13 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s unusual for a magnetic live performer to translate that energy and enthusiasm to the recorded medium without losing an essential element. Yet that’s just what outlaw blues/country/folk troubadour Scott H. Biram achieves with the stellar Bad Ingredients. A rave-up like “Dontcha Lie to Me Baby” shakes with a shattering power far beyond a one-man band. The recordings are often deliberately lo-fi, but with a stunning clarity for guitars that gives everything a desperate power. “Victory Song” rips through the juke joint with high-level velocity. “I Want My Mojo Back,” recorded with saxophonist Walter Daniels, is primal blues. The lost and wandering spirits of “Just Another River,” “Open Road,” and “Born in Jail” crack a forlorn sky. “Broke Ass” is the kind of tortured love song one expects from a man who proudly lives his life at society’s margins. Biram is a brilliant performer; everything he touches shreds in his hands. Surely Tom Waits fans would understand.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s unusual for a magnetic live performer to translate that energy and enthusiasm to the recorded medium without losing an essential element. Yet that’s just what outlaw blues/country/folk troubadour Scott H. Biram achieves with the stellar Bad Ingredients. A rave-up like “Dontcha Lie to Me Baby” shakes with a shattering power far beyond a one-man band. The recordings are often deliberately lo-fi, but with a stunning clarity for guitars that gives everything a desperate power. “Victory Song” rips through the juke joint with high-level velocity. “I Want My Mojo Back,” recorded with saxophonist Walter Daniels, is primal blues. The lost and wandering spirits of “Just Another River,” “Open Road,” and “Born in Jail” crack a forlorn sky. “Broke Ass” is the kind of tortured love song one expects from a man who proudly lives his life at society’s margins. Biram is a brilliant performer; everything he touches shreds in his hands. Surely Tom Waits fans would understand.

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