Review – 6 Day Bender – self-titled (self-released)

6 Day Bender began as a group of students in Charlottesville, VA playing a thing they call “Mountain Rock and Roll.” I figure there’s enough confusion with the current sub-genres already available so let’s settle with roots-rock with an emphasis on both.These neo-revivalists create, like their contemporaries Old Crow Medicine Show, The Hackensaw Boys and The Avett Brothers, a rousing blend of pre-World War II folk, bluegrass spiked with rock attitude. Imagine the O Brother where Art Thou soundtrack if it where covered by The Stooges.

Channeling the hell-raising forefathers that blazed the trail from Europe and into the American South the heat pulses off all 16 cuts. Best I Can and Devil Lets You Dance are furious, howling hillbilly speedball about love, life and happiness with no excuses. In the hands of the right person the banjo is a lethal thing and in the hands of Luke Nutting (banjo, guitar, vocals) it’s a doomsday machine.

Wartime is a jaunty little ditty on the existential view of life with boots on the ground. Hellbound is an American Beauty-style barroom recollection of a misspent life and Jail Blues is a mess of greasy swampbilly cut that sounds what the Doors might have sounded like if they had been from Mississippi instead of L.A.

Genre and time bending releases like 6 Day Bender’s feels like a rejection of canned PowerTools generated music and glib irony that pollutes so much of contemporary music. Dylan knew it, The Band knew it, Gram Parsons knew it, great bands like 6 Day Bender know it. There is emotional gold in mining history and heritage and grinding a modern edge to it.

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6 Day Bender – Devil Lets You Dance


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