsy guitar player (‘Still Around’), they appear inevitably the ghosts of the giants of the blues of the Mississippi Delta into electric blues masterpieces like ‘Red Wine’. Country ballads in the style of Johnny Cash revisited with electronic guitars and echoes of the sound of the harmonica (‘Long Old Time’) combinate with a certain garage or even hardcore taste and an approach similar to what made Seasick Steve famous and popular also out of the borders of the USA (‘Feel So Wrong’, ‘Trainwrecker’) and that would make me thing to the expression he used to name one of his songs, ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ The same it is for Scott H. Biram, who is at the same time devoted to a certain blues and gospel tradition (listen to the impressive, ‘True Religion’) than to the Americana folk and songwriting tradition (‘Crippled and Crazy’, and old-style and vintage ballad with the usage of the organ and a distorcer for the voices) and that with this album redifined what it was the epic of an entire continent, ending the album later than releasing his testament with electric blues and boogaloos played with a fury and a madness who were of the rebellious and fierce Sioux indians diggint up the hatchet. No contradiction in this sense. You would possibly agree with his point of view, you wouldn’t, but the fact it is that Scott H. Biram he is not going to rapresent with his music and his songs what it’s actually only one face of the United States of America. Of an entire continent and of what’s actually the greatest nation in the western world, he is going to handle all of its realities and contradictions because on the other hand they’re all part of the same story. This is definely Scott’s bad testament. Take it or leave it.

Rating: 7,5/10

Emiliano D’Aniello

http://machchapuchchare.blogspot.it/

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Precedente The Men - Devil Music (We Are The Men Records, November 11th, 2016) Successivo Chris Robinson Brotherhood - If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now (Silver Arrow Records, November 4th, 2016)

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