Eclectic acoustic Blues duo 46 Long is set to release its latest full-length, the dynamic Tennessee, featuring 10 “songs of murder, sex and love,” this Friday at downtown’s Arnold’s Bar & Grill. Showtime is 9 p.m. and the shindig is a free one.
Though “dynamic” and “eclectic” might not be the first words to come to mind when you think “acoustic Blues duo” — all three words suggest inherent limitations — 46 Long is both of those and more. Eschewing Blues clichés while still staying fairly faithful to the music’s rich tradition is a difficult balancing act to pull off, but Tennessee finds the twosome subtly integrating sounds from a broad spectrum of influence without losing their core, distinct sound. In the end, it’s one of the more creative Blues releases you’ll likely hear all year, yet the detours and tangents shouldn’t deter (most) purists.
On Tennessee, Blake Taylor (who primarily sings and blows a mean harmonica, though also contributes keys, percussion guitar and, uh, “crowbar” on the album) and Jonathan Reynolds (who sings and plays guitar while also providing bass and percussion) start things off with the stanky groove of “More,” then take the listeners through deft interpretations of gritty, Delta-esque Blues (like the title track), gruff Tom Waitsian eccentricity (“Lock It Up or Lose It”), full-bodied, swaggering AltCountry (a cover of the Starkweathers’ “One for Her, One For Him”), boogying Lyle Lovett-like Swing (“Don’t Drink”) and stompin’ Garage Rock (“Something Strange”).
Other standouts on Tennessee include a sparsely percussioned take on Morphine’s “Thursday,” and “The Best Revenge,” a dark, ominously atmospheric track that’ll send creepy shivers up your spine.
The recording is refreshingly natural (with only some distortion here and there to add shadowing), the perfect setting to wrap your ears around the duo’s ace musical skills. Taylor once again proves he’s one of the best Blues harmonica players in the region, playing the mouth harp like a saxophone, a vocal part, a rhythm guitar or pretty much any other instrument you can think of.
If you’ve given up on the Blues because you think you’ve heard it all before, pick up Tennessee and let 46 Long show you otherwise.www.46long.com)
Car Crash = Starting From Scratch
Not long after putting on a great show with her band The Seedy Seeds at the first-ever Bunbury Music Festival, the group’s Margaret Darling and friend (and equally gifted singer/songwriter) Jason Wells of Indie group for algernon were involved in a serious auto accident that has required not only some time away from music to recuperate (both suffered painful injuries; Wells says Darling suffered the worst of it, fracturing a rib), but also a gutting of their bank accounts to pay for treatment and hospital stays. That’s on top of a totaled car and destroyed instruments. Both are expected to fully recover physically, but it will take some time still.
After being screwed by insurance companies, Wells had to use all of the cash he had stashed away to record the next for algernon album. As a result, Wells started a Kickstarter campaign so that he could get back to work on his project as soon as possible.
In an email, I could sense Wells was very reluctant to ask for help; it’s a sense of pride thing a lot of musicians (and humans) have. But in the Greater Cincinnati music scene, those who need help should never be embarrassed to ask. It’s part of the reason we (the fans) are here — you ladies and gents gives us the sweet gift of music and often enhance our lives greatly. It’s the least we can do to return the favor when you need us.
In that spirit, be sure to visit Wells' Kickstarter.com page here and kick in whatever you can. You can also visit facebook.com/theseedyseeds and send your best wishes to Margaret. (www.foralgernon.com)
Wussy To Join Afghan Whigs Tour
Cincy rockers Wussy are set to join Cincy legends The Afghan Whigs’ much-celebrated reunion tour this fall when the band finally hits the U.S. for a run of dates (the Whigs rock Lollapalooza this weekend). Another great exhibition of Cincy’s rich music scene, again in the national spotlight. Wussy has been touring a lot more than usual lately, including its first West Coast jaunt, and its music was recently released in the U.K. (where the band is also headed for some tour dates), so this should help raise the group’s profile even more.
So far, Wussy is set to open for The Afghan Whigs at their homecoming show at Bogart’s on Oct. 25 (sold out), as well as on dates in New Orleans (Oct. 19), Atlanta (Oct. 20), Carrboro, N.C. (Oct. 21) and another sold-out affair in Detroit (Oct. 24). More dates are expected to be announced soon.
Check out our music blog at citybeat.com for clips of the Whigs covering Wussy singer/songwriter Chuck Cleaver’s old Ass Ponys chestnut “Mr. Superlove” and Wussy covering an early Whigs tune for a more recent compilation album put out by fansite summerskiss.com. (wussy.org)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @CityBeatMusic