Lincoln Durham
The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones

Year: 2012
Label: Rayburn Publishing
Genre: Folk
Location: Austin, TX
83 Music Review: The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones by Lincoln Durham

Few artists are able to truly turn themselves inside out for the world to see. As of the release of his debut album The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones, you can go ahead and add Austin, Texas singer Lincoln Durham to the short list of those who can. Showing contempt for heartless mediocrity, Durham breathes heavy emotion into an album tantamount to Americana genius. His meat and potatoes voice grinds against blues guitar, harmonica, and stout drum beats, while telling stories about what it means to survive in a world rife with struggle and yet still shrouded in beauty. His tender heart and hard exterior are immediately bore out with the album’s first song “Drifting Wood”; a recording opaque enough to allow listeners to place themselves amongst the tangled theme of redemption through grace. Softer takes on life can be found on cuts like “Clementine” and “Trucker’s Love Song” (a pretty track featuring Idgy Vaughn on backup vocals), but most of what The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones has to offer is a blues sound rooted in mankind’s age old attempt to make sense of the world and yet still take breaks from the madness to smell the roses. This debut record is the kind of raw effort you’d expect from someone so connected to regular life. It shines with all the colorings of being worked out during dive bar live shows and time on the road. It’s not the sugar coated version of experience, it’s simply… “The Blues”.

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