FAME Review: Lincoln Durham - The Shovel {vs} The Howling Bones
Lincoln Durham - The Shovel {vs} The Howling Bones

The Shovel {vs} The Howling Bones

Lincoln Durham


Available January 31, 2012 from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

Right from the sparse opening drum and snare introduction, the echoing guitar picking up and then his raspy vocals there is an ominous brooding about the music on Lincoln Durham's The Shovel {vs} The Howling Bones. On this disc you can hear influences of Son House, Townes Van Zandt, and his co-producer/mentor Ray Wylie Hubbard (George Reiff is the other co-producer), and yet the music is distinctly his own; with his roots music that might be reminiscent of a cross between Bob Dylan at his bluesy best and the poetic raw blues side of Ray Wylie, and his voice is like Tom Waits with a severe throat infection, combined with his ability to spin a tale. He makes very effective use of the music to enhance and heighten the feel that is conveyed in the yarn he is spinning. You can feel these songs enter into your blood stream and riding around your body as they gain the leverage they need. The one thing you know after listening is that you want this to become real, to see this intravenous spectacle live.

Mister Durham wrote all eleven of the songs and this disc, and he plays a variety of guitars, including some old Gibsons, a Resonator guitar, as well as harmonica and fiddle, and where there are others playing with him it is some of the best from Austin such as Rick Richards, Derek O'Brien, Bucca Allen, and both his co-producers. This disc hits you like a jet plane would if you are standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier as it takes off—you just feel that power surge and it overwhelms you and sucks your breathe away, and leaves you wanting more of it. Though the songs have their roots in the blues they are also folk in their poetic stance, all simmered with some intelligent lyrics that paint the dark side into it as reflected in the music. If you want pretty this isn't it, but if you want gritty and real this is a giant helping. A very solid disc that leaves you with a yearning for more, much more, an over stuffed plate full of this stick to the ribs grit.

Track List:

  • Drifting Wood
  • Last Red Dawn
  • Living This Hard
  • Clementine
  • Mud Puddles
  • Reckoning
  • How Does a Crow Fly
  • Love Letters
  • Georgia Lee
  • People of the Land
  • Trucker's Love Song

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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