South Side Of The Moon

by Gideon Smith & the Dixie Damned

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about

Leicester Bangs (UK)

If “Last Train to Scornsville” is something of a curate’s egg, then “South Side of the Moon” is a Magpie’s nest. One of the most eclectic and eccentric releases from the label this latest from former Antiseen roadie Gideon Smith and the Dixie Damned is also one of its most accomplished and enjoyable. It’s a well-known characteristic of most Small Stone bands that they wear their influences with pride, but few of them wear quite as many as this outfit from North Carolina. Try sticking a pin into any of the thirteen tracks assembled here and another reference will trickle out: “Indian Larry” is the Steppenwolf you always wished for; “Blacklight Wizard Foster” is a Sabbath / Doors collision; “Black Cat Road” walks the same ground as the Mississippi Allstars; “Feather’s Shadow” summons up a feral southern gothic Elvis; “Shimmering Rain” straddles acoustic Allmans and The Cult alike; while “Lay Me Down in Ecstasy” could be a variation on any number of 80’s/90’s heavy rockers in ballad mode. That the band has graced soundtracks from horror movies to the Sopranos is no surprise, given that the one thing that unites these diverse styles (as well as first rate playing and performance) is the ability to create an atmosphere of tension and impending menace, drawing the required level of danger from their chosen range of primal rock forms. It seems a bit of a cop out to quote from a band’s own My Space page, but for these I’ll make an exception, simply because I can’t sum them up better. Their influences, they say, are drawn from the following:

“Bayou Swampy & Delta Blues, Trippy Psychedelia, old school 50's-70's rock, 70's outlaw country, Traditional southern rock, Creepy Doom, gothic rock and UFO bred alien influenced Space Rock. Once described as "picture the Allman Brothers on acid, lost in the grand canyon". Described as 'cowboy death rock', 'psychedelic biker rock' and 'southern gothic rock'.”

What’s not to like?

credits

released 29 April 2008

Gideon Smith: Guitars, Vox, Harmonica
Phil: Guitars, Bass
Eric Hoegemeyer: Drums, Bass, Percussion
Eric Miller: Drums
Billy Reedy: Guitar
Mark Miers: Hammond
Scott Hamilton: Guitar

Musicians from North Carolina Sessions:
Jason Griscom: R. Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Jose Carlos Wright: Bass on 3 and 11
Mark Binion: Drums on 8
Robert Roose: Drums on 3 and 11
Jeff Clayton: Guest Washboard Scrub Percussion on 5

Recorded at Rustbelt Studios - Royal Oak, MI
Additional recording in North Carolina at Ground Crew by Gina Stewart, Underground Sound by Saul Johnson and Left Of The Dial Studio by Rob Stevens and Thomas Brook.
Produced by Eric Hoegemeyer & Philip Dürr
Engineered by Eric Hoegemeyer
Mixed by Al Sutton
Mastered by Chris Gooseman at Baseline Audio - Ann Arbor, MI
Artwork by Joey Toscano

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