Literary Greats Cool Houston Down With Black Blizzard
We're not going to sit here and try to define the Literary Greats. Instead, we'll tell you why we just had to have their new album Black Blizzard. For three years now your humble narrator has been tracking the music that features on HBO's True Blood. Each episode tends to bring with it more and more exciting Southern Gothic, a kind of rural darkness in song that we feel is the next evolution of spooky music.
The Literary Greats on Facebook
When we caught the first couple of tracks from Black Blizzard, we knew that that was exactly where their music belonged.
The Literary Greats are no strangers to Rocks Off's acclaim. Last year they racked up more nominations for our own Houston Press Music Awards than any other artist. They've climbed the college-radio charts, and despite playing few shows they've built a massive following. Their music just speaks to the hole in our collective souls, echoing off the edges and growing louder rather than fading.
The music on Black Blizzard is a massive, toe-tapping affair full of horns and sultry back-up vocals. If the beat and pulse of James Brown could be wedded to the cracked folk mirror of Blitzen Trapper then the monster that would break free and demand a bride would be this album.
It's a contradiction in appreciation. Do you dance or meditate? Do you participate or give rapt attention? It is simply too big an album to admire from a single perspective.
For us, the song that sums it all up, the song that makes it all worth the price of admission is "Night Owl." The hollow resonation of the guitar line brought Murray Attaway's In Thrall to mind, and you simply cannot go wrong when you invoke the criminally underrated front man from Guadalcanal Diary.
Like Attaway, the Literary Greats share an exploration of faith and family that is almost pagan in its boldness, as if someone had enshrined the relics of a saint in the center of a circle of standing stones. Don't believe us? The band has graciously offered up the track as a free download to Rocks Off's readers.
We sat down with vocalist, guitarist, and lead songwriter Brandon Elam to ask him a bit about Black Blizzard.