Living Blues #218 April/May 2012 : Page 55

new releases Baby Move —and in Indianapolis, they even host a slide guitar clinic, teaching the open tunings favored by artists such as Son House and Elmore James. They also uncover the local blues history of the towns they perform in; in one scene, they literally do so by shoveling snow off of the Gennett Records Walk of Fame in Richmond, Indiana, in order to find Charley Patton’s plaque. They eventually end up at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where they visit with president and CEO Terry Stewart and peruse the museum’s blues collection. That’s as glamorous as the film gets, and as close to a “museum piece” as the Scissormen come. The accompanying CD features their complete performance at the Key Palace Theater in Red Key, Indiana, which we see snippets of throughout Mugge’s film. Their music is extraordinary; grittier than their closest counterparts the White Stripes and the Black Keys, the Scissormen also display a fluidity and connection with blues idioms that surpasses that of both these groups. They are also informed by other genres; the punk drums and psych-guitar wails of Whiskey and Maryjane , a song from the duo’s tenure in the Devil Gods, reveal the band’s alternative roots. Despite their varied influences, the Scissormen define themselves as a “juke joint blues band.” They “walk and talk” the blues in their journeymen lifestyle, their constant advocacy for their mentors, and their folk-process method of creating new sounds based on traditional music. And yet, the question, “You got a right to sing those blues?” hov-ers over all. In the title track, Drozdowski answers his nameless asker, “I say ‘It’s a free country, man/I’ll sing anything I choose.’” Whether one agrees with their self-categoriza-tion or not, the compelling, incendiary music the Scissormen create in Big Shoes deserves attention from listeners across the board. —M elanie Y oung who told readers that Dave’s slide guitar will “change your way of life,” are back with their latest, Last Time I Saw You . This self-produced record is filled with the sort of hip-shakin’ chicken gristle the guys have been pumping out since their days backing Jerry “Boogie” McCain. Dave’s ice-cool delivery and The Nukes’ derailed freight train accompani-ment are the soundtrack to an evening of barnstorming blues bliss. The band consists of well-traveled and schooled musicians by this point, after two decades of roadwork, the band is a well-oiled machine. Dave and the boys (longtime bassist Rick Godfrey and drummer since the mid 2000’s, James Irvin) ramble through cuts like the rude shuffle of Drinkin’ Wine Since Nine , Dave’s beer-goggled lyrical play recounting the hours ’til closing time (“been drinkin’ wine since nine/making friends since ten/up stepping Por t t ownsend and Acoustic Blues FestivAl Workshop Daryl Davis, Artistic Director July 29 – August 4, 2012 Spend a week jamming with Robert Belfour, Guy Davis, Phil Wiggins, Tim Sparks, John Miller, Eleanor Ellis and many more at Fort Worden State Park in beautiful Port Townsend, Washington. 800-733-3608 MICROWAVE DAVE & THE NUKES Last Time I Saw You No Label, (No #) If George Thorogood and the Destroyers, the Stray Cats, and Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials combined their signature sounds with the tav-ern wisdom of a Hank Williams hillbilly howl, you might get something like Microwave Dave & the Nukes. The Alabama trio, once praised by the pen of legendary author Stephen King, Photo by Roz Powell Voice Works: A Workshop for Singers: June 25 – July 1 The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes: July 1 – 8 April 2012 • LIVING BLUES • 55

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