Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Black Ale Sinners - Honky tonkin' with the....

I'd been meaning to see the Black Ale Sinners for probably over a year. Every time they had a show, it seems like something else was going on and I figured that, them being a local group, I'd be able to catch them later. Well, Saturday, I happened to walk by a poster advertising their last show ever was going to be that night. I had been planning something else, but I couldn't put it off again, so I went.

They're a nice hard driving honky tonk and old time sextet. Many of the members switched between instruments, but usually at the same time, leading to two noticeably distinct sounds. The lead guitarist switched between archtop guitar and banjo and the steel player never played steel during a banjo song. Also, the drummer played washboard during the banjo songs, but played single snare during the archtop/steel songs. Another guy switched off between mandolin and fiddle, although his switching wasn't in synch with the others. In addition to the plethora of instruments, they also sang quite a bit of harmony. The harmony was good, but a bit gritty.

They played mostly originals, which this album features exclusively, but they also played a few standards, including a couple Buck Owens songs and a Roger Miller.

This album showcases their more honky tonk side (hence the title) and doesn't feature any banjo or washboard as far as I can tell. Many of these original tunes have a ring of familiarity about them, one of the hallmarks of good songwriting, I think. These guys are also obviously having fun, which brings out the best in their tunes. They fall into a nice place between the sometimes over-seriousness of Dale Watson and the snarky "irony" of so many indie rockers turned country.

Black Ale Sinners - Highway 10

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing these guys out and for all the other songs and comments. Great blog!


Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the kind words. It's too bad you didn't come out sooner. The show you attended was in fact recorded and we will have a live album from it coming out soon. Thanks again, Steve (Black Ale Sinners).

Joel @ Postmodern Sounds said...

Thanks, Steve. I'm glad you're cool with me posting a song. I was going to ask, but with the bar closing and all, I didn't get to.

Definitely let me know if the remaining members morph into some other band. And good luck on whatever's taking you away from Lawrence.

Anonymous said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site! Keep up the good work. Thanks.