Posts Tagged ‘Demon Beat’

Celebrate WV day with a freebie from Big Bullet Records

Was reminded that today is West Virginia day, the anniversary of the day those non-slave owning bastards decided if Virginia can secede from the US, then by-god they can secede from Virginia. Best way to celebrate besides snorting pills off your dead gramma’s head? How about downloading the awesome new sampler from West Virginia’s own Big Bullet Records. Featuring killer new tracks from former Fox Hunt member Matt Kline, current Fox Hunt Member John Miller, The Demon Beat, and a great cover of one of my favorite songs Rock, Salt and Nails by Fox Hunt/Demon Beat side project Prison Book Club. Not to mention all the other great artists one here, digging the Right As Rain track especially.

Preview/Download Big Bullet Records: Terminal Ballistics Vol. 2 here
and Terminal Ballistics Vol. 1 here

Belated Show Reports: Scott H. Biram, Cedric Burnside, Todd Snider, The Fox Hunt/Demon Beat, Jason Isbell

I’m way behind on these and just thought I would do a quick blurb about each one:

Scott H. Biram @ Martin’s Downtown – Roanoke, VA 11/13/10
This show here had to be one of the best I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some killer shows recently. The one thing that struck me about Scott, talking with him before and after the show, was how genuinely happy he was to be there doing his thing. He was just having a blast doing what he does, and man let me tell what he does is something to behold. If you ever get a chance to see him live…DO IT! do not miss him when he comes to your area. Unless you hate yourself and hate good music and hate highly energetic performances. I would say the highlight of the show for me, was when he made his guitar do some crazy feedback, set the guitar on it’s stand, left the stage to go take a piss…guitar still blaring….returned, picked it up and started right into the next song. Bad. Ass.

No vids of the show (well I did take some crappy vids with my cell but you don’t want to see that, I still need to replace that infamous camera lost at the McMurtry show), but this vid I found online of him doing Muddy Water’s classic “Can’t Be Satisfied” is the closest approximation of what I experienced that night, when he did this song it blew me away…so good, check it out: (embedding seems to be effed, so click here)

Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm @ Awful Arthur’s – Roanoke, VA 12/4/10
(sorry, no picture for this one)
This was my second time seeing Cedric and Lightnin’, and my first time at Awful Arthur’s (who have amazing fried oysters I might add). There was a blizzard going on outside, and I drove to my buddies and after watching a few vids online and me telling him how good Cedric was, we climbed in his Jeep and made the 30 mile trek in the snow to Roanoke. It was worth it.

The opening act was a group of local blues jam types who played some by the numbers blues standards, this gave us time to chow down on some of those killer fried oysters and get a few drinks in our bellies. Then Cedric came up to do his solo acoustic set, this set was particularly powerful because he dedicated it to his Uncle who had just passed a few days prior. He poured all his grief into those acoustic songs. After that set Cedric switched to drums and Malcolm took the stage with his Telecaster. The proceeded to blow the roof off the joint. If you’ve never seen Cedric Burnside live you are missing out on seeing one of the greatest drummers of our time. And the music…this is not John Mayer blues…this is BLUES the way it was meant to be played, dirty and raw. The only downside of the night was after the show I lost my favorite coat at the nearby waffle house :(

Todd Snider @ Stuart’s Opera House – Nelsonville, OH 12/30/10
This was my first Todd Snider show, me and a buddy decided to road trip up to Nelsonville, Ohio and swing by Huntington, WV on the way back for New Years Eve. First let me say Stuart’s Opera House is a great great venue. Reminds me a lot of the Lincoln Theater in Marion, VA where they tape Song Of The Mountains, and the Nelsonville/Athens area of Ohio was a really cool area. The stage was set up with a piano a guitar, and a table with a Todd Snider hippie flag draped over it. We were sitting stage left 2nd/3rd row. When it was time for Todd to come out, the PA started playing the theme from Sanford and Son…awesome.

