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No, it's probably not a good sign that I'm back on the "ingesting other creative people" to "soak in" their aesthetic abilities kick.

What? It's not like I'd do it. I mean, I wouldn't actually chop off Scott H. Biram's hand, boil it into chili and frame the bones above my writing desk...

It's not my fault. He's the one being so glory hollering, hillstomp brilliant...I wouldn't want to eat him if he hadn't played such a good show on Friday at The Hideout (and every other time I've seen him).

Speaking of The Hideout, its the quintessential Chicago dive bar. Seriously smalls, they aren't joking. It's fucking hidden. You're cruising down Elston and you're in warehouse, workshop country wondering when the hell you are going to get wherever the hell you are going. Then you miss the Wabansia, sidestreet turn, pull a wicked u-ey and find yourself driving down an even more obscure factory corridor where, just before the dead end, there's a balloon frame house waiting for you. It's been waiting the long haul. The house was born in two days and has stood over a hundred years, a haunted, hallowed ground for working class stiffs, hustlers, bootleggers and musicians.

Don't worry. It's cool. They finally have streetlights. Which is swell because the show started at 10 ish and you park in a kitty-corner alley by a chain link fence.

You'll get carded at the door, the ceilings are low, you'll have to gently shove past the PBR parlor, go past the merch table and in the way back, secondary room you'll find a crotch-level stage. And fish on the walls. And wood paneling. Christmas lights too. It's about the size of your parents finished basement, which means - if you try real hard, now - you might can fit about a hundred people.

The Dirt Daubers stepped up first. Or partially so. They were missing their stand up bass player. They play western Kentucky roots music, but you are as likely to hear them play ragtime as traditional ballads. Iffin you're thinking that the Dirt Daubers sound familiar, you might've heard about them through Col. J.D. Wilkes. He's the lead vocals in both the Dirt Daubers and Th' Legendary Shack Shakers. Not that either of the bands are remotely similar, aside from a general Appalachian influence. The Shack Shakers are more of an apocalyptic, dusty Kentucky, country blues group where Wilkes usually draws blood, in the very least tears out hair, and is all manner of dirt punk wild man. In the Dirt Daubers, there isn't room for that. It's a stand and deliver, balladeer trio and it was beautiful. There might not be room for high-octane antics, but both Wilkes and his wife, Jessica, play the finger-pickin' hell out multiple instruments while sharing vocals.

And there was Scott H. Biram.

Let me pause one half minute so I can get my mind out of the gutter, my hand out of my pants and, geez, I mean THAT'S WHAT GOOD MUSIC DOES TO YOU! Or me. Maybe not you. Good goddamn music will get me hot and heavy breathing and ready to write or talk or mess around. It's that prod in the ribs to quit watching movies alone on the couch and get to the living. As Auntie Mame would say, "Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

And hell, Biram writes down on your luck, electric blues that are as likely to contain a yodel as a growl, and that's right fine by me. He's a dirty, one man band with an electrified stomp board, tattoos, a trucker hat, a mustache and lyrics that are as informed by Bill Monroe as they are Black Flag and as liable to build up your heart as gut it through your bottomed-out stomach. Like such:

"We shook it together
'til we shook it right apart.
Then you dragged your crazy fingers
cross my broken heart."


"Rub it in my face, why don't ya baby...'bout your other man
You been tellin' my mother how it's so good to be back in love again."

And he'll come up with images that make me wanna write, man. I have yet to, but will write a story inspired by:

"I'll write your name backwards in the dirt so you can read it from the otherside"

I gush. I GD, Effin-A Gush.

And he's a genuinely nice fella. He'll talk you up after the show, give you a handshake or hug and thank you for coming out, "elsewise he wouldn't get paid," he'll say with a grin.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:41 am (UTC)
RSS feed brought this RIGHT to my mail box. I am one lucky sonavagun.

Your Hideout reminds me of my dark bars. I should go there. For, uh, RESEARCH purposes.
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
I go wif you!
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
That sounds marvelous! I love small shows with really talented performers:)
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
If you are ever in Chicago, maybe we can catch a show.
Jun. 21st, 2011 04:03 am (UTC)
Oooh, that would be a worth a trip all by itself:)

I catch most shows up in Minneapolis at The Cedar www.thecedar.org . I love bluegrass and Appalachian influenced music - I have seen Ralph Stanley twice now:)

You might like The Poor Nobodys - I caught them at The Cedar opening for Chicha Libre [whom you might also like] and they are touring this summer. Well, drat, missed them on May 5 @ The Elbo Room.
And I'll be missing this: http://www.thepoornobodys.com/2011/04/25/black-pirate-original-soundtrack/ because of that whole 4.5 hour commute that it would require to attend. Ah, well.
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
That sounds like so much fun!! You really must let me know the next time you go.
Jun. 21st, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
Also, I'm always happy to get music recommendations:)
Jun. 22nd, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
I am intrigued by this bone chili you mention. Also by the show itself.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Patty Templeton

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