The Holidays (Thanksgiving anyway) is over and it’s back to work, and artists like Scotty Alan make that a much easier task.
Earlier this year another punk-rocker, or rather psychobilly band front man for Tiger Army released an alt-country album (for lack of a better word; alt-country is much closer to pure country than any of that garbage they call new country). Nick 13’s self-titled release was surprisingly good, but in my opinion, Scotty Alan’s “Wreck and the Mess” is superior.
I don’t mean that to be unfair to anyone, Nick13’s album, like I said is really good, but it didn’t move me the way “Wreck and the Mess” did.
This album of fifteen original tunes from Mr. Alan, are deeply textured tunes arranged in conceptual form in order to tell the familiar story of love gone bad. It tells of the dark places the one thing that once brought us so much light, love, can take us.
Mr. Alan’s voice is about as good as it gets. As I listened my mind’s ear tried to compare it with someone but couldn’t quite get there. Just for an instant, I thought about Warren Zevon, but that thought just as quickly vanished even though, as I later found out, there are ties to Mr. Zevon here and there on the record. The point is that Mr. Alan possesses a very unique voice that, if heard by the correct people, will find a place to stand on his own.
During the month of January 2011, Bernie Larsen produced the album, along with mixing and recording it, at Spinout Records in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Larsen also played acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lap slide, keyboards, percussion, backup vocals, and has worked with David Lindley, El Rayo-X, Melissa Etheridge, Jackson Browne, Rickie Lee Jones, Lucinda Williams, and Public Enemy.
The rest of this incredibly talented band is comprised of -
Butch Norton plays drums. Mr. Norton has worked with Eels, Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman, Aimee Mann, Rufus Wainwright and currently Lucinda Williams.
David Sutton plays bass. Lucinda Williams, Liz Phair, Melissa Etheridge are artists that exist on his resume.
Jorge Calderón is on backing vocals and is probably best known for his collaborations with Warren Zevon, Leonard Cohen, and Ry Cooder.
Kristin Mooney is on backing vocals. She sang harmonies with Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Steve Earl, and John Doe.
Phil Parlapiano plays accordion, mandolin, organ and has worked with John Prine, Rod Stewart, Iris Dement, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Grant Lee Buffalo, Tracy Chapman, and Lucinda Williams.
Randy Mitchell plays electric guitar, and has worked with Warren Zevon, Billy Bob Thornton, and Donna Summer.
David Lindley plays fiddle, acoustic lap slide and is very well known for his work with Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Ry Cooder, Leonard Cohen, Emmylou Harris, and Bruce Springsteen.
Finally, Ian McLagan plays the hammond b3, piano and is best known for playing with the likes of Billy Bragg, Ryan Adams, Small Faces, Faces, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Frank Black, Chuck Berry, Izzy Stradlin, Bruce Springsteen, and Rod Stewart.
You can certainly see by now, this album is no lightweight, and you will hear it in the strong production values and the as-close-to-perfect-as-it-can-get performances by everyone involved.
The most incredible factor concerning this record is the fact that it is not being heard anywhere -not that I know of anyway. This, if I have anything to say about it, will soon change. Beginning this Saturday evening on “From Under the Basement”, I will be featuring two or three tunes from Scotty Alan’s “Wreck and the Mess” which released in early October on Spinout Records.
‘Rebel’ Rod says dig it, check it out!