It's almost too easy to compare Chicago's Al Scorch to William Elliott Whitmore. He grew up playing the guitar and banjo, started opening up for punk rock bands, and eventually started touring the world's dirty and cramped DIY spaces. He has a warm on-stage persona and the songs that ooze out from these basements and clubs into the neighboring homes range from a sweet fiddle tune, to the stomping sing-along of a gypsy song of old.
Mr. Scorch is set to release his debut LP, Tired Ghostly Town, on March 31st via Plan-It-X South/HeWhoCorruptsInc.. His 11-piece backing band, the Country Soul Ensemble, most notably features Laura Carter (from the Elephant 6 collective) on clarinet and Sam Johnson (A Hawk and a Hacksaw) on trumpet. Stream four out of the ten LP tracks below and while you're down there, check out Tired Ghostly Town's cover art (designed by Damara Kaminecki) and tracklisting. Pre-order the album now.
On Saturday night (1/7), I caught Al and the ensemble at the Lucky Gator Loft. He was nice enough to step aside and play me "Giant Wars and Dinosaurs," which I spliced with footage of the band playing "Hard Times" during their set.
Check out the footage below along with some song streams and the LP's tracklisting/art.
Al Scorch - "Board up the Windows"
Al Scorch - "Miss Rosie"
Al Scorch - "Working Dream"
Al Scorch - "Giant Wars and Dinosaurs"
Al Scorch @ Lucky Gator Loft
Al Scorch from GONZO CHICAGO on Vimeo
01. Board up the Windows
03. Hearse Driver
04. Miss Rosie
05. Working Dream
06. Giant Wars and Dinosaurs
07. Hard Times
08. Movie Picture
09. Two Flags
10. Tired Ghostly