Scott H. Biram | 03.23.14

scott-h-biram 75“Good times, brother, good times.” 

scott-h-biram 500

Scott H. Biram had just finished his set five minutes before meandering into the lobby of the Off Broadway where I found him talking to one of the members of opening act Whiskey Shivers.  He wasn’t aware I was behind him, and the feel of my hand patting his shoulder spun him around as he gave a toothy smile.  In return for the smile, I gave him my three-word synopsis of his performance, “Fucking amazing, man.”  His reply was spoken through that same unfaltering smile, “Good times, brother, good times.”

Lashing together contrary roots is always an exercise in producing a unique sound and Biram is no exception.  His tying together of folk, country, blues, metal, and punk rock sensibilities causes fire to bellow from him when he is in the persona of his choice, the self-proclaimed Dirty Old One Man Band. Donning a Dickies mesh-back hat and Harley Davidson t-shirt in keeping with his well-known modesty, he had an air about him that seemed to suggest he didn’t really care if people were impressed with his appearance, but goddamn it they were going to listen when he sang. The attitude comes with a level of cred he has attained over the years and through tours that have taken him all over the country and across Europe. It’s no wonder then that the grizzled appearance adds to the confidence of the growling voice and at the same time hides the mind of a man who prides himself on his ability to write songs that are plainly honest and emotionally revealing.

After an energetic and foot stomping set by Whiskey Shivers, a band whose full sound is comprised of five men playing various instruments and trading vocal duties, Biram set up his one-man operation on the stage festooned with a Spartan equipment list: a ’59 Gibson and a left foot to keep rhythm. As he began with the brash sermon of “Get Me Religion” the diverse crowd, an aggregate of bearded faces, twentysomethings in punk leathers, and young pretty women all nodded their heads with the music as if to simply say “yes” over and over to Biram’s gravel-filled vocals.  After setting the mood for hellfire and brimstone, he continued through the bluesy “Going Home” and the foreboding “Judgment Day” before hitting the pay dirt of his latest full length Nothin’ But Blood with the brooding nostalgia of “Slow and Easy.”

Taking a break from his own material, Biram launched into an impromptu rendition of Metallica’s “Am I Evil” which caused an eruption of jumping and head banging in the audience before slowing down with some of his trademark pieces “Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue,” and “The Victory Song.” Tying things up with a detour back into metal with his own instrumental “Around the Bend,” he left the audience with the oddly appropriate admonition “That’s what you get for playing with music!”

During the ensuing wildness of the following set by Larry and His Flask, Biram could be seen at the bar sipping a beer and modestly trading regards with fans while signing autographs. Good times indeed, brother.  Good times indeed. | Jason Neubauer

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