Lincoln Durham – Exodus Of The Deemed Unrighteous’ (Droog Records)
DL/CD (via CD Baby)
Out early Jan
Due for release in early January, Texan born and raised Lincoln Durham’s second album is already set to be a standard bearer for 2014 and an early contender for album of the year. The follow up to his remarkable debut with its similarly remarkable title ‘The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones’, he picks up very much where he left off, and simply raises the bar with an even deeper and darker set of intense raw blues and angst ridden tunes.
At only 32 minutes it’s a case of the tried and tested adage of quality over quantity; no messing with the need to cram as much as possible onto a whole CD and add unnecessary filler. It’s almost a throwback to the old days of recording in an homage to the original blues players particularly in opening with ‘Ballad Of A Prodigal Son’, his coarse and ravaged vocals which remain the centrepiece of every song , only giving way to a compressed slide guitar at the very end of the song.
‘Sinner’ is a truly ominous confessional call for redemption, rumbling along a cascade of slide and awaiting musical and lyrical salvation. There are less than two minutes of distorted invocation in the song which is ‘Strike Us Down’ conjuring up images of desperate prayers of mercy in derelict run down shacks. Not one to offer a one dimensional perspective on the genre, for something a bit different, flick the CD scanner to ‘Keep On Allie’ where Durham creeps into Springsteen territory, gently picked acoustic backing his more hushed tones, or try ‘Exodus Waltz’ which slowly evolves into a bastard son of a bluegrass tune.
After an aborted attempt in late 2013 to bring his riveting one man live show to the UK (without naming names, his airline have a lot to answer for), 2014 must be a year where the underground appeal of Lincoln Durham’s authentic roots resonates and widens to garner more critical and commercial acceptance. Those in the know beseech the true sinners to step forward.