The Devil Makes Three live release, Stomp and Smash is more than a title; it’s a review in itself. Recorded over two sold-out nights at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma, CA, these bluegrass Santa Cruzaders’ are hell bent with a raucous punk spirit. Spewing a sound about as smooth as whiskey, this trio of Pete Bernhard, Cooper McBean, and Lucia Turino are propped up by acoustic guitar, banjo, and stand-up bass.
On his seventh studio album, Spirit Bird, Xavier Rudd’s gritty voice rises like dust from underneath the dancing feet along an ancestral Songline. In a modern world of industrial landscapes filled with neon signs, it’s hard to “imagine if the trees could tell us where to go.” Yet, Rudd introduces listeners to Australian Aboriginal mythology with songs such as “Creating a Dream”. Dreaming is the sacred era of ancestral Totemic Spirit Beings who formed The Creation.
As far as supergroup side projects are concerned, PHILM is a strange beast, and their debut album, Harmonic, follows its creators’ suit like a bipolar demon-child on acid. PHILM, consisting of Gerry Nestler (vocals/guitar, Civil Defiance), Dave Lombardo (drums, Slayer), and Pancho Tomaselli (bass, War) has a rawness to its sound that plays well with each musician’s individual style.
Let me begin with the disclaimer that I only consider myself a casual fan of The Expendables. It’s not that I don’t like their music; far from it, actually, but I’m not about to start referencing old B-sides off the top of my head or anything of the sort in this review.
Every now and again a little chuckle escapes. You don’t mean to, but you just can’t help it. And you don’t mean it in a bad way, it’s anything but that. But sometimes the lyrics are just funny, and surely Craig Elkins knows this. I Love You, the first solo album under the ex-Huffamoose frontman’s real name, is track after track of somewhat dark, bleak humor. That being said, Elkins does not necessarily write the happiest of songs.
When Head for the Hills Fiddle-man Joe Lessard was asked in our recent interview what it is about Colorado that makes us Bluegrass Country, he replied “It must be something in the water, or a lack thereof.” The boys in the Fort Collins, Colorado born bluegrass band are at a pinnacle peak in their career.