Harlis Sweetwater - now, that's a great rock 'n' roll name - remember him? He used to come up here to the 805 and make us get drunk while be played sweaty, bluesy rock with his band, Barrelhouse. This one is "Lights Goin' Down" and it's as good as anything Sweetwater has done in the past - and he's been plenty good and also one of the few people behind the Orange Curtain to have contracted a case of the blues. Kicking it off with a Willie Dixon tune ("Backdoor Man") is always a smart move but "I Just Wanna Be Your Lover," the blueprint for a horndog's holiday and "Like A Woman Should" are not just great blues tunes but also feature incendiary guitars from Sweetwater and Ray Booth. The title tune rocks, too, on the hardest rockin' blues album since Dave Hole. You may need asbestos ear muffs for this one.
The new Black Twig Pickers' album is "Rough Carpenters" and it's an advance from Thrill Jockey. It's old timey music from Appalachia with enough sad fiddles to be the soundtrack from a Ken Burns documentary or for the hillbillies forget for a moment what the coal companies have done to them and their state. If the survivors of the Hatfields and the McCoys had a truce and a held dance - this could be the soundtrack. This is an advance for an album due out in February - their 2012 album was "Whompjawed," gotta love that. If you were to watch one of the weirdest movies of all time, "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia," with the sound off - this would be the perfect soundtrack.