Dames n’ Gallows

With his latest release, Northstate-relocated blooze rocker Slam Buckra displays an interesting streak of artistic ambition. While not exactly a “concept album,” the CD does have a sort-of thematic thread running through it: women. And there’s a wide range of female characters trotted across Buckra’s funky-Dada musical landscape.

“Daddy’s Got His Cake” kicks the album off into a trademark Groove Palookas’ dance groove, but the female featured in this lyric only puts in a cameo on the chorus. In “Black Betty,” Buckra shifts to a lower, Delta blues gear, noting “Black Betty’s got the hiccups/ She tends to gargle what she eats/ Doctor Machete to the rescue/ Take one of these and take it deep.”

Two tracks are particularly ambitious (each over 10 minutes in length), "Bleu Parachute Noose" and "Suite Aunt Catherine." On the former, Buckra magically avoids driving the three-chord song with what feels like a zillion verses into the ground; on the latter, a simplistic but enjoyable trio of song fragments in different keys and signatures is underpinned by synthesized cellos. Definitely worth hearing.