All Them Witches are a neo-psychedelic, dark blues quartet from Nashville. They unapologetically use the music of earlier eras to forge a loose, spacy, hard rock sound of their own. While it is easy to pick out influences -- including Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Mountain, Gris-Gris and Sun, Moon & Herbs-era Dr. John, and the electric Delta swamp blues of Junior Kimbrough -- it is much more difficult to pin them down due to a unique meld of crafted songwriting and spacious grooves.
Fronted by bassist Charles Michael Parks, Jr., the lineup is rounded out by drummer Robby Staebler, guitarist Ben McLeod, and Allan Van Cleave on Fender Rhodes, organ, and other instruments. Parks met Staebler while they were working at "a corporate hippie store." Staebler gave him some music he had been writing and playing with McLeod; it inspired Parks to jam with them. Staebler's pal, keyboardist Van Cleave, was also invited and All Them Witches were born.
The bandmembers credit the group's birthdate as January 6, 2012. Almost immediately they began recording. Their debut album, Our Mother Electricity, was the first release on Germany's Elektrohasch by an American band. The band immediately set to work on a follow-up, issuing the EP Extra Pleasant, recorded with two microphones direct to a cassette recorder. They began a grueling touring schedule and garnered a multitude of fans, who were encouraged to record and trade concert tapes with one another. Lightning at the Door was quietly self-released through the quartet's Bandcamp page in early 2014, and later marketed by Tone Tree Music. All Them Witches received international critical attention for this recording, all the while continuing to tour. Their profile increased during a series of dates with doom rockers Windhand.
All Them Witches signed to New West in early 2015. They played to intense fanfare at music festivals such as SXSW and Bonnaroo. The label licensed Lightning at the Door for reissue. The band recorded its third album in Pigeon Forge, in eastern Tennessee. They set up a studio in a remote cabin where they lived and worked, and finished the album in six days. Dying Surfer Meets His Maker was released at the end of October in 2015, followed by an eight-month tour. The band commemorated it by releasing Live in Brussels (recorded in March 2016). In November 2016, the video and single "Bruce Lee" appeared as a pre-release to 2017's studio set Sleeping Through the War. The album was produced by Dave Cobb and featured guest spots from Caitlin Rose and Mickey Raphael. ~ Thom Jurek