This backwater quintet claims pan-fried blues, heirloom country, riverbottom rag, and so on as its purview, but there's plenty of jug in there as well. In fact, The Beef Slough Boys belong to a longstanding DIY segment of the musical world where lo-fi and home-made are integral parts of the milieu…which means when the promo lit says the recordings have been remastered 'to commercial specs'…well, thet jes' ain't so, Josiah! Nor should it be.
Some chestnut traditionals, like the always welcome Coo Coo, dot the assemblage of originals by founding members J.S. Morgan and Scott Lowery, accompanied on this disc by a joining trio (including J.S.'s brother Nick), and the entire air is one of talented amateurs—workaday Joes who do this kind of thing at night in hang-outs and garages through love for the form—getting together to pick and grin. Out here in L.A., we don't have any of this, so I'm kinda jealous of those who can visit a bar for a brew or two and sit down to listen to group kicking out bayou blues and backwoods stomps.
I wish I could make out the lyrics to Big Fat Liar Government Blues (hm, 'commercial specs'?), but it's not really necessary, as thet jangly guitar an' gritty harmonica gits my feets a-moving 'n a-groovin' so as to make no nevermind nohow. In fact, there's an element of John Mayall to it, a la Turning Point, followed by the old-time bluesy Talk to Me, mindful of David Bromberg by way of a more primal black style. As said, this is not notched-up, clean as a whistle, board op'ed to a fare thee well music, it's informal, a bit messy, a bit boozy, and neighborhood amateur friendly…and there's definitely a place for that.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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