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July 2014
Cadillac Flambe
"Old American Law
"
mp3

Some bands have the ability to create music that reaches into a chasm of sorrow and affliction, exposing the deepest of wounds. With its latest release Old American LawCadillac Flambe boasts nine heavily weighted tracks that escort the listener through calamitous musical compositions, and tragic tales told by the mesmerizing vocals of husband and wife Kris and Havilah Bruders.

 
Since its previous release, Eli’s Porch, Cadillac Flambe has had to adjust its sound. The band’s harmonica player James “Pappy” Garrett, who was an integral component to its dark Americana blues approach, died in a car accident during the making of the 2011 EP. Shrinking down to a four-piece, the band has shifted in a decidedly more rock ‘n roll direction, still retaining its rootsy nature but packing a more substantial punch.
 
Ushered in by Kris Bruders’ signature gritty blues guitar sound, “Shakin’ Baby” sets the album in motion, highlighted additionally by Michael Payne’s massive but calculated drum work and Dave Duly’s perfectly in-the-pocket bass playing. On this album, Payne and Duly add a collective rhythmic wallop unheard in previous recordings, pervading the tunes with a rock and R&B heartbeat.
 
After the first track, you’re likely in for the ride, which allows Cadillac Flambe to pull you in to its turbulent descent.
 
This emotional tailspin careens to its greatest depths in “3 Bullets,” the album’s longest and most powerful track—one split into two distinct acts. In Act I, Havilah Bruders tells the story of a desperate mother trying to feed her child, reaching out to the church, the government, and the bank, and is turned away by each. Act II arrives in the middle of the song, which slows from a steady 4/4 to a haunting 6/8 groove, as she discloses the news of her child’s death. A chilling anguish is felt as Bruders’ voice rages, a deliriousness is experienced as she transitions from a quiet whimper to a grief-stricken roar, also revealing the song's final crux: the woman has murdered the three entities that indirectly caused her child's death. Her soul and gospel background is most noticeable here, as she carries us through each scene and makes us feel her misery and despair, measure by measure. It’s also apparent in “Sweet Chariot,” where she takes us through a woman’s frenzied fear of impending death, into her answered prayers of serenity and light.
 
Most of the songs on Old American Law were penned by Kris Bruders, whose own vocals have a mystic, commanding, but sincere quality to them. Take “Father to Son” for instance, a narrative about a father’s beliefs and pressures onto his son. Bruders’ vocal delivery at once contains the father’s threatening tone and the son’s subsequent harsh, casual defiance. In the album’s title track, his voice characterizes the overall personality of the album. His words and the dusty Delta blues sound of his hollow-body custom magnesium guitar convey the voice of an uncompromising outlaw. Bruders’ authoritative, booming vocals—often coupled with his wife’s harmonies, sometimes impassioned, sometimes a simple adornment to his own—and the unique gravel of his guitar dig into the meat of each song.
 
Plenty of bands write songs about death, family strife, social issues, and religious conviction, yet few are able to execute it as effectively as Cadillac Flambe does in Old American Law. The throttle of the rhythm section, the bedraggled, melancholy guitar tones, the dissonant piano chords, and the soulful vocals push the message of each song to the forefront. The LP, which was tracked, mixed, and mastered at Little Class Records by Keegan Smith, is the strongest manifestation of anything the band has released to date. 
 
--Michelle Bacon

 

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scene blog

Artists on Trial: The Lucky

Artists on Trial: The Lucky

Though The Lucky is a relatively new Kansas City band, the group is already working hard to play on larger local bills and begin recording. We sit down with the duo, Jason McKee and Camilla Camille, to find out more about who they are and what they have going.

The Deli
: Gun to your head, 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?


The Lucky: Indie-garage-punk-pop-riot revival with a beat you can dance to.

The Deli
: Let’s talk about what you have coming up. What can we expect?

The Lucky: Jason McKee: We’re playing with The Sexy Accident at the recordBar this Friday and with Drew Black and Dirty Electric at Coda on Saturday. We’ve added some new songs to our set.

Camilla Camille: We have a Kickstarter campaign starting this Friday and we are going to record a CD with Pat Tomek. And we have a show with Schwervon! on September 28 at The Riot Room; it’s their record release party. They just moved here from New York. And you can expect lots of fun music, laughter, theatrics, maybe some stage drama, some choreography, perhaps, some hoofing, and an all-around good time.