When Todd came out, he sang Can’t Complain, he then opened it up to requests, matter of fact he played requests the whole show, even encouraging people to write what songs they want to hear and throw it on stage during the intermission between sets. As expected, he told stories, great stories…in particular one about Bill Elliot that was spectacular. Another highlight of the show, early on when he first opened it up to requests, someone requested Vinyl Records….to which he claimed it had “a shitload of words” but he persevered….forgetting the words halfway through but carrying the song anyway the way only Todd could. My buddy who had seen Todd two times before said this was definitely the best Todd show he has seen so far. Another highlight was after the intermission he came out to do the second set and sat on the piano and did a cool piano version of the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. This whole show can be downloaded at for $7. A great thing to have for a show I attended. Here is a sample from the show below, the version of Vinyl Records I was talking about:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Fox Hunt & The Demon Beat @ The V-Club – Huntington, WV 12/31/10
When I heard about this show, I knew we had to add this stop to our roadtrip on the way back from seeing Todd Snider in Ohio. First I want to say that The V-Club just may be my new favorite bar/venue in any town. Just a great place, no TV’s, an outside bar, pool tables, great bands, ¬†great atmosphere, cheap beer, great local characters, and the cutest bartender in west bygod. Plus the V stands for Valhalla, which is kind of badass. Now about the show itself, this being a New Years Eve show, it was just one big party…the place was packed, the ladies were all decked out and everyone was having a good time. I don’t recall much about the opening band Universes, but they took the stage around 10 or so. It wasn’t until after midnight that the Fox Hunt took the stage. Let me tell you this is the way to see the Fox Hunt…the way they feed off the energy of the crowd…they seemed to be calling the songs off the cuff, deciding what songs to play based on the crowds response to the last song. They finished their set with Four Horses, which the crowd also ate up. They said they could tell whether or not they had a good show by how the crowd responds to that song. They had a good show.¬†Those worried about the new lineup need not worry, the new guys sound like they were always in the band, the only thing missing is all those great songs by Matt Kline. Luckily they have many other great songs to take up the slack.

Sometime later (excuse my time lapse, I had had a quite a few beers by this point), The Demon Beat took the stage. I knew this because THEY WERE LOUD! This was a damned rock show…no doubt about it. The guitarist Adam Meisterhans performed THE BEST windmills on the guitar I’ve ever seen. I mean I’ve only seen clips of Townsend, but I will say the windmills Meisterhans performed are as fucking good! Speaking of The Who…The Demon Beat’s drummer Jordan Hudkins played the drums like a mad man. I’ve never seen anything like this. By the end of each song the drum kit would be completely destroyed and have to be re-set up. Cymbals falling over, snares and toms falling over…all from sheer ferocity of his playing. At one point he picked up a fallen tom and used it to hit one of his crash cymbals. WOW. Check these guys out if they come to your area, we are talking balls to the wall, high gear, meth in your cocaine type of energy coming from this band. A ROCK SHOW!

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit @ The V-Club – Huntington, WV 1/15/11
So at the V-Club on New Years we saw the posters for this show, and had such a good time we decided to make the trek again to see Isbell. Now, I may or may not have drank entirely too much at this show so my recollections are a bit cloudy. Should have probably let my buddy Brad (who will doing some upcoming guest posts) write this one. However, Jason and the gang put on a killer show. They played for over 2 hours, mixing in many covers such as crowd favorite “Psycho Killer”, and many songs from Jason’s DBT days like a killer version of “Decoration Day”, even some new songs from his upcoming album. Only disappointment about this show is that I did not see Jason at the local Applebees pre-show with Meghan McCain sharing the date night special (those who follow Jason on twitter will understand that joke). Though I did meet him on the street while we were walking to the club. Nice guy that Jason Isbell, puts on a hell of a show too. [EDIT: Professional-like photos from this show can bee seen here]

The Demon Beat – 1956

So West Virginia’s finest rock band The Demon Beat has a new album coming out. This album comes out New Years Eve, in just a couple days. The album release show will be at The V-Club in Huntington, WV and will feature ATS favorites The Fox Hunt and another band called Universes that I am not familiar with. By chance I will be at this show, and when the new Demon Beat album landed in my inbox I was pretty excited. The band has progressed quite a bit since last year’s “Shit, We’re 23″ and are almost in full on stoner rock mode with this album. If I had to describe it in one word it would be “epic”. Most of the 5 songs are around 8 minutes long, they blend seamlessly into each other, are simply titled “Movement 1″, “Movement 2″, etc, and the whole thing just begs to be listened to with gigantic headphones on your ears and mind altering substance of choice in your brain. Which is, I’m pretty sure what they were shooting for with this.

You see, 1956 is a concept album about Carl Perkins who released his song “Blue Suede Shoes” on New Years Day 1956 and was set to perform the song with his band in New York but was involved in an automobile accident on the way, which put him out of commission for a few months while Elvis recorded the song and it became a number one hit for him. The accompanying notes that came with this explain this story in much better detail, and I would love to post the whole thing here but I will only post a blurb:

Either way, I chose Perkins as a subject for two reasons: (a) he’s a cool motherfucker, and (b) he had grossly fortuitous shit come his way and had to deal with it. While not all of us have such a twisted story going on in our lives, shit happens in some magnitude to everyone. And we must deal.

