Under the Scope: The Old Scratch Revival Singers
Brooks Strause: Mandolin/Banjo/Trumpet/Vocal
Eerie Whittaker: Guitar/Vocal
Matthew Nevins: Upright Bass/Vocal
Nicholas Beard: Drums/Vocal
Noah Doely: Clarinet/Trombone/Claves/Vocal
Rebecca Strause: Organ/Accordion/Ukulele/Vocal
Samuel Anderson: Viola/Violin/Vocal
The seven-piece collaboration that is The Old Scratch Revival Singers was raised from the dust of a band called Heart Attacks (now All Rattle and Dust). It's members play a large range of instruments that include the mandolin, organ, and ukulele as well as the trumpet, clarinet, and trombone. Each member provides at least some vocals. Together they have created a strange concoction of bluegrass, ragtime, and gospel that has all the eerie darkness an artist such as Tom Waits can conjure up combined with the tenderness and tradition of The Carter Family. As they say, "The Old Scratch Revival Singers provide themes of damnation in this world, and of salvation in the next."
Their debut album, Oh Didn't He Ramble?, was released in April of this year on New Jersey's XOXO Records with the vinyl version out now on Records of the Damned out of Cedar Falls, Iowa. The album was recorded in their home in rural Denver, Iowa, which the band refers to as a haunted house. The darkness in their sound represents both their experience as well as the band member's interest in the horror genre. Their album was even recently featured in Rue-Morgue (Horror in Culture & Entertainment).
But their sound doesn't begin and end with their fascination with horror. They are as comfortable on stage with a hardcore punk band as they are with traditional country or Christian music. Their moniker says it all. As the word revival hints, their lyrics are full of religious references. And while many of today's country acts have adopted both urban lyricism and trends, The Old Scratch Revival Singers remain rooted in their rural surroundings. From the album's artwork to their wardrobe to their bluegrass and gospel roots, they are not to be categorized or lumped in with any of the latest "it" bands.
Oh Didn't He Ramble (April, 2005, XOXO Records)
Oh Didn't He Ramble (Vinyl LP Version, Records of the Damned)
- Steph Haselman | 2005-06-22
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