Various Artists “Pandemophenia” (Bloodshot Records, 2020)

Mention the  Chicago music scene to anyone and the Southside blues of Muddy Waters may spring to mind, others may recall a vibrant soul scene which included the Impressions and Curtis Mayfield, the Chicago folk scene gave us Roger McGuinn, John Prine and Steve Goodman, but the Chicago country scene? It may surprise some readers that  Chicago was once the centre of the country music industry. The same economic factors that drove Southern blacks north from the Mississippi Delta, also influenced Appalachian and Southern whites which lead to a vibrant local scene supported by WAL-MS’s National Barn Dance radio show. Eventually the music wound down, with The Grand Ole Opry and Nashville taking precedence, however bluegrass continued to be popular from the ‘60s to the ‘90s as part of the folk scene with The Sundowners continuing to fly the local country flag. The Sundowners were a major influence on alt country’s Robbie Fulks. Continue reading “Various Artists “Pandemophenia” (Bloodshot Records, 2020)”

Ruby Boots “Don’t Talk About It” (Bloodshot Records, 2018)

Ruby Boots – real name Bex Chilcott – throws a handful of dust into the eyes on the opening two tracks of Don’t Talk About It, which come out of the blocks running, and punching out in a glam-rock way. It’s So Cruel stomps all over the leather clad tough talker who’s a little backward at coming forward, much to the chagrin of Ms Boots who suggests “we got a spark but it’s not quite a fire / let’s get it burning with a touch of desire”. Even meeting his ex-wife, and his girlfriend, doesn’t do much to cool her ardour. Over fuzzed up guitars and stomping drums he eventually gets the idea. Some guys. Continue reading “Ruby Boots “Don’t Talk About It” (Bloodshot Records, 2018)”