Album Review – Stevie Tombstone “Slow Drunken Waltz”
Originally from Atlanta, Stevie Tombstone is a longtime veteran of underground roots circles dating all the way back to the 80’s and his “Swamprockabilly” band The Tombstones. He toured with Jason & The Scorchers in Europe, and has put out CD’s and EP’s here and there as he’s bounced back and forth between Nashville, Austin, and Atlanta, until most recently in the summer of 2011 he put out his latest album Slow Drunken Waltz.
This short and simple 9-song album is an absolute gem. No frills, and none are needed. Some albums employ simplicity because of restrictions put on the artist: budgetary, time, or otherwise. But Slow Drunken Waltz‘s simplicity is purposeful, and with songs this powerful, there’s no need for fleshing them out; this might endanger the suppleness of the songwriting that is emphasized by the space and the sincerity highlighted by the void of excessive instrumentation.
But the instrumentation that does exist strikes that excellent balance between letting a song breathe but not leaving it so bare it lacks accessibility. The music is adept, but also smart and simple, like with the little fiddle instrumental “The Tryin’ Waltz” that instead of using technique to engage the ear, uses taste and tone. And the vocals too, they don’t call on any silly inflections or phony pretentiousness for attention. They are refreshingly straight, solidly “Stevie Tombstone”, just singing as he does, and adds yet another layer of sincerity to the Slow Drunken Waltz.
And overall, I just think it is cool how Tombstone takes the “waltz” theme and champions it here as a very important and viable form of musical expression in country music that many either overlook or don’t understand because of it’s frilly connotation. This album just has tremendous class, without sacrificing some of the dirtiness and edge to still make it feel authentic.
Not a bad song on the album, I could see the title track “Slow Drunken Waltz” and “Don’t Know What I’m Gonna Do” being scooped up by another band and fleshed out into superb little music monsters, though they work excellent as offered here. “Would You Die For Love” once again works off of the simplicity theme by being deep without being wordy, while “I’ve Been Down That Rocky Road” evokes a great gospel vibe.
Though “less is more” seems like such a worn out saw in music, in this case its wisdom worked expertly, in the approach and amount of content offered. 9 great little numbers many times is better than 12 good ones, or 11 great ones with one bad one thrown in. This stripped-back approach may not be best for all artists, but with the Slow Drunken Waltz it pays off in spades. I refuse to call this album an EP. It’s lesson is one many LP’s could learn from: to listen to the music and give it what it needs, nothing more, nothing less.
Two guns up!
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Purchase Slow Drunken Waltz from Stevie Tombstone
Slow Drunken Waltz is also available at newrootsorder.com
Stevie Tombstone is currently on tour.
February 22, 2012 @ 4:46 pm
Wow. Never heard of the guy, but I’m linking what I’m hearing. Thanks.
February 22, 2012 @ 4:49 pm
Five seconds ago I saw a poster for this guy, had no idea who he was. Thanks trig
February 22, 2012 @ 5:01 pm
Thanks for this Trigg! I saw the second video on here posted a while back by and it killed me! I will get on this album asap!
February 22, 2012 @ 5:04 pm
I just can’t get past his nickname. I’m suspect of his sincerity……..
Just fuckin with you. Thanks for the review. Good stuff.
February 22, 2012 @ 5:18 pm
February 22, 2012 @ 6:38 pm
good stuff. 60’s folkie re-visited. very nice. thanks, man.
Sound In The Signals Magazine
February 22, 2012 @ 6:47 pm
I haven’t heard this yet…but I was looking at it on Farmageddon’s site the other day and was interested. I may have to check it out. Good review.
February 22, 2012 @ 8:30 pm
THanks for turning me onto this guy. I wanna check out his old stuff now.
February 22, 2012 @ 8:43 pm
Nice,I never heard of him either.Great relief after coming from “The Moonshine Bandits” blog!
February 22, 2012 @ 11:44 pm
Got this record from Farmageddon yesterday. I can’t stop listening to it. amazing.
February 23, 2012 @ 8:44 am
I first heard of Stevie T. through Farmageddon Records & that he was going to be their latest addition to the Family! Excited as hell, I placed a rather large order to Farm & in it was “Slow Drunken Waltz.” Not only do I appreciate his current musical stylings but also his older musical endeavours. Plus, he’s just plain nice! He contacted me via Reverbnation many months back; since I had a short stint as a bad promoter of “Ball Peen Hammer Productions” & offered to help him out with some venues. I then emailed Stevie T. a Youtube video of me playing my flute(yes,a flute) w/ Graham Lindsey performing his song “Tomorrow Is Another Night.” He actually said he liked it!!! Hahhha…. I knew then that he was just straight up cool ! =) & his talent as a musician goes without saying.
So if you get the chance, check him out on tour & buy up some of his tunes. Ya won’t regret it!
Thanks for bringing this to people’s attention Triggerman! =)
5 guns up & a ball peen hammer !
February 23, 2012 @ 9:41 am
cool stuff…..worth a purchase..yes
February 23, 2012 @ 12:13 pm
Damnit, I guess I have to buy another album. Trig, if I go broke, I’m blaming you for showing me all this great music that I have to buy.
February 23, 2012 @ 1:10 pm
Thanks for the review Trig. Here’s another song you guys might like! And, we have a few of Stevie’s older cd’s in the general store, including an old Tombstones release. Cool! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-Mpi8s-iOY&feature=plcp&context=C3ba0152UDOEgsToPDskK00xgwiCQy_Hhcd0uHWmYJ
February 23, 2012 @ 5:40 pm
“I danced with the devil, and I’ve made my amends, I’ve lived all around and I’ve lost some good friends, like a slow drunken waltz I’ll be background again.”
February 24, 2012 @ 1:19 pm
I saw him play the night before last at a “Blues and Burlesque” show at one of our local venues. Everybody cleared out after the burlesque was over but we stayed and watched and he was pretty badass.
February 25, 2012 @ 10:03 am
Nothing like starting the day by discovering a cool artist… Really digging this guy. Thanks for the review!