Image from Chili Cold Blood’s Facebook page
Take a crock pot, and throw in a little of R.L. Burnside’s Hill Country blues, a little Hank Williams swagger and a whole lot of ultra-heavy, greasy rock ‘n’ roll and you got yerself darn fine Chili Cold Blood, Austin’s fine purveyors of down-and-dirty, gut-bustin’ blues-rock. This Saturday the band gets to celebrate two milestones with a show at The White Horse. The first is the release of a brand new long-player called And Now the Dawn, and the second–and this is a big’n–the band’ll be celebrating their ten-year anniversary.
A decade ago, guitarist Doug Strahan hooked up with pedal-steeler Ethan Shaw. Both fellas were country players (and still are in Chili Cold Blood’s cow-punching alter-ego The Moonhangers) looking for something heavier. And boy howdy, they found it. They spent their earliest days as a band slugging out residencies at Burnet Road’s rough-and-tumble Poodle Dog Lounge. Drummer Matt Puryear joined up in 2004, and later added bassist Dave Wesselowski. And Now the Dawn follows is just the latest in a line of whiskey-spillin’, hard-rockin’ records. One of the coolest tunes on the new record is “Graveyard.”
The boys of Chili Cold Blood channel fellow Texans ZZ Top (with a little of Black Sabbath’s dark spirit thrown in for good measure) on “Graveyard.” The song opens with a fat, bluesy guitar lick before diving headfirst into a groove so thick, it should be slathered over chicken-fried steak, and they don’t let up. Strahan and Shaw trade a few more greasy solos, including some very cool wah-ed out slide guitar fit to rock your T-top Camaro. It’s a fine rock ‘n’ roll stew.