The Tall Pines, A Knowing, Ass-Kicking 70s Nashville Revamp Unshackle Their ‘Hell Hounds’ EP
The Civil Wars are certainly civil compared to The Tall Pines, who harbor twang, moonshine and sass in equal parts. They do not fear to tread where more tender souls would be burned to a crisp.
Lead by Christmas Davis on steel string guitar and Connie Lynn Petruk on alligator-skin suitcase percussion, their new EP, written at the Davis, West Virginia home and originally recorded for an acoustic demo in Brooklyn, the ‘Hell Hounds’ EP (November 1, MMAM Records) is a new collection of six songs from the New York City combo.
Nixon Davis murdered a few people in North Florida and throughout the South in the middle of the last century. “He killed his first wife in Texas and a co-worker in a North Florida turpentine camp,” says singer-songwriter Christmas Davis, on the Tall Pines’ murder ballad “Great Grandpa.” “Three out of the four stories in that song were based on family legend, but one of the stories, I made up. We needed another verse. That’s how legends grow.” Nixon Davis was Christmas Davis’ Great-Grandfather.
The Tall Pines get their inspiration through family stories of their North Florida, South Georgia, West Virginia, and Edmonton Alberta roots, 60s and 70s Nashville and scrappy Memphis soul. They imagine a time in the South “way back when Johnny and June were duetting over train beats and countercultural songwriters like Kris Kristofferson and Shel Silverstein were roaming the streets” (Nashville Scene).
Connie Petruk is the front-woman for the New York musical institution, The Losers Lounge, and has sung with Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Joan Jett, Ronnie Spector and many more. Christmas Davis is working on a documentary about his Great-Grandmother’s 1970s gospel radio show, “Victory In Jesus,” and her Bible camp in Chipley, FL (minutes from Vernon). Their first full-length album was hailed by NPR’s All Songs Considered as “one of the top ten best CDs of 2007,” and their second full-length LP ‘Campfire Songs’ has been licensed to a Will Ferrell Produced feature film and featured in the New York Times Popcast. The Tall Pines third full length release is planned for a spring 2012 release. I cannot wait.
But this you do not have to wait for: there is a record release party/performance at Jimmy’s No. 43 at 43 East 7th Street at 7:30 in New York today just in case you are in the vicinity.