Preview Blue Collar Hippie Music (Live) by The Plott Hounds
Blue Collar Hippie Music (Live) by The Plott Hounds
A name like The Plott Hounds isn’t easily forgotten so when listening to this new record I thought I’d heard that name before. After a few tracks I remembered where; it was the Americana Music Show!. And, you have to believe me here, before checking back, it became perfectly clear; this was the band with a great 70s southern rock sound brought right up to date.
In Blue Collar Hippie Music, The Plott Hounds don’t so much bring their southern jamming sound into your music machine but transport you to their live show. That’s no easy task but start at the beginning with the wailing opening licks of "Better Go" and a “y’all ready” and keep going to the rapturous applause that follows the final song, "Sweet Lovin’" and you want to go back to the start. This is no bar-room stomp, but a recording of some great guitar music, tight rhythm and gravelly vocals that make me think those at Le Musique Room, inSt Michael MN, got their money’s worth on November 19 2016.
The southern influence is mainly via lead vocalist and co-founder, Noah Alexander who comes from Georgia where he grew up on the Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd and it shows. After moving north to make Anoka, MN his adopted home town, he teamed up with Jeff Powell and formed The Plott Hounds three years ago. This live album is their third after debut record Living Free was released in 2015 followed by an EP, Thirsty For Something a year later. Live albums tend to come after a bit more in the studio but my strong sense is that performing is what The Plott Hounds do so what better than a live record?
At first glance I thought perhaps the album could have been shorter but such is the range of their songs and great jamming, the length is fine. But just in case anyone is flagging it comes almost in two parts with a peak half way with what I consider the best song, "Southbound." It’s all here; band intro, brief bio with a few deceptively easy chords and easy meandering before Alexander whips up the audience, "git up for this one y’all" and off they go with slide that pulls together all those great influences. 'Southbound, on 75 and Georgia is on my mind"." Alexander, Howell and the third lead guitar, Colin Wymore interweave like Collins, Gaines, and Rossington.
Other rippers are "Dalton," some fine picking as the band moves to a lighter almost two-step feel as Alexander sings a song that was made for a bar. The band’s southern credentials are completely nailed with a version of "One Way Out" that really does have a haunting feel of its originators. There’s more Allman Brothers with a wonderful “Blue Sky” reprise on “Growing Young.” "Country Blues" is partly autobiographical, naming those great influences but making clear they go fast beyond the Mason Dixon Line. “We’ve got some country picking with that rock and roll”.
Slowing down the pace is ‘This Ain’t No Country Song’ where Alexander reflects that life has more to offer than just having a good time. "Night Owls" has a slower, more languid, but unmistakably southern feel that turns into another jam but like all the others, drummer Tater and bassist, Marty Lestock, hold it all together.
There’s too much on this record to give each song individual mention but if you like a southern rock base with a thoroughly original and contemporary take then give The Plott Hounds a try. According to Noah Alexander, the North Carolina Plott Hound is a breed completely unique to America. Just like the band. Now how do I get to Anoka MN?