For those who think they've experienced a downright dirty electric blues show, but haven't managed to catch a set from Scott Biram, you haven't gotten electro-nasty just yet. The Austin resident recently released Bad Ingredients on the dependably great Bloodshot label, and while the record is another fine example in Biram's arsenal, the recordings only serve as mean-spirited appetizer for the toxic main course that is his one-man blues-rock smorgasbord.
With Biram hitting the stage at LaGrange tonight, we thought we'd ask what album he would keep with him should he ever be stranded. Oh, and a way to play the music, of course.
If given only one disc to be stranded on a desert island with, which one would it be? I've always hated this question. I know that no matter what I pick, I'll eventually be so sick of it I'll throw it in the ocean. Muddy Waters' At Newport always pops in my head for some reason, but I doubt that's what I would really pick. I think would I probably find something more dynamic and ambient that would give my ears more things to discover over the years. I think the best thing to do would be pick some kind of compilation, or hope that along with the one disc and CD player, I also just happened to get stranded with my iPod too! I've got about 18,000 songs on there. Well, for the sake of this interview, I'll pick something. Let's say Black Sabbath Vol. 4. That will work for this.
Why that specific album? That album has a little of everything. Well, maybe it doesn't have any country or bluegrass or old-time blues, but Black Sabbath in general is very blues influenced. It digs down deep into dark, soulful reverberated caverns; through folky, almost hippy-ish, celebration, to heavy-duty, rocked out, well, rock.
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What's your favorite song on the record? That's hard to say. For me, it's probably a tie between "Wheels of Confusion" and "Snowblind." I love the way "Wheels of Confusion" starts. You can kind of tell they just erased the drum stick count off at the beginning. It's like it busts into the song as if it had already been playing. I love songs that start with guitar solos.
When did you first hear the record? I can't really say. I think I first heard it back around 1990. We used to jam it in the car when we were driving around town or the high school parking lot. I remember playing it for my dad and him saying, "We used to listen to it like this," then he'd crank the stereo up real loud.
What does picking that record say about you? I don't know. That I like to smoke pot [laughing]. But, I doubt there would be any on a desert island.
Scott Biram and Lydia Loveless perform at LaGrange tonight.