Never in my life have I been taken to so many places by just one album. I found myself on this bizarre and life affirming trip as I sat listening to Scott H. Biram’s latest album Nothin’ But Blood. An album transfused with the raw energy of Johnny Winter’s blues guitar, one half of both Willy Nelson and Johnny Cash’s lyrical agony spliced together and the sporadic instances of Lee Ving on vocals covering David Allen Coe. While probably not the adventure to be shared by all, it most certainly took me down roads of my past and surely has the power to grip those of you out there that have gone on similar journey’s.
So my first go with the album finds me washing dishes staring out an open window on my day off (a nice day too). I’m digging the albums first track (Slow & Easy) which isn’t hard to understand since I love acoustic music. Birman’s acoustic is frantic and bluesy and his voice a cross between blues/country that blows your mind from the first verse. It’s got a manic storytelling narrative that’s simply human. Confusing, angry, desperate, alienated.
The second track on the album jumps right into salvation with Gotta Get To Heaven. An everyman’s salute to playing the religion game. Wanting an unknowable salvation, tasting the sweet reward of sin, taking it day by day.
When Alcohol Blues popped on I was all ears. George Thorogood meets Johnny Winter meets moments of possession. I was completely blown away, especially when Biram starts cussing out the many women of his life. Perhaps the everyman in him blowing his top for every average Joe whose come across that one woman (or more) that made them a bit nuts. Birman goes the extra mile.
Never Comin’ Home is a stop in beauty as Biram takes on the soul of Willy Nelson simply exposing his true country heart. His voice is so clear, guitar work so clean, words so true. I loved every minute of it.
Only Whiskey is an outlaw country boot stomper that exudes anger and hits on the standard music companion, liquor. As standard a footnote in Biram’s musical cliff notes he certainly delivers it with enough gusto to make you believe you’ve never heard it before.
In the end I found myself absolutely in love with this album and found the fortunate luck in knowing that I can travel back on 8 previous albums and know even if I get through those I can always look forward to future albums from this hidden gem. I highly suggest.