Rockets and Nails in his Pockets.
I wake up with bourbon breath and dust in my lungs. The record was doing the cah-tsk, cah-tsk, cah-tsk that it does when it hits the middle, skips, hits the label. I was sore. Tired. Dirty. I need to put more gravel underfoot. I start walking. The wind kicks up and I'm reminded of how much I dislike this place and these people. I need to head west, head south. I catch a train and sleep returns. I dream of the south and the way the wind smells in autumn. I dream of the tin-pan alleyways, bread with gravy, the taste of river-water, and the thumbprinted windows of my parents house. I remember August nights in those dim bars, talking to Maggie and drinking too much. The stage at the back of the bar and the way those skinny old timers would coax those strings into song.
The Back Porch Vipers are a band that I (and it seems like everyone else) found on the SXSW Sampler Collection. There's something like 500+ bands included and this is one of them that really stood out. Their first release, Light Up, is all songs from 1930s Harlem about marijuana. Vocalist Karen Abrahams has incredible range and pure molasses in her throat. They kick ass.
The Hackensaw Boys probably rose to such incredible fame after they played intermission sets during the 2002 Unlimited Sunshine tour. Sir Issac Brock liked them so much that the Hackensaws contributed heavily to both the Ugly Casanova record and Good News for People Who Like Bad News. They travel around the country in a huge old bus called the Dirty Bird. They perform and record with traditional bluegrass stylings and again -- a big fat helping of Kickass and Gravy.
Andrew Bird should need no introduction. He probably has more than one spot on my Top 10 best shows ever. This is some of the old-school Mr. Bird. His voice and lyrics make my stomach feel warm and full. MMMMMM GRAVY!