“In England, last year we were over there, and my friend John from the Black Diamond Heavies – well, you can’t have no pocket knife in England, and we were partyin’, and he was yelling at these old geezers about something or they were yelling at him. They saw he had a pocket knife in his pocket, and they told one of the bobbies outside, and they took him to jail. And we said, ‘Is there anything we can do?’ And they said, ‘No’, and I said, ‘Well… okay!’ And we went back in and started dancing again, and my friend was in jail.
The next morning, he came swaggering up. He said [adopts rough, John Wesley Myers voice], ‘Man, that’s the nicest jail I ever spent the night in. But they took my coon dick bone!'”1
This is the story behind the centerpiece song of Scott H. Biram’s new album Bad Ingredients. Aside from memorializing John Wesley Myers’ confiscated good luck charm, the boogie woogie rockin’ “I Want My Mojo Back” also pays tribute back down the line to Lightnin’ Hopkins and the whole mojo hand tradition.
Though known as a punk-blues songster, Biram tends to draw on a variety of forms, from blues to bluegrass to country to metal and other points between. And while that remains true for Bad Ingredients – his almost out-of-place cover of Bill Monroe’s tender “Memories of You, Sweetheart” being the most obvious example – this is probably Biram’s bluesiest album to date. From the fiery, highly idiomatic “Dontcha Lie to Me, Baby” to the stellar “Born in Jail” with its slow hip-drag groove to the slinky Lightnin’ Hopkins cover “Have You Ever Loved a Woman?” and on, this album is made for a sweaty juke joint. Though, as ever, it is indelibly stamped with Biram’s ornery, furious brand of passion.
And it’s just damn good. This is one of those rare albums where I can’t pick one favorite track because so many of them are excellent (aside from ones mentioned, “Just Another River” and “Victory Song” also vie strongly for attention). If you’re already a Biram admirer, this album, which drops tomorrow, is a given. If you’re uncertain, watch that video posted above, get the song download below and be convinced.
As ever, Scott H. Biram is touring, and you should not miss the opportunity to see him live.
Oct 14 2011 Riley’s Tavern – Hunter, TX
Oct 27 2011 Sam’s Burger Joint – San Antonio, TX
Oct 28 2011 Triple Crown – San Marcos, TX
Oct 29 2011 Scoot Inn – Austin, TX
Nov 5 2011 VZD’s – Oklahoma City, OK
Nov 7 2011 Bender’s Tavern – Denver, CO
Nov 8 2011 Belly Up Aspen – Aspen, CO
Nov 10 2011 Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 10 2011 Heavy Metal Shop (FREE INSTORE) – Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 11 2011 Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Resort – Alta, WY
Nov 12 2011 The Palace – Missoula, MT
Nov 15 2011 Media Club – Vancouver, BC CANADA
Nov 16 2011 Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA
Nov 17 2011 Dante’s – Portland, OR
Nov 18 2011 Humboldt Brews – Arcata, CA
Nov 19 2011 Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
Nov 20 2011 The Satellite Club – Los Angeles, CA
Nov 22 2011 Casbah – San Diego, CA
Nov 23 2011 Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
Nov 26 2011 The Mohawk – Austin, TX