"Back when I was just a boy, I was desperate to discover that new and unfathomable thing called music. Digging through all of the mysterious devices in the forboding dust of our basement, one day I discovered an old AM radio. With its fake- wood peeling off and single dial, it would always play better when I was touching it. I'd lay there in the darkness of my bedroom, trying to comprehend the tinny sound coming out, songs played by the DJs relegated to the radio wasteland of the dial that counted frequencies in the hundred and tens.

One evening at 9:05 PM I heard the song "The Devil Came Down To Georgia" and everything changed. I listened to that station every night thereafter at 9:05 PM in search of the song, my tiny mind seeking order in the chaos of radio. I eventually moved on to other things, but I never really forgot that fantastic song.

Perhaps it was the sinister content, the endless struggle between good and evil set to raucous southern fable that grabbed me, perhaps it was the otherwordly fiddle. I may never know. What I do know is that the memory of that song rose up like a redneck on malt liquor the moment I turned on Sixteen Horsepower's Low Estate. 13 tracks of fiddle, bass, bandoneon, drums, concertina, hurdy gurdy and cello, blended into a thoroughly sinister mix that speaks directly back to my AM radio and the feeling you get in a southern graveyard when you hear the wolves in the distance.

Low Estate is packed with dark, forboding images, both lyriaclly and instrumentally. Moaning cello telling a tale of ghostly "Phillys Ruth," a slightly picked guitar recounting a hanging, it's pure frontier storytelling that somehow reached my ears through a century of waiting. Deep country roots, fed by the blood of our ancestral criminals, prospectors and cowboys, Low Estate exhibits a true American originality so rare in a country obsessed with looking forward and forgetting the past."

James P. Wisdom

01. Brimstone Rock
02. My Narrow Mind
03. Low Estate
04. For Heaven's Sake
05. Sac of Religion
06. The Denver Grab
07. Coal Black Horses
08. Pure Clob Road
09. Phyllis Ruth
10. Black Lung
11. Fire Spirit
12. Golden Rope
13. Hang My Teeth on Your Door
14. Ditch Digger
15. The Partisan


pass: bluesmen-worldmusic.blogspot.com

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