Reviews

Scott Hrabko Biscuits & Gravity

TJ-Scott-Hrabko
By Brian Rock

Scott Hrabko follows up his impressive 2013 debut, Gone Places, with his new album, Biscuits & Gravity.  With a little help from his backing band, The Rabbits, Scott picks up right where he left off. Starting with the Western Swinging “Died and Gone to Heaven,” Scott exudes a Roger Miller, “King of the Road,” effortless cool. He sings, “With a lonesome load of laundry and an abandoned band of gold, all that rollin’ and tumblin’ was getting kind of old. She picked me up and dusted me off. Lo and behold! I think I must have died and gone to heaven,” And for bonus points, he even riffs the Robert Wilkins (via the Rolling Stones) “Prodigal Son,” to end the song.

Part Bob Wills, part Buddy Guy, Hrabko manages to create a hybrid Texas Blues Swing sound that’s all his own. In fact, this album would make the perfect soundtrack to a modern cattle drive from Fort Worth to Chicago.

The album’s second track, “Lorraine,” features a chooglin’ freight train rhythm and harmonious three part vocals as Scott sings about his on-again off-again romance; “let her love letters flutter to the gutters of Memory Lane. I’ve been known to ramble, but it’s always back to Lorraine.”

“Ordinary Guy,” follows with nimble Chicago blues guitar and nimbler lyrics: “It’s down to coffee spody-ody, biscuits and gravity; pickled ambition and liquored up fiction and time lapse pornography. Oh, the birds are irritating at this hour of the day. And the garbage men are taking my weekend away.” If there’s a cooler blues lyric than that, I’d love to hear it.

“I Dreamed I Quit My Job,” adds a little Dr. John funkiness to the mix. “(Son Of) Valley Of The Blues,” is the perfect summer afternoon on the hammock song. “Donnez Moi” picks the tempo back up with a ragin’ Cajun dance beat.

Scott and company gear back down for the somber, bluesy, “Don’t Be True.” With a clever twist on the Elvis tune of similar name, Hrabko sings, “All the walls of his sin and her clothes closing in, your daddy done moved along. By the oil stains in her parking place, you can see that he’d been there and gone. Don’t be true to a heart that’s cruel.”

Coming down the home stretch, Hrabko finishes with some laid back pickin’ and grinnin’. “California Got My Baby,” is about as cheerful a blues song as you can find. Showcasing his flair for the grammatic, Scott sings, “Cashin’ my quarters in a town on the border, ugly as an old rock star. In a Santa Anna sand blasted rambler, I never dreamed we’d get this far.”

In “Somebody Else’s Sunshine,” Hrabko adds some up-tempo rhythm to his blues. And finally, the tender, “O My Stars,” closes out the album with a harmonious surrender to love. He sings, “The sun’s going down and the sky’s different colored. Momma come and see the desert hues. I feel alright, but these times are bad, momma run here help me with these blues. O my stars, how you undo me.” Like the Painted Desert at sunset, Hrabko paints the blues in every conceivable hue.

With music as light as biscuits and lyrics as heavy as gravity, Biscuits & Gravity is a delicious home-cooked musical feast. I know I’ll be going back for seconds.

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