Sarah Shook

photo by John Gessner

The first time I saw Sarah Shook & The Disarmers live I did Sarah a disservice. As we took in the set, I commented that her backing band, The Disarmers, was bunch of grizzled shitkickers. Reason being, is that Sarah is a grizzled shitkicker and that ethos translates on both her debut, Sidelong, and her excellent sophomore effort, Years.

Years is that perfect mix of brash “I don’t give a fuck” punk and heart-on-your-sleeve country. The Bottle Never Lets Me Down has that classic, “fuck it, hit me with another shot!!!” feel to it. Sun might come up tomorrow but I’m going to drink to forget what wronged me today.

Shook also mines the ending of a relationship from numerous angles. Whether it be indifference (Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don’t), realization setting in (Good As Gold) or sorrow (Parting Words); Shook delivers the goods. She has the God-given gift of having a voice that radiated genuine feeling.

Years is a classic Bloodshot album in every way conceivable. It also shows some nice growth from her debut, Sidelong, an album that I loved. The future of twang is good hands with artists like Shook as long as Bloodshot and other labels keep kicking out music like this.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Sarah Shook is here

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photo by John Gessner

Our good friends at Bloodshot are set to release the sophomore release of Chapel Hill’s Sarah Shook & the Disarmers. Years will see the light of day on April 6th and she’ll be down at SXSW. I took in her set at The Yerd Dog last year and I anticipate I’ll do it again. Here’s what Sarah had to say about the album.

This record is about finding a way. A way through exhaustion, depression, betrayal, hangover after hangover, upper after downer after upper, fight after never-ending fight. It’s about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after years of being trampled and beaten down, jutting your chin out, head high, after they’ve done their worst, and saying, “Still here.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Sarah Shook is here

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During her set at Bloodshot’s SXSW day party, I turned to my buddy Jamey said, “God Damn, that sure is some cast of grizzled shitkickers.” You see, Sarah’s band all had some years on her and looked like they had some seen some shit. They all happened to be some damn good players as well which in turn led to a half-hour well spent during a nice Friday in Austin.

Shook, herself comes across as a bit of a hellraiser throughout the album and having a band of grizzled shitkickers sure does come in handy. Based on the evidence, she seems to enjoy a bit of whiskey as well. The magical brown elixir is a prominent component throughout the album, mostly to get through the lean times. She’ll drink it in the morning (Dwight Yoakam), at night (Solitary Confinement) and by the sounds of it; any time in between (Misery Without Company).

Shook moves out of the whiskey bottle for a couple of great tunes. No Name tells the story of a badass outlaw. The Nail is a dark, yet humorous look at the ending of a relationship. Sidelong feels like a Bloodshot release from beginning to end and it is a very worthy addition to their catalog.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Sarah Shook is here

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Sarah Shook & the Disarmers are the latest artist to sign up with Chicago’s legendary Bloodshot Records. They play a bad-ass brand of twang and are a welcome addition to the label. They’ll be down at SXSW and look forward to seeing them at The Yard Dog. Here’s some more info from the BLoodshot site.

North Carolina’s Shook sings with a conviction and hard honesty sorely lacking in much of today’s Americana landscape. Always passionate, and at times profane, Sarah walks the line between vulnerable and menacing. You can hear in her voice what’s she’s seen; world weary, hard lessons learned—or not—but always defiant. She level-steady means what she says. The Disarmers, with their snarling boom-chicka boom guitars and an Old 97’s swing in the rhythm section, keeps it in the pocket. Tight and tough.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Sarah Shook is here

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