Churchwood performs a vital and much-needed musical mission on their self-titled Saustex Records debut album: Saving the blues from the blahs and numerous other crimes and afflictions. Hailing from Austin, Texas, a city rightfully accused of being “The Boring White Blues Capital of the World,” the ingenious quintet kick the lazy butt of blues music into the second decade of the 21st Century and beyond. And they do so with Bohemian panache, gonzo élan, punky ‘tude, bluesy grit and stunning musical mastery and imagination while keeping a firm rock’n’roll Vulcan death grip on the roots of the blues. The result is a sound that’s rife with the beef and the heart — if you get the drift — plus mind-expanded smarts and relentlessly wild and wooly soul. As guitarists Bill Anderson and Billysteve Korpi slash, slide, crunch and bend their six strings with lysergic abandon, drummer Julien Peterson and bassist Adam Kahan plow deep new grooves through the blues with twirling syncopation, and singer and harp player Joe Doerr wails, growls and howls like a mystic in the savage state. It’s synesthesia you can dance to, blues that’s refreshingly bereft of hoary bullpucky, and music that melds the heart, mind and crotch in an ecstatic orgy of sonic, melodic and linguistic adventurism.
Churchwood (Austin, TX)