I probably have a penchant for bands and musicians from Los Angeles. There are creative artists from all regions meeting and merging their original styles. Often they create something different and new. Unforgettable for me, the unique „Imperial Crowns“ and Bluesrockers of „Rhino Bucket“ playing our clubs in the last years.<br />
I stumbled literally about the „Black Tongued Bells“. The group is existing since 13 years. They are an indie band that was previously only heard in the LA area. The Black Tongued Bells has fought it’s way and now they want to compete internationally. The band is in favour for that!
The Black Tongued Bells combine Alabama Muscle Shoals Sound with Memphis grooves, swamp blues, a little gospel and calls the whole „American Swamp“.
Anyway, it is an unusual but incredibly earthy, strong and intoxicating mix of styles – this is all that counts.
The band members come from different areas of the USA. Around the singer, guitarist and song writer D. Miner, there are the bassist and vocalist Anthony Cook and the drummer Ray Herron (all three founding members). There are also other high-class and experienced musicians. I would be interested, what Mr. Miner is using to keep his voice alive (pronounced USP). Somebody said „his (D.Miner‘s) distinctive baritone sounds as if it‘s been soaked in whiskey for a century and then dragged down to endles gravel road …“ The self-produced CD is the first of the band. As with many good bands resources are scarce. The result was an album that could have been recorded in a Mississippi juke joint. The music is built on Swamp rhythms. In addition to guitar, bass and drums keyboard, percusssion, Harp, Piano, Saxophone and Trombone provide for a slightly hypnotic sound. The opener <Coming back for more> is rather funky and tells of a visit to the doctor. „Long Way to Go“ a rather slow songh tells of the long road to the Pearly Gates. „Gimme That Rise“ is a classic Swamp Song -, a woman talks of her unfulfilled life.<br /> In addition to original compositions, there is a very unique interpretation of the Merle Travis Land classic „Sixteen Tons“ which is also present as a video on youtube - exciting! The lyrics are not all California light, they describe life in all its facets. However, there is also the party song „Rattle Some Bones“, which is so vital that he could raise the dead (as in the lyrics). I was not let go of the CD. In my collection it is in the (small) corner for special ones. If you should have difficulties to get a copy, please contact the editorial office. (Rankoutsider Records (Outsider 44), 2013)<br />