Circle Round the Signs
The marriage of punk rock and bluegrass is doing just fine and as a result the kids keep piling up. As proof, just check out Circle Round the Signs, the latest full length from Chicago native Al Scorch (god, I hope that’s his real name), a beautiful mix of string band, folk, bluegrass and grimy punk rock, all played out on banjo, guitar and fiddle. While Scorch is a stellar lyricist (just check out “Want One” or album opener “Pennsylvania Turnpike”), the highlight here may be his glorious cover of Woody Guthrie’s “Slipknot,” possible one of the best interpretations of this oft-covered classic.
After years of self-releasing his music, Circle Round the Signs is Scorch’s second offering from Bloodshot Records and a beautiful match for this storied label which has decades of experience taking in a slew of musicians who love their Guthrie and Cash as much as their Social D and Black Flag. (John B. Moore)