Compact Capsules for June 23, 2009
by Dan Ferguson
Scott H. Biram
Something's Wrong/Lost Forever
Scott H. Biram's story is a nasty one with the centerpiece his head-on collision with an 18-wheeler in 2003 which he luckily survived. Just a month later he was back on stage, I.V. and all, performing. Something's Wrong/Lost Forever begins with a Biram phone message from the ensuing hospital stay begging for someone to come and spring him. Suffice to say no ill effects are anywhere to be found on this latest. Whereas he's made his rep mostly on the raw, sonic boogie tunes dominating his back-catalogue, the self-proclaimed Dirty Old One-Man Band writes some of the prettiest country songs. Sure the burners get turned up on selected cuts from this latest, but it's those songs where he kicks it down a notch or two, tracks like "Draggin' Down the Line" and "Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blues", each with melt-in-the-heart sort purdy-ness to them, that stick in the craw like glue. Visit www.scottbiram.com.
New West Records
If you've ever attended a Steve Earle performance, no doubt you've heard him cover a Townes Van Zandt tune or two. His mentor as a young songwriter coming up in Nashville, some may think Earle's tribute to TVZ is overdue. On Townes, Earle pours out his heart and soul into 15 songs by the late Van Zandt. He treats each with the grace and respect they deserve and if it spurs people to check out the original article, his mission is accomplished. Visit www.steveearle.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)