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              It was a blustery weekend in Muskrat Flats. The wind was conducting a symphony as the poplars bordering the vineyard...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hobbits, Dwarves, and Orcs ... Alt. Middle Earth Country

I got another one of those calls from Steve the other day. Bow Bow had just gotten the latest issue of No Depression and there was a review of State Fair and there seemed to be a some confusion as to what the reviewer thought of State Fair (The Review by Rick Cornell can be seen on the drunkstuntmen.com message board)

Steve was concerned that the band may be experiencing an identity crisis and Basically asked me to identify what Genre the band is. I even sent out an email to some of our friends, long time fans and associates asking them to chime in.

Alt. Country and Roots Rock still dominate the landscape. "Bamm", a frequent contributor to the message board said, "Interesting question. I don't have an answer for the "genre" because it changes with each new CD and sometimes with each new show."

The Folks at Masslive.com seemed to be as perplexed as Steve was when it came to this subject. One review read like it would have been more appropriate for Soup than the most recent incarnation of the Drunk Stuntmen. Even the folks up in Vermont, who are pushing the Middle Earth Show this weekend, are calling the Stuntmen, "the Northampton, Ma based jam band." I guess we should have never done that "Bring a Drum and get in for Free" promotion back in the day when Freddy could still cook you up a steaming pile of noodles for lunch. Well, he can still do that, but you just have to accept that the steaming pile of noodles is meant for your ears and not your belly.

It doesn't matter what genre we are. Call us what you want, just call us different. We are still of the belief that different is good.

I came across this little ditty I wrote last Summer. I think it deserves a revisit and may help to quell any questions of identity when it comes to this band....

I had the pleasure of seeing the Drunk Stuntmen two weekends in a row. All and I mean ALL of the new Drunk Stuntmen tunes are really shaping into something hard to describe. Personnel changes aside, the new tunes definitely fit the leaner and meaner unit. Trailer Life, their latest release has a very distinct and unique sound and reflected an energy that one would witness from the stage. There are songs about love lost, and a yearning for simpler times more comfortable times jarred by the act of our parents selling our house. The themes are geared toward blue collar Americans, tapping into our emotions with vivid images of Trailer Parks, California towns where the residents strive to preserve their identity and solitude by removing street signs so the tourists can't find them. Most of the songs on the Album were penned by Terry Flood, former guitarist, and front man Steve Sanderson who handled all of the vocals on Trailer Life.

I have high hopes for the new album, which will begin production in September. From what I am hearing, it sounds like the new album will further define the musical direction the Drunk Stuntmen. There was a true Southern Rock flavor to a lot of what has happened in the past. But those are the roots . Hopefully will not change. With that said, the new tunes are going to leave people scratching their heads wondering what happened. Perhaps it is the personnel change and the fact that the writers are singing their own material. Perhaps it will be the inclusion of some new Freddy Freedom tunes who was noticeably absent as a contributing writer on the last release. But these folks sitting there scratching away may be wondering what happened to their band. And they are going to want MORE. I'm talking about the folks who haven't quite gotten on board with what is actually happening from the stage and have had Trailer Life in their disc changer in the trunk of their car for the last 18 months, often choosing that disc for their afternoon commute. If you see the Stuntmen on a semi-regular basis this energy is not only apparent but consuming.

Insightful lyrics, funking groovy jams with a Booker T and the MGs flair, trumpet solos. They sound like a band which has been emancipated from the pigeon hole where everyone's favorite Skynrd covers reside. I'm not suggesting that the new songs sound drastically different as say...in the instance of Neil Young going from heavily sampled and computerized Trans era to the Rockabilly genre with the Blue Notes. That's schizophrenia or Neil's attempt at an inside joke, not necessarily the progression and growth of a vibrant and forward thinking unit who is not afraid to take chances. The songs demonstrate a maturity and a reverence for life and what is happening around all of us. We can identify. Still My Baby, Halcyon days, 6:29, Silver City, Every Third Thing are all great tunes but they may confuse the the aforementioned Stuntfans and possibly even a critic or two.

We are entering a new era. The energy provided by this band is reaching the critical limit and may no longer be safely contained. I don't know about you, but I am preparing for the explosion.

Call us what you will, but call us.

This weekend is the last chance to see the Drunk Stuntmen at the Middle Earth in Bradford, Vermont. If you can make this show please do. The Middle Earth is a special venue which is going to be closing it doors.

Check out the tour dates. We are lining up the home field advantage as we return to the Narrows in Viva Fall River. We heading up to Buffalo, NY and PA soon, Also, a Southern swing is on the books as we will hit Nashville, Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Charlotte. Also Bourne is coming up! Make your reservations for a camp site early.

Until Next Time ... Do Your Own Stunts!

Just for Today, I'm Running Hard Out of Muskrat Flats.


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