Friday, December 4, 2009

Child In Time

BLACK BONE CHILD – “Black Bone Child” CD ‘0 (Private, US) – 2 people in a band. Were I an individual of the close-minded variety, I might think to myself, “Sounds like a White Stripes wanna-be” and walk (no, run!) the other way. But 2 things sent me pointing in the direction of BBC’s debut instead. One was the fact that I am the sort of guy who takes everything on it’s own terms. The other was that the recommendation on this one came straight from The Ripple Effect's master of ceremonies, the one and only Racer. Being a man of impeccable taste, I tend to take his giving of props seriously. And so, my email to Donny James went winging across the ‘net to Austin TX. I suppose that shoulda been another tip-off, considering that SXSW City seems to be the epicenter for all things musically cool lately. So, as these things usually go, I waited patiently by the mail box for the ‘CHILD’s eponymous disc to arrive. What would it reveal?

Simply put, when I tore the envelope open a week later and planted the circular contents in the Realm O’Matic, I had a big problem on my hands. The problem was, where did I put that Websters New Dictionary Of Superlatives. I also had a 2nd problem and that was, how do I get this sum-bitch out of my player? Maybe I need a special tool that removes CD’s that are so damn catchy they lock their hypnotic grooves into the insides of my digital Wurlitzer and hang on for dear life. And, yes that’s the deal with this spiffy little thing called BLACK BONE CHILD. Any fear, any trepidation about some indie kids wanting to be Jack White vanished with the good-time handclaps of “Time Pass Me By.” Man-e-daze, talk about a fun song! I had just seen my wife walk out with my best friend, take my pick-up truck and last bottle of Jack and I was still up, dancing and singing. Well, I was kidding about the bottle of Jack (lol!) but you get my point. This is music that will put a serious smile on your face without a tad of smarminess or cornball humor. “Ha Ha Hey Hey” crops up next and I’m hearing what could only be described as a cross between the grooves of early King’s X, massive harmonica fills and a chorus that could be a far happier cousin of the sing-along part of “Man In A Box.” Talk about some soulful vocals, as well! The distorted riffs of “Make Me Bleed” remind me of what it woulda been like had Keef and Angus jammed in the mid ‘70’s and “You’re Gonna See” jumps off a distorted bass groove like Dug Pinnick jamming on Shinedown’s “Sound Of Madness” in a New Orleans club. Man, what a kick-ass fucking song! And so it goes through the entire record…a mere 29 sweeps of the second hand that are so focused on a potent blend of Southern-style backwater groove that they render 65-minute corporate discs meaningless.

Funny thing is, after reading up more about BLACK BONE CHILD in an excellent interview on The Ripple Effect itself, I found out that the band is actually a 4-piece in the live format, consisting of aforementioned Donny James (guitar, vocals) and his partner in crime, Kenneth M (drums, bass, harmonica, vocals) joined by Steve Hudson (drums) & Jason King (guitar). Seems like this is a simple case of 2+2 = 4 and if you do the math and listen to the CD, it counts out a beat that spells great rock & roll! Two Rolling Stoned

NOTE: Read several more interesting articles about this bunch on the highly recommended Ripple Effect site:

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