Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The Boomswagglers - The Bootleg Beginnings from the Shack Out Back
We present to you our first installment of the Hillgrass Bluebilly "Bootleg" series in the form of a ten track chunk of hard sentiments spawned from harder living. The Boomswagglers -"The Bootleg Beginnings from the Shack Out Back" is a hopeful window into the next generation of pickers and grinners backed with an all-star cast of accomplished musicians. Formed in 2009, this duo of troublemaking Texas young bucks managed to get themselves thrown out of more venues than they played in, stirred up controversy during their sets with the nature of their lyrics and crammed a lazier mans decade worth of rehab jail time and bar brawls into a short but enthusiastic three year run that sadly, for now, has come to an end. Luckily, before they disbanded they joined with Brian Salvi and Darren Sluyter (former members of the Weary Boys), North Dakotan turned Texas alumni Leo Rondeau and Molly Salvi (who has lent her lovely silky rasp to the likes of Woodsboss , Tom Vandenavond and the Salvi Family band) in Elgin, Texas to make this gem of a record.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Lawson Bennett and Spencer Cornett in separate telephone conversations whose transcripts read like Dukes of Hazard meets Gummo. Bennett and Cornett met in Georgetown, Texas where the south end of the San Gabriel river runs and the city motto is "sincerely yours". They bonded over fishing, catfish noodling and making explosives to collect arrowheads. Lawson was living in a shack in the area and Spencer would come by for picking sessions. Lawson wrote the majority of the songs he and Spencer played and attributes much of their influence to his long time admiration for Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band. "This is kind of a bummer album" said Lawson. " A lot of the songs were written in a house with no running water. We were stealing from a hose from the neighbors place. Shitty girlfriends, shitty jobs , the world treated us like shit and that's the truth. Like that song 'Even Lower Down', that came from a tough time. I came home sad as shit, shits fucked, aint no money, aint no phone, well... just the CB radio, aint no runnin water, hardly any beer, goose shit all over the house and my girl at the time yellin in my ear. Same with 'Morning Pills', Doc told me I had high blood pressure, had me on all kinda medication. I fucked up my knee and they had to set it, they gave me vics for the pain and it fucked up my heart more. wasn't nuthin I could do. Country goes two ways, you got your Willie Nelson hippie folky types and that rich kid drivin daddies truck bullshit. We were listenin to punk rock, fishin and shootin guns. We didn't know country , then we heard Merle Haggard. Most folks didn't figure out shit like we did. We are like an oddity to them , sumthin they read about in books. Thats fuckin life. Bad times. That's why we don't play much anymore. We aint pissed off anymore. People want to hear me upset and I aint tryin to be upset my whole life."
Shame. It's a chainsaw juggle to balance playing and surviving but I have a feeling this wont be the last we hear from the Boomswagglers. Till then, enjoy these tracks and as always... support local music , wherever it may be local to.
1. Low Down
2. Workin' Man
3. Why I Sleep Alone
4. Trailer Park Special
5. Jim & Jack
6. I'm Comin Home
7. Even Lower Down
8. Mornin' Pills
9. Wilco Blues
10. Run You Down
This afternoon, over at http://www.hillgrassbluebillyrecords.com, you can download/have this album for free!
Tressa A. Burns
Hillgrass Bluebilly Headquarters