SmokeStack and the Foothill Fury

SmokeStack and the Foothill Fury
Ain’t Gonna Pine

Independent Release

By Elliott Morehardt
February 2011

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Man, I might need a shower after listening to Ain’t Gonna Pine by SmokeStack and the Foothill Fury. It sounds like a big band, but it’s just one guy on guitar along with his pedal drum and crate. So after rinsing off and thinking about what I just heard, I’m ready for another bumpy ride down that grimy back mountain road that SmokeStack likes to take us on.

SmokeStack and the Foothill Fury plays some high-energy, all-American folk/punk/country blues that has a raw infectious quality that is undeniable! In case you’ve been asleep for the past couple of years, there’s a bunch of young musicians out there reviving and re-inventing the blues folk scene, and just so you know, this ain’t your sister’s folk or your daddy’s blues. This is closer to your great-grandpappy’s music that didn’t have a label but just grew organically out of our good earth. They’re traveling across our country doing what comes naturally, being creative, and hoping to put a morsel in their bellies.

Like most great American music, Ain’t Gonna Pine is good driving music. It’s high-energy, see-how-fast-that-engine-will-go kind of stuff. Toward the end, there’s some sweet, slow-down stuff that you could rock away the night to. Not always understood, but always felt, SmokeStack’s lyrics fit right in with his twanging guitar and steady beat, like high hopes and a heavy heart. Titles like “Barren Land,” “What Is Time,” “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” and “Put It In My Pocket,” cut to the chase and do not disappoint. The title track, “Ain’t Gonna Pine,” takes the pace down a bit, drawing you into a beautiful mood-filled soliloquy. In “Babe,” SmokeStack evokes more of those emotions while putting his bottleneck to good use. “Put It In My Pocket” shows Smokey’s talent for chatting up the story during his song, something to look forward to in his live shows. He frames this CD nicely with an instrumental variation of “Barren Land,” a hypnotic blend that is this artist’s signature.

Not since maybe Tex and the Horseheads have I heard such a raw blend of hillbilly blues infused with punk attitude. And for those of you still not getting the punk thing, it might be time to just accept that it has a significant place in music history and rising artists like SmokeStack are further proof of that. So now if you’re not afraid of wheeling down some dirt mountain road in your rusted ’72 Ford pick-up with bad brakes, pick up a copy of SmokeStack and Foothill Fury’s Ain’t Gonna Pine and go for a ride.

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