Converting to the Preached
I'm rather keen on singers with what you'd call unconventional voices. Awright, to be fair, voices of folks who really can't sing in the way pop radio has made us accustomed. Usual suspects like Tom Waits (Captain Beefheart, Howlin'Wolf), Leonard Cohen, and Shane MacGowan along with the likes of Richard Buckner, Mark Eitzel, Johnny Dowd, Joel RL Phelps, Billy Childish...well, you get the idea. The usual suspects here at the Mountain. It's not that they can't sing, per se, but the buckets they carry their tunes in have a different kind of water in them. Yep.
Tom House is one such feller. Discovered him via his Checkered Past release, "This White Man's Burden". At first listen, you'd swear he wandered out of some run-down shanty hidden in the West Virginia hills. Turns out he's currently a Nashvillian, and a much-published author. But, still, and perhaps because of his status as a writer before a musician, his closest contemporary I can spot is Breece D'J Pancake. Both share a sense of place and person usually unrecorded. A sense of the forgotten, a land of barren dreams and the unrequited love of a god never seen.
House's voice yips and yelps, the instruments (banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar) shamble after, keeping up and falling by the wayside. It'll break yr heart and save yr life. He shoulda been born in Appalachia. Then Harry Smith could have discovered him years before he was born. Which seems to be where he lives.
Tom House: Slipping and Drinking (mp3)
Tom House: I Only Know (You're What I'm Needing) (mp3)
(yousendit files (for the time being)...click on target...download from site)