Sam's Burger Joint & San Antonio Blues Society Presents:
Scott H. Biram
The Sideshow Tragedy
Fri, April 26, 2019
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pmSam's Burger Joint
This event is 18 and over
NO Seating GUARANTEED. Any Seating Available is on a First Come, First Served Basis. NO REFUNDS all sales final.
All Minors Will Be Charged an Additional $5 At the Door. 17 & Under Admitted with Parent or Guardian Only. - $12 Advance/ $15 Day of Show/ $45 Reserved Booth
Scott H. Biram conjured the words and music for The Bad Testament during mad alchemical sessions at his homemade studio in Austin, TX. Through stacks of amps, spools of cable, and a prodigious collection of microphones, he spread his technical wings wide, while never losing the immediacy honed from a life on the road. He added a drum kit and rustic vocal duet to his skill set (which already includes all guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals, and percussion on the album). And strip away the one-man band eccentricity, SHB is out-writing any meeting taker on Music Row. The man writes on a razor’s edge of aggression and deftness, thoroughly contemporary but steeped in the backwaters, back porches and back alleys of our collective musical heritage.
Many in the one-man band field find their groove and stay in it, but stay in a groove too long and it becomes a rut. SHB has the groove, but never falls into a rut. On “Set Me Free” and “Red Wine” the wandering country soul of Jimmie Rodgers and the laid-back cool of Merle Haggard ride well with SHB’s distorted punk; it’s the 2-sided jukebox hit at the honky-tonk behind the looking glass of CBGB’s. “Righteous Ways” and “Still Around,” mellower, but no less determined, sound right out of the Folkways canon. Speaking to eternities and charlatans, Biram’s freewheelin’ with an edgy take on the Newport Folk vibe. With its surprisingly melancholy organ and in the back of the pocket tattered soul, “Crippled & Crazy,” recalls The Band. The haunting harmonica-soaked ballad “Long Old Time” is a chilling taste of existential desolation, “It’s gonna be a long old time/ before I pay for the crime that I done.” This is one lost highwayman.
Fear not, though, Biram is still The Dirty Old One Man Band. His brand of unvarnished and unhinged aggro-roots remains as exciting as ever. “Trainwrecker” blasts down the two-laner with the breathless fervor of a redneck metal “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone.” Try NOT singing along in the best Nordic Doom Metal voice we all carry around buried within our darker selves. He’s downright blunt on the R-rated Boomhauer TX rant “Swift Driftin’”: “It takes a real piece of shit to be a real piece of shit/ You should really just be headed on your way.” Yet the stark acoustic guitar country blues is updated and self-aware – a profane reboot of personal heroes Leadbelly and Mississippi Fred McDowell. The instrumental “Hit the River” is a throw the devil horns slide guitar boogie right in that sweet Biram groove. And. It. Will. Not. Let. Go. It’s short, not-so-sweet, and leaves you panting for more.
Scott H Biram is THE one-man band. The master of the realm. Why? Because even though he’s one man, he ain’t one thing.
Frontman Nathan Singleton grew up playing in blues clubs in East Texas as a teenager, where his dad was (and is) an acoustic blues fanatic and collector of vintage National resonator guitars. Nathan devoured old blues music, while at the same time, gravitated toward listening to rock, punk rock, funk, new wave, and legendary songwriters and musicians too numerous to mention.
Named after references in a Rimbaud poem called “Parade”, The Sideshow Tragedy has been captivating audiences with their “unadulterated energy” (KUT) and “distinctive, dark, and ultimately uplifting” (Austin Chronicle) tunes across Texas and much of the U.S. for over a decade, sharing the stage with the likes of Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Black Joe Lewis, Bob Log III, King Khan and the Shrines, Conor Oberst, Joseph Arthur, Foghat and Afghan Whigs. They’ve earned raves for their past albums and comparisons to artists as fierce and powerful as Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Chris Whitley, Bob Dylan or The Waterboys, among others.
Singleton first met his songwriting partner and collaborator, drummer Jeremy Harrell in 2001 when he was looking to get a band together after years of playing solo. Singleton says, “Jeremy and I jammed a little bit, and he had a real funky thing going, and was hungry to play. We made a lot of different kinds of records (dabbling in alt country and narrative songwriting) and saw the band swell from its original duo configuration to a 3 and 4 piece band before trimming the fat and defining ourselves aesthetically as a duo with our last record, Persona, in 2012.”
Harrell cut his teeth in East Texas as well where he began his journey as a self-taught musician in his teenage years, buying his first (secondhand) drum kit with his last $100 at the end of his freshman year in high school. Jeremy says from the moment he and Nathan met, they had a “telepathic connection where we could just tell where the other guy was going and it felt great.”
Austin Live Weekly put it this way: “Only having two members in the band, it’s hard to believe how much noise comes forth from the blues-rock duo, Sideshow Tragedy. Singleton has the stage presence of Iggy Pop and Keith Richards combined, and he wields his steel guitar like a warlock, playing overdriven riffs with a feral intensity.”
Sam's Burger Joint
330 East Grayson Street
San Antonio, TX, 78215