Album Review: J. Shogren “Birds Bones & Muscle” JAHA!

Features, J Shrogen — By on September 18, 2010 4:26 pm

Sounding like some weird-ass acoustic version of Southern Culture on the Skids, “Birds Bones & Muscle” busts out of the gates, front loaded with three great songs, and while the album may be a little uneven, it’s hard to deny its best cuts.  “Pulp Americana” is what Shrogen calls it, and according to his website he’s gone from a trapper in Wyoming to the King of Sweden’s professor, which kind of explains the breadth of what’s on this album.

Shrogen’s best moments are when the lyrics are their strangest. “Salvation” talks of a man who “went down to the river to wash [his] sins away,” but he also brought a fishing pole.  As the song goes, if the fish are biting, “Salvation’s gonna have to wait.”

Describing himself as “a singular conjuring of gut-bucket blues, deep-fried southern jive, Holy Ghost revival, polka night at the Grange, she-done-me-wrong hillbilly boogie with backwater bayou bump and swing;” that’s better than I could give you.  He’s got great rhythms in his songs, like the rests that create a great start-stop dynamic in “Charlie Poole, Charlie Poole.”

This is roots music — weird, raw, funny and smart.  He’s one to watch.

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