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Th' Legendary Shack Shakers
Swampblood
Yep Roc Records
www.theshackshakers.com


Consistency among a band's catalog is a very important thing. Th' Legendary Shack Shakers are not only one of the most consistent of the newer grit-country bands, they are undoubtedly one of the finest. Their music has expanded its horizons over the past few years, rounding out their Americana with alternately copious amounts of swing, darkness, stomp, and straight-up bluesy rock'n'roll. So, pull up your rockin' chair and have a set for a fair piece of homegrown American music.

"Old Spur Line" is a bluesy number reminiscent of George Thorogood's more rootsy numbers, complete with 12 bar blues and some gritty drum stomp. "Hellwater" finds The Shack Shakers getting their Creedence vibe on; some excellent tremolo guitar and a nice laidback groove nicely complement the smoothest song on the record and it's catchy harmonica solo. "Swampblood" finds the band once more doing what they do best and sliding into a very gritty groove with plenty of marshy green sludge on their boot bottoms. The band kicks things up a livelier notch with the rollicking piano-hop gospel of "Born Again Again" before dipping into the Devil's playground on "Down And Out", a track which strangely recalls the more esoteric moments of AC/DC… weird.

The hoedown really gets going as The Shack Shakers rock it down on the incredible banjo-carried "Jimblyleg Man". This song is an instant classic, with hints of Disney heart among its edgy bluegrass reel, and some nice fiddle and harp solos for measure. To top off the greatness of Swampblood, the band gets the perfect shuffle going. Swing fever kicks in on the amazingly cool romp "Angel Lust" while the perfect up-country rockabilly stomp comes shining through on "He Ain't Right", complete with swampy Duane Eddy style twang solo.

With Th' Legendary Shack Shakers' newest release Swampblood, the band continues to purvey that classic country blues with a bayou twist for which they've always been so well known in underground country circles… the difference is that they also branch out and grow their sound with alternative forms of alternative country music, all the while maintaining their distinctive sound and superb musical quality.

-Embo Blake


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