This is the Idiot Grins’ fourth album and a track for track retelling of the Louvin Brothers epic “Satan is Real” 1959 Album.
It’s something of a departure for me as a reviewer and a style I have to admit I would never have chosen to listen to. However, I can totally understand why these Oakland guys took a chance and decided to create this homage to the beloved Louvin Brothers. Maybe I understand that now more than ever in fact. We all must turn to out truth after all.
These songs are part of the American songbook, soulful country, country gospel, folk classics. Simple, honest and one revelatory, life-changing story after another. The twanging guitar, the heartfelt harmonies, the melancholy and the longing. All beautifully produced and with a feeling so live you can imagine them standing around a microphone in a dusty studio croning away, taping their feet, authentic and raw.
As I said before, it’s not exactly my cup of tea this, but I like it. It’s cinematic dustpan handle, “Grapes of Wrath” heartbreaking and all American. This is the kind of music that is passed down through generations; the songs are heirlooms, precious moments in a collective history that deserve to be honored and relived. These stories are still relevant, today perhaps more than any, while we face what we face, pandemics, isolation, fear and division. These songs, sung so lovingly by this band of artful musicians are meaningful, historic and real. For that I am gratefully entertained and enlightened.
Idiot Grins are:
Mike Conner – piano and organ
Evan Eustis – bass, mandolin and vocals
John Hansen – vocals
Michael Melgoza – drums
Randy Strauss – guitars
Listen to the album: