Sarah Shook & The Disarmers over for select number of European dates starting this weekend29-10-2018
The Tao of Sarah Shook can be summarized by the first few lines of “New Ways to Fail,” the second song on her latest album Years:
"It seems my way of livin’ don’t live up to your standards
And if you had your way I’d be some proper kind of lady
Well the door is over there, if I may speak with perfect candor
You’re welcome to walk through it at any old time that you fancy
‘Cause I need this shit like I need another hole in my head"
In case it’s not already clear, Shook is proud of who she is. She doesn’t need your feedback on her art or her lifestyle. And she uses all the above to fuel her fiery take on country music, Americana, roots-rock, y’allternative or whatever the preferred term is these days.
Whatever you call it, Years is a rock-solid example. It’s an album built from shuffling rhythms, twangy swoops of pedal steel guitar, Shook’s scowling alto and plainspoken lyrics about the struggle (and coping mechanisms) of day-to-day life. The band behind Shook, the Disarmers, are a perfectly capable combo who sound plucked from the golden era of alt-country, the late 1990s. When they rock, they rumble like peak Old 97s. When they boogie-woogie, they’ve got some Bottle Rockets in ‘em. When they go full honky tonk, they recall early Robbie Fulks.
At its pounding heart, Years crackles with a pointedly contemporary and relevant take on the outlaw spirit. Built around the buoyant pedal steel of Phil Sullivan, and the post-punk rattle and Live At San Quentin hum of Eric Peterson’s guitar, there are echoes of Nikki Lane and Merle Haggard as much as Ty Segall. Its home is the ragged-but-real honky tonk, not the bro-country “honky tonk.” As Sarah herself tells it: "This record is about finding a way. A way through exhaustion, depression, betrayal, hangover after hangover, upper after downer after upper, fight after never-ending fight. It’s about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after years of being trampled and beaten down, jutting your chin out, head high, after they’ve done their worst, and saying, “Still here.”
02 NOV: Deventer (NL) @ Burgerweeshuis / Route 77
03 NOV: Groningen (NL) @ Take Root
04 NOV: Breda (NL) @ ROOTZZ
05 NOV: London (UK) @ Old Blue Last SOLD OUT
07 NOV: Barcelona (ESP) @ Rocksound
08 NOV: Zaragoza (ESP) @ Rock & Blues
09 NOV: Madrid (ESP) @ Boite Live