Run out of coffee, been up all night, exploring what we were doing twenty years ago, Class of 92, back rooms full of homage freaks and scissormen, that and shoes on the gallery floor. Mice eating paint and throwing drips and leaves and such…
ALBUM REVIEW : MIRACULOUS MULE – Blues Uzi (Bronzebat)
You see the thing about Michael J (and the hearing that highway sound), and I really shouldn’t just refer to Michael here, this is very much a band after all, a very electric, very right there, very real proper band – the thing about Michael J Sheehy is that he has so sp much soul in whatever he does, so much real committed soul, so much beauty, this is not the kind of music those who treat their latest release as some career move or a clever marketing plan. This is a need, a throwing it all up against the wall because he simply has to this, Michael J Sheehy was born to do this, there is no other option for him or those he drags along with him on his now rather long journey. Uzi Blues is just so drenched in soulful beauty, in warmth, in the real freedom of proper heartfelt gospel warmth, this really is the real deal, this is music that maters, this is far far more than the mere “stuff” that most music is.
There’s a beautiful Elvis Southern gospel undercurrent going on this time, there always has been hints of the king, this is far more earthy of course, no one being pampered by anyone here, – nothing pampered but this isn’t an angry album, this is solace in music shared, this is souls music, proper blues, surely no one can take that away? Hints of the good Elvis, the cool one, the real one, the gospel singer who sang for his mother, the 68 comeback Elvis is here as well, there’s lots of things here, a rich brew, a warmth, a proper soul. Some of the songs are working on old gospel blues thing, inspired arrangement of the often covered tradition Motherless Children – old standards fitting comfortable alongside the glow of new band compositions. Old time religion, Southern highways, wrong side of the tracks shack music a lot further a field than County Holloway or whichever part of London town Miraculous Mule call home at the moment.
Love those drums at the start of Wayfaring Strangers, so much hope in that simple drum and reverb, oh look, gushing about it again, love everything about this latest eight track album save for the title and the hard edge graphic design of the cover art, no idea what the uzi has to do with anything, I’m sure there’s a reason, don’t really need to know what it is.. Well besides the obvious stomp of the title track and the throwing of it all up against the wall, have mercy on him, he’s shooting it all out now, shooting himself a hole, or a whole or a head too damaged to go anywhere, baIliff’s wake up call? Pay the man’s bill, we’re all digging holes here, no one more than me with these words. Need to change that cover art work though, that artwork is so misleading. That groove on Blues Uzi is a glorious opening to a song, a glorious stomp, a swell of a groove that doesn’t quite set you up for the sweet southern gospel flow of Highway Sound, and the good company it tries to keep… Ah look, you don’t need reviews anymore, you can probably find the album on-line, posted exclusively on some website the record label deems cool enough to preview it. We’ve gone on about Michael and his various bands for years now, you’d do yourself a lot more favours spending the greedy £75 ticket price being asked to get to see Van Morrison in a small London club this week exploring the back catalogue of Miraculous Mule, Saint Silas Intercession, Dream City Film Club and the rest, you can’t probably get in to a miraculous Mule gig for a tenth of the price of a Van Morrison ticket, you’ll leave feeling ten time better. Last time I saw them, down in the old basement of the Hope And Anchor sill ranks up there on the list of the very best of the best gigs I ever got to be at (good job I’m not one of those list-making kind of people)/ Look, blues, gospel, Bad Seeds, Elvis, Them, soul and right up there with them all, just go grab a slice and discover something for yourself…
BLUES UZI came out yesterday, November 3rd on Bronzebat Records
MIRACULOUS MULE are Patrick McCarthy, Ian Burns and Michael J. Sheehy, they say they are “Anglo-Irish Honkeys play Blues, Gospel and Hillbilly music”.
See, the great thing about not writing Organ anymore, and not having a mountain of things demanding reviews and such from head-pecking labels, bands, artists, PR companies and the rest, is that there’s time to go looking in the old boxes and check out some of the things we were writing about in 1994. Things that, if we’re honest, we’ve long since forgotten about (music and such would come in via the post, get our attention and once the review was done, on the pile in the corner it would go, the next thing would arrive demanding our attention, and on things would go while the pile in the corner grew and the dust built up and time ate everything and the head-pecking went on). Fine things, like the CD soundtrack to this film, Half Cocked, would be positively written about and then forgotten. Don’t know if we should be posting the whole YouTube of the film here, is it available to buy? Was it ever? I don’t know, should go explore really, hey, I’d forgotten about it, I suspect you’ve never heard of it? All those bands from that time before the internet kicked in, great bands there at the time, in the moment, most unrecorded and undocumented, for a back room in Louisville read the Camden Falcon before the Fly infestation, or the Monarch before the same Fly problem, or the Sausage Machine or the Robey. Well North London wasn’t quite midwest truckstops, the film does have the feel of that glorious Falcon backroom and the days of Eve and such, that lurching spark of magic that was briefly there – for Grifters or Roden or Unwound or June of 44 read Scissormen or Homage Freaks or Milk, read Red Eye Express and such. Don’t know what point I’m making here other than reviewed this soundtrack album to the film back in 1994 or so, forgot all about it, finally finding a moment to actually listen to it properly… Watched the film somewhere in the early hours, here it is if you have the time (along with some notes cut and paste from whoever wrote them)
Here’s the words of whoever shared the film of YouTube, nd so stick with it, bit of a slow burner…
“1994 independent movie full of indie music in the background, indie rock bands performing, and alternative/punk rock culture at its finest.
First Jason Noble is gone in August of ’12, now Jon Cook in February of ’13? Dear God, please take care of our departed comrades. Maybe put out an album in Heaven. RIP Jason Noble (vocals/guitars) and Jon Cook (drums).
“Tara Jane O’Neil is growing weary of her life at the Rocket House, a party pad filled with crashing slackers, artists, and rock bands. She works as a ticket taker at a movie theatre and hangs out with a group of friends who are equally aimless, skateboarding through the streets of Louisville, KY, and just generally waiting for their lives to start. Her brother, Otis (Ian Svenonius), is the arrogant lead singer of a local rock group called the Guilloteens, and one night after a gig, Tara and her pals steal the band’s van (still full of equipment) and head off into the night. The next morning they find themselves in Chattanooga without money or food, so they pose as a touring rock band called Truckstop and talk their way onto the bill of a local punk show. Despite being utterly unfamiliar with the instruments in their hands, they pull off the ruse, and the band they play with loves their noisy, chaotic sound. Even after their secret is revealed, their hosts give them encouragement and tutoring to allow Truckstop to continue on the road. What starts as a romantic adventure, though, degenerates into bickering, bad luck, and boredom. Half-Cocked features members of indie bands like Retsin, the Make Up, Rachel’s, and June of 44 as actors, plus an appearance by Memphis rockers the Grifters. The soundtrack includes music by Freakwater, Sleepyhead, Unwound, Smog, and others”.