01. (intro) – 1:14
02. In My Soul, Under My Skin – 3:42
03. Medicine Eyes (part 1) – 2:51
04. If I Fail – 4:44
05. My Mary Jane – 1:51
06. Rotten Bastard Blues – 4:01
07. Trimmed and Burning – 5:32
08. Leave Her Alone – 2:16
09. Mother Earth – 3:17
10. Shoot the Lights Out – 2:29
11. Knoxville Girl – 6:37
The Whiskey Shambles have been described as, “R.L. Burnside and Black Sabbath jamming with Nina Simone in a burned-out rum shack, using opium for incense.” This description also offers an accurate depiction of what you’ll hear on much of The Shambles’ first full-length album, “Loose Change for a Broken Man.”
The band’s loud, belligerent style of demonic hill-stomp blues and garage rock almost . . . but not quite . . . betrays an air of subtle sophistication lingering just around the edges. “Loose Change for a Broken Man,” delivers a sound that appeals to fans of the classic gritty blues and blues-rock of the ’60s, as well as those who enjoy the loose, rough guitar-based hard rock that emerged in the early 70s, such as MC5.
Fans of old-school hill country blues will notice the influence of artists like, Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and T-Model Ford, but with a similar sensibility as the Buddy Guy album, “Sweet Tea,” which pushes this style into a larger-than life, epic soundscape. Though The Whiskey Shambles have been compared to contemporary artists such as The Black Keys, Ten Foot Polecats, Gary Clark Jr., and Cashman, their music is more of a reverent nod to Screaming Jay Hawkins, Hound Dog Taylor, and Howlin’ Wolf.
The record was produced by The Shambles’ own Brother James, the original songs written by frontman Nathan Singer, and all tracks arranged by the four bandmates as a collaborative process. The members’ diverse influences and backgrounds blend to create a sonic pastiche that blurs the boundaries between genres, fusing elements of blues, rock, gospel, punk, soul, and ’70s metal.
LaTanya Foster — a classically trained opera performer — and her soaring soprano, offer a refined counterpoint to Nathan Singer’s deep, dark baritone. Singer’s rough-textured vocals often belie his soulful rendition of the somber or biting lyrics, and it is through Foster’s backing that the gravity of his words are driven home. “Foster’s sweet, clear, and clean vocals,” explains one reviewer, “add a sharp and often eerie contrast to the stark, liquor spittin’ lyrics Singer spews out.”
All songs arranged by The Whiskey Shambles.
All music and lyrics by Nathan Singer except: Mother Earth – (traditional); Trimmed and Burning – Peter Chatman, Lewis Simpkins, Copyright: Memphis Slim Music, Arc Music Corp.; Knoxville Girl – (traditional)
Recorded at Brave New Voice studios, Cincinnati, OH.
Engineered by Adam Rabinowitz, James Czar. Produced and mixed by James Czar.
Mastered by Dave Davis / The All Night Party.
Photos by Mary Jo McClain/Lovely Moles Photography, Scott Preston/CincyGroove, Mary Beth Weaver, and mdtiernan Rock N Roll Photography.
Copyright 2014, Czar/Foster/Singer/Tyree (BMI), Brave New Voice, all rights reserved.