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Big Medicine Head - The Handsome Years (2014)

22-09-2014, 10:17
Music | Country | Rock

Big Medicine Head - The Handsome Years (2014)

Artist: Big Medicine Head
Title Of Album: The Handsome Years
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Country/Rock/Americana
Label: Sterno Bums International
Quality: MP3 320 kbps
Total Time: 49:16
Total Size: 113 Mb

1. The Handsome Years (3:14)
2. Crush Your Diamonds (2:59)
3. The Restoration Bar (3:46)
4. Shark Knife (4:43)
5. Prayer Shack (4:04)
6. Last Night In The World (4:13)
7. Cool Electric Sky (4:53)
8. Ghost Town (4:10)
9. Loretta (5:00)
10. Leaving On The 10 (4:53)
11. Big Medicine City (2:33)
12. Hold My Hand (4:44)

Big Medicine Head began with a few guys bashing out songs in a basement underneath a bar in Santa Cruz. Soon, the band graduated to playing actual gigs, and the road has taken them through college towns across California, trashy neon bars in Reno, roadhouses in Illinois, to Greenwich Village in New York.

Influenced by Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, The Replacements, Tom Petty and Dionne Warwick, Big Medicine Head creates music that applies driving rock and pop sensibilities to deceptively textured lyrics.

The band's first record "Rex Hotel" (Broken Records) is a portrait of the American landscape seen through the windshield of a car. Ranging from the gritty riff-driven rock of "the Lonesome Desert Crawl" to the Appalachian influenced ballad "Jesus' Favorite Dress", singer/songwriter Robert Gemmell draws word pictures that move from despondence to joy. JD Devros adds mischievous rockers and poetic blues tracks to fill out the sonic spectrum.

The second album "The Queen of the Western Hemisphere" followed the same thread, but in a brighter, more optimistic vein.

This Brian Palmer article from The Good Times is enlightening:

When asked why Big Medicine Head keeps making music after all these years, Bob Gemmell, the band’s singer, lyricist and guitarist, sums it up: “We make the time.” They also take their time. The band’s forthcoming effort, The Handsome Years, due out next spring, was supposed be released before the 2013 Summer Love-Off—Big Medicine Head’s annual tour—but they knew the album wasn’t ready.

“There were some songs I didn’t want to rush," Gemmell says. "Some of the stuff we have lying around isn’t available anymore, and we also have some songs I wanted to re-sing and re-mix—so, we released Hobo, which is a combination of unreleased and remastered songs."

Two tracks from the new album—the country-tinged Americana number “Loretta in Laredo” and the bluesy rocker “Prayer Shack”—shine a light on a theme that appears throughout the band’s catalog: contemplating American culture through the lens of evangelism. “When I was a kid, I remember sitting in front of the TV and watching Billy Graham, and I was captivated,” Gemmell says. “The showmanship and the fervor that people like him spoke with—I just had this fascination with how people could believe something so much. And when we were doing Rex Hotel [their first record], there were a lot of scandals involving TV preachers. They’d be proselytizing and yet they’d be getting caught in hotel rooms with hookers. The hypocrisy just drove me. I really wanted to shine a light on that.” In addition to thought-provoking material, the normally electric band has something special in store for Friday’s Crepe Place gig. “This show is going to be really fun because we’re doing it more stripped down,” says Gemmell. “When we play acoustic, it’s closer to the way the songs were originally written. Also, I actually get to sing instead of trying to yell over all the instruments, so that’s fun too.”

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