September 1, 2006
Words/photos by Candise Kola
The jam scene has had its own one-man wonder in Keller Williams for a while, so when I considered checking out Scott Biram, I was curious what he would bring to the table that Keller already hadn’t. I was pleasantly surprised to see he had plenty in his pockets that Keller probably wouldn’t dream of. He wasn’t trying to copy what has already been done with a bunch of fancy looping equipment and a guitar.
Biram, a one man band from Austin, Texas, is what one could call the antithesis of Keller’s squeaky, freaky, tweaky sense of humor and song repertoire. He brings to the stage a redneck/blue collar image, complete with a trucker’s hat, brown work pants and a mean handlebar moustache, and he sings with a blues/roots/gospel/country/punk edge. His foot board and Bible provide the right amount of thump needed to keep the audience clapping along with him.
When your eyes are greeted with his stage set-up, you see plenty of vintage gear amongst other things, and when Biram begins the show one hears a man who is definitely singing with soul. He does not mess around with delivery, and will frequently remind his audience with his bullhorn to “SHUTTHEFUCKUP!” if he suspects attention is going elsewhere – his performance demands your attention.
Biram’s song list is compiled of material from his 4 releases, peppered with just the right amount of appropriately matched cover tunes. I was thrilled to see him work the audience with a very involved version of the gospel tune, “What’s His Name!” and then swiftly jump to the blues roots classic “Just Cant Be Satisfied.” He winded down the one and a half hour set with a very gritty and speedy “Black Betty.”
Biram’s guitar work lends itself well to all the musical styles he delivers. He appears to feel his music – his stage gestures indicate he loves what he’s doing. He pairs the enthusiasm with a brand of humor sure to shock. Picture if you will a rubber fist…uh yeah…THAT kind of rubber fist…swung around the air while Biram informs the audience “this thing ain’t just for collecting nickels ya know!” It’s so easy to laugh and it’s even easier to enjoy the music. The guy seriously works every minute of the show.
Inspired, I picked up his new CD, Graveyard Shift, on the way out the door and have been listening ever since. His stories are just what you’d expect: unrequited love, various badass-isms, trucks, the road, drinking, the devil and Jesus. They are put together well, keep the listener imagining the characters being sung about, all the while laughing at the picture your mind’s eye paints. This is the kind of CD that is great for a road trip; it will have you singing along and slapping the steering wheel in no time.
Biram is on the road this fall, supporting his new CD. His is a unique style that any blues, country, rock, gospel or punk fan would enjoy and appreciate. I whole heartedly recommend the $10.00 ticket- it’s an entertainment bargain.