Scott H. Biram is an acclaimed singer/songwriter who performs unaccompanied. But those going to his show expecting to see a laidback, unplugged troubadour are in for a rude (and often rowdy) awakening.
While his music shows the influence of Roots/Americana, Biram injects his songwriting with a broad range of inspirations, calling his sound “the bastard child of Punk, Blues, Country, Hillbilly, Bluegrass, Chain Gang, Metal and Classic Rock.” His latest album for Bloodshot Records, Nothin’ But Blood, wonderfully showcases his dynamic output. Leadoff track “Slow & Easy” is a soulful, haunting song built on a light rumble of acoustic guitar rhythms.
But three songs deep, Biram steps on the distortion pedal for “Alcohol Blues,” a roaring, raw Blues stomp featuring the lacerating lover’s lament, “You don’t love me like you say you do/You can’t be my woman suckin’ and fuckin’ some other motherfucker too.” The album closes with the devilish bluster of “Around the Bend,” a one-man blur of searing Metal that would make Slayer envious. Live, Biram also shows off his multifaceted nature, playing with an array of amplifiers and with his left foot serving as his “drummer.”
Before going the “one-man-band” route, the Texas-born musician got his start playing in Punk and Bluegrass bands in the Lone Star State. Beginning in 2000, he started releasing solo albums on his own label, Knuckle Sandwich Records, including 2003’s Rehabilitation Blues EP, which he recorded while bedridden following a head-on collision with a semi-truck. The accident is a big part of Biram’s hard-earned legend — he played a show one month after the wreck, hitting the stage in a wheelchair with two broken legs, a broken foot and a broken arm. Ironically — or fittingly, given Biram’s feisty nature — he has also become known for his “trucker songs,” including “18 Wheeler Fever,” “Draggin’ Down the Line” and “Truckdriver,” an earlier track that Hank Williams III has covered.
An “Outlaw Country” artist in the truest sense, Biram signed with Bloodshot in 2005 and the label reissued his final independent album, The Dirty Old One Man Band. Each successive release for the label has garnered Biram further acclaim, and his steady roadwork has won him a dedicated cult following across the country.
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