I then thought about how he had left me in stewardship of his old guitar, an instrument that, from my perspective, already has provenance and should rightly wind up in a museum one day. I decided that, to honor that trust he had in me, I would continue to add to the instrument’s already storied life by doing a running portrait series of every musician that plays his old guitar.
Ten Foot Polecats
The Ten Foot Polecats out of Boston bring the serious, full-tilt North Mississippi deep blues mojo on their new chest-pounding, groove-infested long player rightly entitled Undertow. As the name implies, this bad boy sucks you down and doesn’t quit tugging you asunder until you wholly submit to the deep muddy abyss of booty-shaking rhythms.
From the outside looking in, one may look at the lineup of The Muddy Roots Festival for example, and wonder how all these bands could all be booked right beside each other and it work seamlessly. This illustrates the dramatic sonic and geographical diversity that goes into creating what we know now as the underground country roots, or “Muddy Roots” world.
.357 String Band, Ben Prestage, Black Diamond Heavies, Bob Wayne, Bobby Bare, BR549, Calamity Cubes, Dale Watson, Deep Blues Festival, Emmylou Harris, Fat Possum Records, Greg Garing, Hank3, JB Beverley, Junior Kimbrough, Justin Townes Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lone Wolf OMB, Loretta Lynn, Los Duggans, Mike Ness, Muddy Roots Festival, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Ramseur Records, Restavrant, Reverend Horton Heat, RL Burnside, Rusty Knuckles, Scott H. Biram, Slackeye Slim, Some Velvet Evening, Split Lip Rayfield, Steve Erale, Supersuckers, t Model Ford, Ten Foot Polecats, The Avett Bros, The Black Keys, The Devil Makes Three, The Everymen, The Goddamn Gallows, The Pine Box Boys, The Ryman, Those Poor bastards, Tompall Glaser, Trampled by Turtles, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, Willie Nelson, Yep Rock
As the new music reality continues to take shape, where one big mono genre serves the masses and micro genres crop up to serve the rest, the shape of the way live music is delivered to people is adapting as well. House concerts have gone from a kitschy trend to a legitimate way for artists to connect with attentive fans. For the upcoming festival season of 2012, a new trend is emerging: the micro festival.
Black River Bluesman, Christyfest, Cigar Box Guitars, Danny Kay, GravelRoad, Husky Burnette, Hymn For Her, Johnny Lowebow, Last Watch, Lonesome Shack, Lowebow Fest, McDougall, No Brow Productions, Olds Sleeper, Purgatory Hill, Robert Mitchell, Scissormen, Sean K Preston, Ten Foot Polecats, Weber's Deck
This is music to get you moving. I can’t listen to this album at home. I’ll get flying around and break things. I can only listen while driving, with a foot pumping on the gas pedal to the groove. If somebody was listening to this album and wasn’t at least bobbing their head or tapping their foot, the next thing I’d do is put a mirror in front if their mouth.
After a one year hiatus, the legendary Deep Blues Festival will be re-emerging this year on July 16th in Cleveland, OH. This year the torch has been picked up by Jim Chilson of the blues band the Ten Foot Polecats. Chilson was kind enough to give me some of his time to talk about why he decided to rekindle the Deep Blues flame, and about the difficulty some blues-based bands find being accepted in the traditional blues music circles.
As the name implies, Hillgrass Bluebilly Records defines the nexus of where hillbilly, country, bluegrass, and blues meet. This rich and diverse environment that has been created in the independent/underground music world embodies all roots music as unified expressions of purity and soul, regardless of the origins. Keith Mallette and co-founder Ryan Tackett have created a burgeoning homespun record label that is getting…
Bloodshot Records, Bob Log III, Fat Possum Records, Hillgrass Bluebilly, Hiran & Huddie, James Hand, Jesse Dayton, Keith Mallette, Larry & His Flask, Left Lane Cruiser, Possessed by Paul James, Roger Wallace, Scott H. Biram, Shooter Jennings, Soda, Ten Foot Polecats, The Boomswagglers, Tom VandenAvond, Wayne Hancock, William Elliot Whitmore
The Ten Foot Polecats on Hillbilly Bluegrass Records are more straight blues than I would normally cover around here. Usually a band needs at least a little something contrified for me to get behind them–a small piece of fried chicken hanging from their beard, or a gravy stain down the front of their shirt–something. But because they are participants in this year’s Muddy Roots Festival, and were there last year, and honestly, because they are just so damn good, I am making an exception.
On Saturday night the Hole in the Wall in Austin, TX was transformed into “Dirtyfoot” headquarters for fans, bands and extended family of Hillgrass Bluebilly Records for their Launch Party. Folks from as far as Canada, Seattle, Minnesota, and Boston flew in exclusively for the event and helped pack the walls of the Hole to near capacity, while over 150 people from around the world tuned in through SCM Live to share the experience.
7 bands and 5 hours of music meant both Hole in the Wall’s stages were pressed into service….
Austin, Billy Joe Shaver, Dale Watson, Darren Hoff & The Hard Times, Hillgrass Bluebilly, Hole in The Wall, Jim Stringer, Larry & His Flask, Lisa Pankratz, Possessed by Paul James, Roger Wallace, Ten Foot Polecats, The Boomswagglers, Tom VandenAvond, Wayne Hancock
On Saturday the mother of all SCM Live events will be going down, as we will be broadcasting Hillgrass Bluebilly’s Launch Party, featuring 7 bands, 2 stages, and 6+ hours of music, all LIVE to anywhere in the world from the Hole in the Wall in Austin, TX!
Darren Hoff and The Hardtimes, Hillgrass Bluebilly Records, Hole in The Wall, Larry And His Flask, Possessed by Paul James, Roger Wallace, Ten Foot Polecats, The Boomswagglers, Tom VandenAvond, Willie Nelson