Mr. Scott H. Biram is nothing short of a total and complete badass mofo. First of all, he is thee one man in his namesake one-man band, and his many quality releases over the past 14 years have proved he doesn't need anyone else to help him get the job done, and done well. From vocal duty to playing guitar and percussion, Biram delivers his style of hillbilly country with a vengeance -- tangling it up with elements of punk, blues, metal, classic rock, and an undeniably ferocious spirit. Whether he's blasting out a fierce and noisy tune or bringing it down a little more low and slow, you know he isn't holding back anything. Another testament to his tenacity: Biram survived a head-on collision with a semi-truck in 2003, suffering multiple internal and external injuries, including the loss of a substantial portion of his organs. A mere month later, with a couple of broken legs, he took the stage in Austin, performing in a wheelchair, an IV still hanging from his arm. Just like his tunes, that's pretty fuckin' tough.
And speaking of that accident, it was one where it would have been near impossible to come out of without some constant reminders. Biram suffers the long term effects of that collision with his persevering badass spirit.
"I have a couple of rods in my legs but that hasn't stopped me from doing anything," he says. "I have been in and out of the hospital so many times it doesn't even phase me. When I had the accident, it wasn't even a consideration to stop making music or touring."
He mentions an upcoming gall bladder operation as casual an event as a quick trip to the market for a gallon of milk.
Maybe the fact that he doesn't slow down easily is that making music has been a part of who he is since childhood. Biram has been playing since he was around 6 years old. He was inspired by a lot of the records his dad would play for him and found continuous thrills in all kinds of music, citing Lighting Hopkins, Townes Van Zandt, and Bob Dylan -- whose first record Biram heard at age 20 after a lifetime of hearing Dylan's later tunes -- as just a few of artists who have been important to him.
Currently, Biram is on a pretty hearty tour promoting his latest, Nothin' But Blood. The album contains 14 gut-wrenching songs that vibrate with sincere intensity and honesty. Biram isn't one to hold back, and you can't help but be fueled and riled up by the anger and energy in his driving, edgier tunes or busted up and reflective by the bluesy sadness in another. Scott says he wasn't trying to do anything particularly new or special with this recent release.
"People always ask me what I've got in store for each new record," he says, "but I never really plan it that way. It's just me doing more of what I do. I figure that I have a lot of different style that I'm mixing up in each record, so that's where there's some diversity." "The live show is more of the same," he continues. "It may be just me but I am doing all kinds of different things. It's a pretty raucous show."
Not surprising, the prolific Biram is already at work on a new full length, writing pieces here and there as ideas come to him, saying sometimes his songs are like a "cut-up collage," as they become whole over periods of time. After this tour he will head home to get into his studio to shore up more of those tracks and get in some quality time with his lady friend and dog and chickens. He'll also get down to some serious cooking.
"It's my Zen," says Biram. He seems to apply a similar fusion to his culinary endeavors as he does to creating songs. "I like to get in there and experiment with different things and see what happens."
Biram encourages attendees to get there in time for touring act, Jesse Dayton, the rockabilly artist who has a pretty impressive resume of his own, including collaborations with the likes of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Biram says it's a treat to watch Dayton's guitar playing and that the two may collaborate on something in the future.
Here's the video for his latest, Never Comin' Home
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