REVIEW: Scott H. Biram’s “Sold Out to the Devil:  A Collection of Gospel Cuts by the Rev. Scott H. Biram”

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Sold Out to the Devil: A Collection of Gospel Cuts by the Rev. Scott H. Biram is a remastered collection of “Scott H. Biram’s unique, demented twist on gospel music” available from Bloodshot Records as part of their on-going 25th anniversary celebration via 1000 limited edition “I See the Light” white vinyl and 1000 CDs; if you wanna get saved, better act fast. The man behind The Dirty Ol’ One Man Band who famously survived a 75 mph head on collision with a semi only to be back on stage a few short weeks later has always had a penchant for fire and brimstone country blues gospel. Biram continues to mine the darkness for keys to salvation; this collection showcases Biram in his most magically confounding mode – a hell-bound holy-roller if ever there was one.

Sold Out to the Devil showcases the first vinyl pressing of “Get Me Religion (Preachin’ the Blues)” and “God Don’t Work (Like a Natural Man),” from Scott’s self-released, pre-Bloodshot album Preachin’ & Hollerin’ driven by foot stomps, harmonica, and snaps holding together Biram’s full throated midnight preacher barking. Sold Out brings us Biram’s previously unreleased cover of the Louvin Brothers’ “Broadminded” as well. Other collection highlights include “John the Revelator” with its tambourine, dirty slide acoustic guitar, and callback vocals, “True Religion”, a riverside revival, and the quick picking and squawk box vocals of “Gotta Get to Heaven”, “Lord won’t take me down to the river and drown me in your blood…hallelujah, hallelujah,” Biram sings. “Well, I used to think Jesus was the easy way out, but if you wanna be a preacher gotta learn how to shout, well, the words of the Lord’s not a delicate thing with your hands in the air and you’re making them sing….you got to gert to heaven just as fast as you can,” he continues. Rainfall, harmonica, and acapella vocals set off Biram’s stark take on “Amazing Grace,” a fitting closer for this collection, “how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…I was blind, but now I see.”

Sold Out to the Devil: A Collection of Gospel Cuts by the Rev. Scott H. Biram is the all-day tent revival that you didn’t know you needed. Do your soul a favor and pick up this entry ticket to salvation today. Available now from Bloodshot Records. https://www.bloodshotrecords.com/album/sold-out-devil

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