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Scud Mountain Boys reform 14 years later

Monday, October 17, 2011 – The Scud Mountain Boys, who disbanded in 1997, will play several east coast shows in January and February 2012.

Stephen Desaulniers, Joe Pernice, Tom Shea and Bruce Tull, who comprised the band throughout most of its short recording and touring career from 1991-97, will play together for the first time in 14 years.

Dates are:

Friday, Jan. 13, 2012 - Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

Saturday Jan. 14 - Brighton Music Hall, Boston, MA

Sunday, Jan. 15 - Pearl Street Clubroom, Northampton, MA

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 - Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012- The Black Cat, Washington, DC

James Walbourne, who plays in The Pernice Brothers with Joe Pernice, and also plays with The Pretenders, Edwyn Collins and Peter Bruntnell, will open the shows in January.

In August, after being out-of-contact for many years, Pernice, Desaulniers and Shea had an almost-impromptu reunion in Cambridge, Mass., after which they announced the full Scud Mountain Boys line-up would do these shows. Ashmont Records will re-release "The Early Year "in January 2012. "There are plans afoot for other re-releases and recordings, but nothing solid to report at this writing," the Scuds' publicist said Monday.

The Scud Mountain Boys began as the Scuds in western Massachusetts in 1991. Back then the group played loud rock 'n' roll in local clubs. But after those shows ended, the band would retreat to Bruce's kitchen to unwind. There, late at night, they would break out their old country favorites, playing the songs they thought too quiet and too slow for live performances.

The band found that these were the songs they really lived to play, so they decided to make a change. Adding "mountain boys" to their name, the re-christened Scud Mountain Boys played their first show in 1993. In keeping with their simplified approach, the Scud Mountain Boys preferred to record in the same kitchen that spawned their new direction. They had tried recording in a small studio but found it alienating. A 4-track recorder captured the sounds for 12 original songs and 3 covers of songs originally performed by such diverse sources as Jimmy Webb (Wichita Lineman), Olivia Newton-John (Please, Mister Please), and Cher (Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves). Originally sold as the Pine Box cassette, the tracks were later released on vinyl by the indie-rock label Chunk Records in 1995.

Later in 1995 the Scud Mountain Boys recorded another set of tracks which became "Dance the Night Away" on Chunk. Including more 4-track kitchen recordings, as well as others made a 24-track studio, the CD-only release featured drums on a few songs, another Jimmy Webb cover (Where's the Playground Susie).

The band signed with Seattle's Sub Pop Records and recorded "Massachusetts," a14-song album with a number of more upbeat songs with drums and electric guitar. Released in 1996, the CD received much praise. Sub Pop released the first 2 CDs as "The Early Year," a double CD, in 1997. The group disbanded shortly after that release, and has not performed since.

Tickets for these shows go on sale Oct. 21.

More news for Scud Mountain Boys

CD reviews for Scud Mountain Boys

The Early Year
The Scud Mountain Boys rose out of late night gatherings in guitarist/vocalist Bruce Tull's kitchen, playing quiet, acoustic, country-flavored tunes more than the regular rock bands they were used to playing in. The Scuds became a full-time project and, almost immediately, released two records in one year. This is a double-CD reissue of these first two releases: "Pine Box" and "Dance The Night Away" (both released in 1995 on Chunk Records). The former was recorded with just one microphone. »»»
On the Scuds' latest, they reveal where there true musical direction lies. Although definitely having some country influences, the sound is similar to that of Better than Ezra or R.E.M. in their mellower moments. They also display their country influences, evoking memories of Gram Parsons, the Jayhawks et al on tracks prominently featuring traditional country instruments such as the mandolin, lap steel, and pedal steel guitar ("Big Hole" and "Van Drunk"). The tempo is rather slow and laid-back throughout. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: For McCoury, Grisman, music still matters – One condenser microphone, a music stand, a mandolin, rhythm guitar and more than 100 years of bluegrass experience: that's all David Grisman and Del McCoury need to put on a show. It's quite a show, too. The artists' backstories are well known: McCoury was a logger in Lancaster County, Pa., who came to New York City to see Bill... »»»
Concert Review: Ely wears well – Joe Ely is the prototypical rambler. It comes through in his music and in his life. There are lots of elements in the music about travels, riding the rails, small town scenery and getting away from it. In fact, after playing "I'm Gonna Strangle You Shorty" as the first song of his encore, Ely opined, "The only thing I got out of... »»»
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