If you are going to be near the Huntington, WV area on New Years Eve, you must get your ass to the V-Club for what is certain to be the only party in town worth going to. Find out more about the album here, check out the promo vid below, and enjoy this sample track, my favorite off this, “Movement 4″. (I almost hate to do this because the thing really needs to be listened to as a whole album, but this track will give you a good example of what to expect with the entire album)
The Demon Beat – Movement 4

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Free Music Alert: The Demon Beat – The Demon Beat EP

This one is a little different in that it’s pure fucking rock and roll and nothing else. Or as they like to say “West Virginia Rock And Roll”. They have a new album out that I will post about tomorrow as I will be seeing these guys New Years eve with The Fox Hunt (remember the band Prison Book Club, made up of members of both those bands). Give this a listen/download here and throw ‘em some money if you dig it.

Free Music Alert: Prison Book Club – LIVE in Shepherdstown

WOW!, discovered this from the other Big Bullet Records link I posted a few posts ago. Now I LOVE this band. I love their raw energy and unbridled bar room honky tonk. This is great shit. Fans of the rougher side of Drive By Truckers (i.e. Cooley) would be doing themselves a favor to check this out.

Now as I’ve mentioned before in my review of their debut album Required Reading, Prison Book Club is a band whose core members are Tucker Riggleman of The Demon Beat, and John Miller from The Fox Hunt (who I must mention have an album coming out later this year). This thing is rough around the edges and you just smell the whiskey and cigarette smoke coming from the speakers when you play it.

Download Prison Book Club – LIVE in Shepherdstown here

(awesome photo courtesy of Ashley Hoffman)

Free Music Alert: Big Bullet Records – What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Big Bullet Records is a favorite here at A Truer Sound, they are a fairly new record label out of northern West Virginia, and they always have something interesting worth checking out. Here we have a free valentines day compilation (I know, I know it’s over a fucking week late…..but it’s still good).
Now this is not typical “alt-country/americana” fare but I love Big Bullet Records and there is bound to be some crossover on some of this stuff. I mean I know some of you guys are into the punk stuff and who doesn’t like a good cover song anyway?
Highlights on here include Greg Loftus’ version of Nirvana’s “Molly’s Lips”, a listenable version of the titanic theme song by a band called The Goddamn Hills that sounds like it could be a Ryan Adams outtake, and thestripped down exile-on-mainstreet-esque version of “I Just Want To Make Love To You” by The Demon Beat and Dandelion Snow.

Download Big Bullet Records – What’s Love Got To Do With It? here

(Poke around the Big Bullet Records site for other free download offers)

Album Review: Prison Book Club – Required Reading

Here is a killer little album I have been diggin’ the hell out of lately. Prison Book Club are a West Virginia super group of sorts, comprised of John Miller from The Fox Hunt, Tucker Riggleman & Adam Meisterhans of The Demon Beat, and drummer Jeff Birdsall. Now you folks should be familiar with the unique brand of mountain music the Fox Hunt dishes out, but you may not be familar with The Demon Beat. The Demon Beat are a full steam ahead, damn the torpedos rock band who would not be out of place on a bill with Jon Spencer, The Black Keys, or The White Stripes to name a few. That is to say, while they are not really as blues centric as those bands, they have a fresh take on traditional rock with a healthy twist or two of punk thrown in. So what does it sound like when the two bands mix…well exactly what you think it might sound like, a rowdy rock band with lots of twang sounding like neither of the bands which make up it’s sum. Remember back in the early 90’s when punk and twang were being mixed together to create an exciting new sound we didn’t know what to call….that’s what Prison Book Club sounds like.
The easiest comparison I can make to Prison Book club however, is early Lucero. More specifically the first self titled Lucero album. Lots of twang, lots of guitar, lots of self reflecting whiskey soaked lyrics that just beg you to sing along. My favorite songs on this album are the ones sung by Fox Hunt’s John Miller which I think are the strongest. That’s not to say that Riggleman’s songs are bad, no they are good too, but this type of music better suites Miller’s vocal style is all. Prison Book Club is best when it combines the best of both bands, the singing and songwriting of Miller, and the thumping bass & passionate lead guitar of Riggleman & Meisterhan respectively. No song is this more evident than my favorite song on this album, the epic “When I Go”, which reminds me why I fell in love with this type of music in the first place.
This album is recommended for anyone who likes their twang served with a healthy portion of rock….or vice versa. Either way, this is the album you want to turn up to 11, rip the knob off (as Patterson Hood says), and pour a shot or 5 of the cheap stuff.
Prison Book Club are currently playing shows around their hometown of Shepherdstown, West Virginia and if your in the area you don’t want to miss what the band describes as PBR-mageddon.
Required Reading can be ordered straight from the band for a measly 8 bucks here. Also visit the Big Bullet Record’s site for more info of both Prison Book Club and The Demon Beat
Listen to Prison Book Club – Everything’s Fine
Listen to Prison Book Club – When I Go