Scott H. Biram, Nothin’ But Blood (2014, Bloodshot Records)
I guess there is really no point in trying to describe the type of music played by Scott H. Biram. I have given his new album, Nothing But Blood, at least 20-plus spins in preparation to write this review and I pick up on something different every time. The “Dirty Old One Man Band” as Scott is called could just as easily be labeled the “Dirty Old One Man Musical Library” ranging from punk to blues to country to metal to gospel and straight-up, dirty rock & roll.
The new album starts with a mellow, introspective country picker, “Slow & Easy,” with lyrics that could also be dropped in to fit a more raucous, rocking framework, or with a bit of steel guitar could convey that oozy, alt-country feel.
Listen to “Slow & Easy” Slow & Easy [Explicit]
This song takes me back to a certain summer when I was a teenager and my stepfather Garry and I spent two weeks high up in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Garry was a scrap metal guy and we got a job tearing down some old logging equipment left behind many years prior. Long days were spent cutting and tearing apart this old, rusty metal and at night we would drive up to camp above the timberline, where we would turn on the AM radio and pick up stations of all genres from as far away as Mississippi, Oklahoma and California and closer stations in Colorado. The station waves would roll in and out as the car radio scanned past each station.
Those old familiar songs from all over the dial made the nights more comfortable and the thoughts of home slip away and get lost in the thin, mountain air.
Listen to “Never Comin’ Home” Never Comin’ Home
Nothing But Blood is a definite trip throughout its 14 tracks (11 plus three bonus) and a listener might feel as if their iPod is on shuffle. It delivers The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Biram and his music. I reckon Scott is like the majority of true music fans whose tastes and influences are wide and ever evolving. I appreciate his willingness to push his boundaries and deliver new and different styles and material. I also enjoy that Nothin’ But Blood can be just as chaotic and jarring as his live performances, but also just as moving and exciting.
Every good performer and musician learns from their predecessors and contemporaries. With Nothing But Blood, Biram takes those lessons and twists them into the hot, sweaty joyride only he can deliver.
Listen to “Church Point Girls” Church Point Girls
Scott H. Biram is currently on tour with Larry and His Flask and The Whiskey Shivers and will be performing on Saturday, March 8 at the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland. For more information, check out www.scottbiram.com and be sure to pick up his new album Nothing But Blood on Bloodshot Records.
— MIKE LEE
That Much Further West Podcast