Joseph Huber, the former banjo player and songwriter for the explosive (and now defunct) .357 String Band has a new album on the way called Tongues of Fire, and you can listen to the song “Iron Rail” from the album below, and help Joe get the album to print by pre-ordering the vinyl version.
This is Joe’s first album after the .357 String Band breakup, but his second solo release. Bury Me Where I Fall released in late 2010 earned two guns up from Saving Country Music, and continues to remain an woefully under-discovered gem of American underground country music showcasing superb songwriting prowess from an ace musician. As Joe explains, Tongues of Fire will be a different approach, and includes some songs originally written for .357.
The album is certainly more upbeat, or at least more well-rounded and healthy than “Bury Me Where I Fall”, which, to a certain extent was released by a different person…a person you would almost think of as a Virgil-type of character leading listeners through his own personal hell. I believed it succeeded in what it was meant to be, i.e. a release of what I felt, at the time, was a side that would otherwise never be seen or publicly represented.
“Tongues of Fire” on the other hand, has quite little of that, and is almost wholly light on its feet and spirited. The title catches that spirit too. In fact I specifically removed an 8 minute dirge at the end and replaced it with a 3 minute song about drinking at the beginning–an admitted weird move for my solo stuff, but it just fit with the album.
It sounds to me like a solid mesh of the solo and .357 sounds, with less of the extremes of each. Less of the trudgingly burdened weariness of “Bury me…”, and less of the hard-living insanity of say “Lightning From the North” [.357’s last album] (Athough, 4 of the 10 tunes were initially meant for a .357 release). Overall, they are songs with nothing to prove, except for that they have good hooks and heart. And once, again, I think I succeeded at that purpose and I hope others hear it too.
You can pre-order the vinyl version of Tongues of Fire by sending $18 through paypal to josephhubermusic at gmail dot com.
1. Fell Off The Wagon
2. Where The Shadows Shiver To Sleep
3. Drop In The Bucket
4. Tongues of Fire
5. Hello, Milwaukee
6. Iron Rail
7. An Old Mountain Tune
8. Walkin’ Fine
9. Burden On The Wind
10. Dance Around The Daggers