In the 12 years since Hillstomp’s inception, John Johnson, and guitar player Henry Christian have become one of the Pacific Northwest’s most well-known underground roots duos, garnering a loyal following and making fast fans from their avant-garde approach to blues that combines elements of punk, trance, and most notably, a beat that is delivered by a drum set centered around a bucket instead of a snare drum.
I am very excited to announce a unique partnership between Saving Country Music, Hillgrass Bluebilly Records & Entertainment, and Muddy Roots Music (The Muddy Roots Festivals) to bring together the 5th Annual XSXSW showcase, aka XSXSW 5, as part of the annual mid-March gathering of the tribes in Austin, TX known as South By Southwest.
Austin Lucas, Cracker Swamp Productions, Hellbound Glory, Hillgrass Bluebilly, Hillstomp, Husky Burnette, James Hand, Left Lane Cruiser, Lone Wolf, Los Duggans, Muddy Roots Festival, O'Death, Possessed by Paul James, Rachel Brooke, Restavrant, Ruby Jane, SXSW, The Harmed Brothers, XSXSW
The One Man Band’s of the world are the soldiers on the front lines of the cultural war. With such sonic limitations, there is no opportunity for subtly. Instead their charge is to rattle and shake awake the sleeping potential in all of us, to right the skewed priorities that the indoctrination of modern society has gilded us with, to release us from the want of the wealth and shiny things that weigh down the human spirit …
This is the music I have been waiting my whole life for. I am a changed man for having listened to this album. It brought me back to being a little kid again, to the first time I heard music, at Christmas or something, where it was this magical thing that uplifted my spirit, yet at the same time was a very visceral experience where you lose all sense of deportment and start jiggling around like a child possessed.
The Pickathon Festival, Aug 5-7 out in Portland, OR boasts of having “The best festival experience in the country.” And having been a participant of it in 2009, I can vouch personally for this bold statement. But Pickathon and others don’t throw this statement out to create a rabid desire for tickets with the idea of shattering previous attendance numbers in a yearly cash grab. . .
As with the Albums of the Year, 2010 will go down as a high water mark for the amount of top quality songs released.
A Song of the Year can’t just be good, it has to touch you. You have to be a different person, in whatever small way, after listening to it. Points are rewarded for things like catchiness and accessibility, but you’ll have to get at least a little bit deep to makes this year’s list. Great songs speak to many people, but to each individual in different ways. We also saw a lot of songs this year with an epic approach, whose sheer vision and grand design deserves to be highlighted.
.357 String Band, Hank III, Hellbound Glory, Hillstomp, Jayke Orvis, Joseph Huber, Lucky Tubb, Possessed by Paul James, Reverend Deadeye, Roger Alan Wade, The Boomswagglers, Trampled by Turtles, Wayne Hancock
Following is my list for the essential albums for 2010, broken down into a few of categories.This is meant to compliment the Album of the Year candidates in this super-packed year for stellar music. Hopefully next year, Saving Country Music can branch out a bit and cover the more traditional mainstream acts, but it will always be on top of the smaller acts trying to get their music out there, not instead of them.
.357 String Band, Brigitte London, Dale Watson, Farmageddon Records, Hank III, Hillstomp, Jayke Orvis, Joseph Huber, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lucky Tubb, Peewee Moore, Pete Berwick, Reverend Deadeye, Shelli Coe, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, The Shivering Denizens, Those Poor bastards, Tom VandenAvond, Trampled by Turtles, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's
This is not music that you sit back and marvel at the eloquence as your foot taps. It is like a chest-thumping ritual that makes you succumb to the carnal cry of the country. Imagine the music you would hear coming out of a ramshackle shack far out deep in the woods in the dead of night, with a dusty light and the raw energy of people and music bleeding out between the cracks of the old boards that are perceptibly pulsing to the sweaty beat. This is Hillstomp.
The diversity in this insurgent roots movement gives us strength. If you ask me, Scott Biram, Hillstomp, or Larry & His Flask are much more country than most of the stuff you can hear on the radio that flies that flag. Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers were both country bluesman, and I see that same spirit, and musical open-mindedness here.
Well I’m not too sure who the hell Larry is, and why his flask is so predominately edified in the band name. What I do know is that to a man, the attendees of this year’s Muddy Roots Festival stumbled out of the hills of east Tennessee saying Larry and His Flask stole the show, […]
First the bad news. One of the best festivals for independent roots music, the Deep Blues Festival, is no more. Simply put, this is a tragedy. If the independent roots movement had one premier festival, this was it, and this is coming from someone focused on country more than blues. Still, bands like .357 String […]
.357 String Band, Cashman, Chris Johnson, closed, Cuzn Wildweed, Deep Blues Festival, Dex Romweber Duo, ended, Hillstomp, Left Lane Cruiser, Los Duggans, Muddy Roots Festival, ninebullets.net, no more, Reverend Deadeye, Scott H. Biram, Those Poor bastards
The thing I like about the one man bands like Joe Buck and Scott H. Biram is the abominable amount of energy they put into their music. It is rare to see an individual member of a band with as much energy as a one man band, or a one man band that doesn’t have […]