Music

Les Gruff & the Billy Goat Create a Vivid Honky-Tonk Ballad with "Evil Dancers" (premiere)

Photo courtesy of Working Brilliantly

Les Gruff & the Billy Goat bring a distinctly rural, soulful sound that feels as timely as it does emotionally vindicating in the way they so powerfully deliver songs such as "Evil Dancers".

Steeped in equal parts hefty blues and wistful bluegrass, Les Gruff & the Billy Goat's brand of Americana comes as a vivid reflection of the rural heartlands from which they came. At the band's center is the "goat" himself, Billy Croghan, who jump-started the band once meeting Tony Compton whilst traversing St. Louis' songwriting circles. Together with bassist David Roach, fiddler Sean Kamery, electric guitarist Nigel Solomon, and drummer Ed Daugs, the current iteration of Les Gruff & the Billy Goat produces whiskey-drenched twang that is instantly evocative of Missouri's windswept history, geography, and culture. They're releasing a self-titled third LP on 8 December which Compton describes as an album that captures "the feeling of friends sharing fun times, telling stories, happy, sad, or funny."

Before the band releases their all-encompassing new album, they are sharing a new single with PopMatters, "Evil Dancers". A searing honky-tonk affair, Les Gruff & the Billy Goat get to exhibit the full breadth of their expressive fullness as a sextet across this ballad. Dressed with palpable emotion, Croghan commands the song's center with his wisened, blues-laden vocals as the band's instrumentalists usher a whirlwind of melodic benediction around him. In part carrying on the torch of jam bands past ala Uncle Lucius, Les Gruff & the Billy Goat bring a distinctly rural, soulful sound to the occasion that feels as timely as it does emotionally vindicating in the way they so powerfully deliver songs such as this one.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.

Music

Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

A Lesson from the Avengers for Our Time of COVID-19

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.

Music

Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.

Music

Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.

Books

First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?

Reviews

HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.

Music

Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.

Music

How Lasting Is the Legacy of the Live 8 Charity Concert?

A voyage to the bottom of a T-shirt drawer prompts a look back at a major event in the history of celebrity charity concerts, 2005's Live 8, Philadelphia.

Music

Jessie Ware Embraces Her Club Culture Roots on Rapturous 'What's Your Pleasure?'

British diva Jessie Ware cooks up a glittery collection of hedonistic disco tracks and delivers one of the year's best records with What's Your Pleasure.

Music

Paul Weller Dazzles with the Psychedelic and Soulful 'On Sunset'

Paul Weller's On Sunset continues his recent streak of experimental yet tuneful masterworks. More than 40 years into his musical career, Weller sounds as fresh and inspired as ever.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.