Matthew’s latest work Songs For The Haunted Hillbilly comes out Tuesday, June 5th on CD and 12″ vinyl LP across Canada and digitally WORLDWIDE through iTunes. It is being released through Matthew’s a priori records label and distributed by Outside Music.
The album features all the Barber-penned numbers from the darkly comedic musical play Haunted Hillbilly (based on the book by Derek McCormack) on record for the first time, sung by the songwriter and backed by multi-instrumentalists Joe Grass and Julian Brown. In addition to the core musicians, there are some notable guest vocalists including Julie Fader, Doug Paisley, Justin Rutledge and Oh Susanna. The result is a rollicking trip through the back alleys of Nashville circa 1950 complete with cautionary tales about booze, religion (lost and found), love, lust, betrayal, fame and fashion.
Label this one strange but—joyfully—true.
Andre Williams is an author, a singer, and all-round old-skool hustler. He first cut a series of greasy novelty hits with a salacious twist back in 1957 for Detroit’s regional Fortune label with titles like “Jail Bait” and, of course, “Didlee, Didlee Womp Womp (Bacon Fat).” He continues to speak—and sing—his mind today, with his recent retro 1970s soul album Hoods & Shades (Bloodshot Records) and this furiously funky outing.
Williams first teamed up with Canadian indie rock/alt country stars the Sadies for a country album, 1999’s Red Dirt. Now they’re back with an album that happily defies any attempts at categorization.
The songs here range from R&B to raunchy gutter rock and roll, from heartbreak to ribaldry. Williams sometimes sings from the soul, other times talking his talk, and still others slurring his way through a rum-soaked haze. It all coalesces into a deep vibe and a unique artistry.
It should come as little surprise that these rambling sessions were directed by Jon Spencer, who celebrates Williams’ rambling R&B like he once did R. L. Burnside’s modern Delta blues. And Spencer also brought along guitarist and studio visionary Matt Verta-Ray, his partner-in-crime in Heavy Trash, the rockabilly deconstructionists.
Williams is at his best on “America,” singing “Living in America ain’t no fun/Better have some money or you’ll be on the run/And it’s a goddamn shame/Without cash/You’re trash.” Throughout, Sadies brothers Dallas and Travis Good roll out some gloriously grinding guitar.
Maybe it’s a protest album. Maybe it’s Blaxploitation chic. Or maybe it’s just one of the coolest album of the year.
Night & Day is in Stores May 15th
Perlich Post presents Bacon Fat Brew-Ha-Ha – a release party for the “Night & Day” album by Andre Williams and the Sadies on Saturday, May 12 at 3030 Dundas West.
Bradley Boy Macarthur, ,Samantha Martin & the Haggard and the Pow Wows will be playing “Mr. Rhythm” songs all evening, and Tim Perlich will be spinning some funky blues and crazy R&B records between sets.
There will be beers, grub and plenty of music! Tickets are five bucks at the door and the records start spinning at 8 pm sharp.
Night & Day is out on May 15, 2012.