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Pistol City Holiness
Artist: Dave Perkins
Label: Lugnut Records
Tracks: 12 / 48 Minutes
It has been twenty two years since Dave Perkins released his last solo project. It was called The Innocence and was released on the unfortunately short lived What Records. Well it's twenty two years later and Dave has released his newest solo offering called Pistol City Holiness. The question is was it worth the wait? The answer is beyond a shadow of a doubt absolutely YES! "Pistol City Holiness" could very well, at least in my opinion, be one of the best rock n roll records ever produced. I say this as someone who has been listening to rock music for well over fifty years and I take my music very, very seriously.
Falling into the category of blues rock this project screams total professionalism from beginning to end. With the exception of the classic "Going Down" by Don Nix all of the tunes are Dave Perkins originals. Musicians that Dave has brought along for this musical ride include among others, Rick Cua, Ashley Cleveland, Reece Wynans and some red hot smokin' harp playing by TJ Klay. That's harmonica to those unfamiliar with the blues. Some of the tunes presented here especially "Bottles And Knives" & "Train At Night" need to be listened to with a fire extinguisher close at hand. They just might cause spontaneous combustion, they're that hot. Dave's vocals on this album are awesome and fit the music to a tee, pained, raucous and weathered.
For more information on Dave Perkins check out his My Space site.
Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock
It only happens a two or three times a year for me when I put a new disc in the cd player and out of the speakers comes something so good that I canít put it away. It really hasnít happened to me yet this year. Sure there have been some really good records this year, but this one is about as perfect as I can imagine.
From the crashing sound of the drums and harmonica wailing of the opening song ďBreakĒ to the more laid back but no less wonderfully intense ďMercy In The MorningĒ, I was reminded over and over again, and not so gently at that, why I fell in love with music in the first place.
So first off, if you donít know who Dave Perkins is. He has played with or produced many folks such as Over The Rhine, Willie Nelson, Ashley Cleveland, Phil Keaggy, and was even a member of one of the great bands of the 90ís that very few have ever heard of named Chagall Guevera. (note: if you can find that Chagall disc it comes very highly recommended). Dave even released a very good record back in 1987 called The Innocence. Recently, Dave has been battling some pretty serious health issues and pursuing his Ph.D. at Vanderbiltís Divinity School. He also has been recording one really excellent record.
So what is it about Pistol City Holiness that has made it virtually impossible to stop listening. First off, sonically it just comes at you and keeps coming for the whole disc. Not many discs capture the wall of sound that you imagine would happen in a small club but this one does. Dave, along with his very capable band which includes Reece Wynans, Richard Price, T.J. Klay, Mel Watts, and Ashley Cleveland tear it up. I have to say that T.J. Klay may now be my favorite harmonica player ever.
Lyrically the album is no less intense. Sure there are some of the same themes that run through the blues but Dave makes them feel fresh and alive. The song Long Eleven Road captures the feeling of someone trying to pursue something as simple as a job so a family can be provided for. Iím sure many people can relate to that right now. Perkins moans:
Hush hush hush that child from crying
There are also stories of fights, romance that is long gone, and tent revivals and mercy that exists every day. As Perkins so well states in the song Preacher Blues, "I coulda been a preacher man but there's a hellhound on my trail." Well, you certainly know how to preach the blues Dave and consider me one of the loyal members of your congregation. Amen.
If you are looking for this disc, as of now you can buy it on Daveís myspace website. It is also available at CD Baby at the following link: http://cdbaby.com/cd/daveperkins.
By Gar Saeger