Friday, May 26, 2006

Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies - Blood to Dust

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from a CD that wasn't even formally pressed, just burned off a computer and hand labeled with a Sharpie. I wasn't originally sure if Bob Wayne's scrawl on the disc of "If you don't like this shit fuck off" was a suggestion or the title of the album. After letting CDDB work it's magic, I found out that the title is apparently Blood to Dust and it's maybe the best CD I've bought this year.

Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies, when I saw them, were a Bob Wayne (who I've found out is Hank III's guitar tech) on acoustic guitar, Joe Buck on bass, and a really good banjo and telecaster player who's name I don't know. The CD includes drums and some other instruments.

The sound of this album is really wonderful. It leans toward '70s hard country-rock, but the presence of banjo as the lead instrument on several of the tracks pulls it back before it goes too far. I can't think of another band off the top of my head that uses banjo so effectively and prominently in a hard-driven country sound.

Bob Wayne (I assume) writes really pensive and spiritual songs. This combination of song and sound is unfortunately a real feat these days. I could easily see these same songs becoming maudlin in the hands of an unskilled singer/songwriter, but Bob Wayne doesn't fall for undue dramatics. This album is also the most honestly spiritual set of songs outside of true gospel, referencing God and the devil on almost every track. But, unlike some "alt-country" indie rockers, he's not being ironic or dismissive. In fact, his understanding of the sin/salvation contrast of gospel and the blues might give discomfort to some hipsters who are only familiar with ironic spirituality or cherry-picked, tourist versions of Buddhism or Kabbala.

"Road Bound" is the lead off track of the album and shows of their sound pretty well. "27 Years" is a bit slower, but emphasizes the complex spirituality that I was commenting on.

Listen:
Bob Wayne And The Outlaw Carnies - Road Bound.mp3
Bob Wayne And The Outlaw Carnies - 27 Years.mp3

Buy:
From Bob Wayne

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

i saw bob wayne open for hank iii in houston on 9/12/06. i was blown away. i bought both his cds and i know almost all the words to every song since i listen to them all the time. i highly recommend bob wayne... real honest, powerful, damn good music.

Anonymous said...

Bob Wayne is truley on his way to becoming the next Johnny Cash. Although Mr. Wayne would humbly say nobody could ever fill the shoes, his music sure does resemble Mr. Cash. I've seen Bob Wayne perform several times his music tells a story, "Blood to Dust" is a great album. I heard he has a new one now, does anybody know how to get it or what it's called?

Anonymous said...

New album is Driven By Demons, you can get it at the shows or at bobwayne.org.

Ask Bob about the dvd as well next time you see him!

txz045 said...

My friend Thurber T. Mingus of the Midland Texas based band PUMPJACK got me into Bob Wayne and I really appreciate that he did, I'm now a life long fan. I recently filmed a Bob Wayne concert and enjoyed it very much, its nice to be able to go back and watch it all again and again. He and his band were super nice fellas and I'd like to say thanks for coming to Odessa Texas please do come back again. In the meantime I will be spreading the Bob Wayne word :)