Pine Hill Haints is a band from Alabama that has been around for a quarter of a century. That’s hard to imagine when you think about how quickly bands come and go. Even when you consider the diversity of the band’s sound, a quarter of a century is a long time, yet the band still manages to keep things fresh.
On the new album The Song Companion of a Lonestar Cowboy, the band shows its ability to move fluidly from one genre to another while maintaining the listener’s attention.
“Fall Asleep” is a good way to lead off the album because it gives you some idea how unpredictable nature of the band. This song has a beat that would be fitting for a song about trains while the guitar has lends a rockabilly sound and the accordion gives the song a sort of Tex-Mex feel.
“Pretty Thing” is a great example of the range of this band. It is a blend of early rock and roll combined with blues harmonica and all tied together with a Bo Diddley beat. That’s not the band’s only foray into the blues. “Satchel Paige Blues” has the energy of a punk song especially in the beat. The guitar and harmonica provide a sort of dirty sound similar to what you would hear on a record on Voodoo Rhythm. The album also includes a version of “Catfish Blues.” It begins as a stripped down melody with just the guitar and saw. From there, the harmonica comes in and is accompanied by a beat that keeps the song chugging along.
“Fighting for the Wrong Side” is a protest song, but it’s not like other protest songs. In it lead vocalist Jamie Barrier sings, “I spent all my of best years fighting for the wrong side. Fighting for all those fascist cats, but they don’t care if I live or die.” While he is delivering those lyrics, the rhythm section is sure to get you moving while the accordion seems to draw heavily from Cajun influences.
The great thing about this album is that you don’t know what’s coming next. The only thing you know for sure is that the next song will be a good one no matter the style. Every song is a surprise, which is what keeps you engaged as you listen. The Song Companion of a Lonestar Cowboy will be available everywhere on May 14 on Single Lock Records. Order your copy here. http://www.thepinehillhaints.com