Central Music Festival promises down-home focus

The third annual Central Music Festival is to be held August 14 and 15 on the same site north of Red Deer as the two previous festivals. The organizers have wisely focused this year’s lineup, emphasizing Alberta and western talent.

Array

The third annual Central Music Festival is to be held August 14 and 15 on the same site north of Red Deer as the two previous festivals. The organizers have wisely focused this year’s lineup, emphasizing Alberta and western talent.

Even with local concentration, one shouldn’t be surprised by the variety of the music to be presented. As in previous years, roots music will share the stage with blues, jazz, country, and rock performers, with an apparent increased emphasis on world music sounds.

The well-rounded festival includes Amos Garrett, Steve Coffey & the Lokels, Donna Durand, Ndidi Onikwulu, Dick Damron, and many others. Details at www.centralmusicfest.com, with tickets at the Black Knight Inn outlet and Valhalla Pure Outfitters.

The Bop Ensemble — Bill Bourne, Wyckham Porteous, and Jas — return to the city for a performance next Saturday night at The Vat Pub. The same night, Jesse Dee & Jacquie B bring roots, pop and jazz to the Velvet Olive Lounge.

Finally, tickets for George Jones’ October 15 show at the Enmax Centrium went on sale earlier this week. Wasn’t he on a Farewell Canada tour the last time through town? Nonetheless, the Possum remains popular with a select clientele and tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.

This week’s CD review:

Scott H. Biram

Something’s Wrong/Lost Forever

BloodshotCentral Music Festival promises down-home focus

Scott H. Biram. Now there stands a man on a mission.

Biram is on a journey to make a melding of the triple forces of Hank Williams, hillbilly blues, and rock ‘n’ roll legitimate. And on his seventh album, he does so in a manner that is much more appealing than most of the music released by Hank III and others who have similarly attempted to bring together disparate music styles.

With a hard rockin’ beat, sound collages, and vocal effects that somehow make his claim all the more justifiable, Biram has produced a creative, challenging version of what used to be referred to as alt. country. Indeed, Biram’s music has as much in common with R L Burnside’s nasty Fat Possum releases as it does the songs of Jon Langford, The Sadies, or Justin Townes Earle.

Irreverent, profane, and slightly off kilter, Biram somehow makes it all work, and he has created a country-blues vision that packs a punch while retaining melody.

The Dirty Ole One Man Band, as Biram is often referred, produced the album almost entirely on his own, with additional musicians featured on only two songs.

Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue not only has a title worthy of Robbie Fulks or Dale Watson, but Biram’s desolate lyrics- including “sweat gets so cold alone every night,” capture desperation in a manner worthy of more familiar songwriters.

Judgment Day would fit with the outtakes from Fred Eaglesmith’s spellbinding Tinderbox album; Biram’s rapid-fire proselytizing warns of what is coming, as the gator snaps at your heels.

Wildside is an impassioned love letter to a woman who has long move on, but whom apparently remains susceptible to backsliding.

The album’s strongest cut may well be the trucking anthem Draggin’ Down the Line; one needn’t have driven a rig to relate to the pressures and daily grind being described: “Starin’ out the window at the world just movin’, thinkin’ ‘bout changes and the friends I keep losin’.”

How does one summarize an album such as Something’s Wrong/Lost Forever? There is some Dan Penn southern country soul mixed in with the electric lead guitar along with elements of Tony Joe White’s swamp rock, but Biram isn’t nearly as refined musically. His voice is huge and weathered with miles but, as demonstrated on Leadbelly’s Go Down Ol’ Hannah, controlled and eminently listenable. This album is dark, and its images, messages, and sounds reverberate long into the night.

I’d say that I don’t really want to know Scott H. Biram after listening to his enjoyable, disquieting album. Unfortunately, I think I do know him. He is me. And you. We all have thoughts that are hidden in shadows. The difference is, Biram puts his to music and rhyme.

Donald Teplyske is a local freelance writer who contributes a twice-monthly column on roots music; visit fervorcoulee.wordpress.com for additional reviews. If you know a roots music event of which he should be aware, contact him at fervorcoulee@shaw.ca

Just Posted

BREAKING: Delburne man found not guilty in connection with 2016 fatal rollover

Daniel Wayne Newsham had been on trial for manslaughter

Loan officer accused of $1 million fraud to plead guilty

Accused allegedly forged customer names to get loans while working at Sylvan Lake bank

Red Deer to get new plan to end homelessness as problem persists

Despite some successes there’s ‘a long way to go,’ says manager

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Ottawa is spending $1.6 billion to help struggling energy companies stay afloat,… Continue reading

Canada ranks 16th on World Economic Forum’s annual gender gap list

TORONTO — Canada has landed the 16th spot in the World Economic… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Most Read