The Deli: What does "supporting local music" mean to you?

The Lucky: Camilla Camille: It means going out to shows and buying local bands’ CDs and t-shirts. Generally banging your head in the audience, screaming "yay!" and "woohoo!" while they’re playing. And talking to them afterwards telling them what you liked about their show.

Jason: Going to shows is important, and a worthwhile investment if you’re a music lover, but I also think if a band puts on a good show, it’s important to tell them afterward that I liked it and what I liked about it. And when I see a band I really like, I try to tell other people about it so they can experience it, too.

The Deli: Who are your favorite "local" musicians right now?

The Lucky: Jason: Jonathan Thatch, our Friday night drummer. Brian Jewell, our Saturday night drummer. Pat Tomek, who’s sitting in on drums for the September 28 show at The Riot Room. I love the show The Beautiful Bodies always put on. Cherokee Rock Rifle. Deco Auto. Drew Black and Dirty Electric. The Cave Girls. The Bad Ideas. Schwervon!.

Camilla Camille: You, Michelle Bacon. And The Cave Girls. Robin Powell Campbell. And The Bad Ideas. And The Beautiful Bodies. And Deco Auto. And Drew Black and Dirty Electric. And The Quivers.

The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

The Lucky: Camilla Camille: Right now I have been listening to Devo, Bad Religion, Spank Rock, The Black Keys, The Cramps, and The Dollyrots.

Jason: I listen to a lot of The Libertines and Babyshambles. The Black Keys, Jack White’s various projects. Lately, I’ve been getting into The Germs. I listen to The Clash a lot, too.

The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

The Lucky: Jason: Us with Cream, The Sex Pistols, the Libertines. Or, since this is fantasy, maybe letting Mozart, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones open for us.

Camilla Camille: Well that would require that we time travel because I would really like to open up for The Cramps, but since Lux is dead, that’s impossible. Otherwise, The Lucky could open up for the Black Keys or go on tour with Jack White, either The Raconteurs or The Dead Weather, or his solo project, or a reunion with Meg White for a White Stripes tour. But it would be kind of cool to time travel.

The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?

The Lucky: Camilla Camille: I would say I would like to spend the rest of my life on stage. However, it would be really neat to sleep in a recording studio, like if my bedroom was a recording studio. I would have a bed in there, a dresser, and a desk, but it would also have a stage area. I could combine both of them and have a stage in the recording studio and just live in there. That would be great. And of course there would be videos of the stage performances in the recording studio, which would be my bedroom.

Jason: It would definitely be on stage because performing for people and interacting with them gives me a rush I don’t get anywhere else. Plus, I have little patience for hearing playback of myself over and over.

The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

The Lucky: Jason: John Lennon because he’s John Lennon.
Eric Clapton: "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" made me want to be a guitar player.
Lou Reed for having his own vocal and lyrical style and breaking away from what everyone else was doing.
Kurt Cobain for bringing soul and meaning back to rock music after it had been overtaken by cheesy hair bands.

The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?

The Lucky
: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lucky/301095373319237?ref=hl
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/CamillaCamille
Bandcamp: http://thelucky.bandcamp.com/

The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?

The Lucky: Camilla Camille: Face your fears, stand up for yourself, look at the colors, embrace nature, write poetry, eat your vegetables, be grateful what you have, and tell your boyfriend how much you love him.

Jason: As the Butthole Surfers said, "It’s better to regret something you have done than to regret something that you haven’t done." And tell your girlfriend how much you love her.

You'll have plenty of opportunities to catch The Lucky in the next two weeks. Tonight, the band will be at recordBar with The Sexy Accident, Crush, and John Harrison and The Harrisonics (FB event page). Tomorrow, it's Coda with Drew Black and Dirty Electric (FB event page). Next Friday, The Lucky will be at The Riot Room for Schwervon!'s record release party with them, Folkicide, and The Conquerors (FB event page). Now you have no excuse but to make it to a show.

--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She also has a weekly column with The Kansas City Star and reviews music for Ink. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She played piano for about 8 years straight and can't seem to remember much of it now. Ho hum.

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