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8/25/08

FREE CD: Michael Hurtt and his Haunted Hearts - Hamtramck Labor Day Festival & PJ's Lager House -


We got a copy of the DEBUT ALBUM "COME BACK TO LOUISIANA" OUT NOW ON ALLONS RECORDS for the 1st reader who hits up up with a mailing address -

motorcityblog@earthlink.net

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Michael Hurtt and his Haunted Hearts Play Inaugural Dates in Detroit

w/Bones Maki, Jennie Knaggs & the Sure Shots, The Homeville Circle

Two Shows = Two Chances:

Saturday August 30th See The Hearts at Hamtramck Labor Day Festival at 4pm

and then later that evening @ PJ's Lager House at 11pm

Formed in 2004 with the singular goal of resurrecting New Orleans' once-rich, now nearly invisible hillbilly music heritage, in Come Back To Louisiana, Michael Hurtt and his Haunted Hearts remind listeners once again that soul singer Ernie K-Doe hit the nail squarely on the head when he memorably stated, "I'm not sure, but I think, all music came from New Orleans.

"That would include music of the rarified and rural string band variety. Whether you call it hillbilly, country, honky-tonk or rockabilly; its place in Crescent City history can't be denied: from western swing forerunners Al Bernard and Clarence Williams to Jody Leavins—whose original 1952 country rendition of "Mardi Gras Mambo" paved the way for the Hawkettes' perennial favorite—it was a strain that seemed to disappear into the Confederate mist around the time WWL's pioneering all-night trucker radio broadcast The Road Gang pulled up stakes, hauling its once-proud proclamation of "Originating From New Orleans" with it.

Exploding onto the Crescent City scene with R&B iconoclasts the Royal Pendletons in the early '90s, Michael Hurtt had long dreamed of a versatile string band that conjured the country music's hidden history; one rooted in the swamplands of the Gulf Coast that sidestepped the all-too-common curse of New Orleans provincialism to salute long-disregarded hillbilly strongholds like Detroit, Cincinnati, Memphis and all points--rural and urban--in between.Armed with a box of scratchy 45s, an acoustic guitar, and a clutch of backwoods numbers that he'd penned during a barnstorming European tour with Tav Falco's Panther Burns, Hurtt hooked up with like-minded guitarist J.D. Mark, multi-instrumentalist Mitch "Wichita Falls" Palmer—a triple threat on banjo, steel and take-off electric guitar—and upright bass master John "Bacon Grease" Trahey. Shifting gears effortlessly from Deep South rockers to Bayou ballads to true-blue hillbilly swing, the Haunted Hearts' first show forecast a star-crossed future.

Debuting in September 2004 as a hurricane roared towards New Orleans, the band plied their Dixie-fried trade throughout the Gulf Coast and Mid-South, making fans as varied as gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, Black Oak Arkansas singer Jim Dandy and renegade record producer Kim Fowley, who envisioned a documentary about the band's exploits entitled Gumbo Confidential.But no one could envision the outcome of the docudrama brought about by the federal levee failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a short year later.

Scattered to the winds while their homes lay in peril; not allowed back into the city to even assess the damage, the Hearts gathered at Memphis's Electraphonic Studio to record what would become as much an aural snapshot of this strange twilight period of suspended animation as it would their contribution to country music's deep catalog legacy.

Engineered live-in-the-studio by Bo-Keys bassist Scott Bomar (musical director for the recent films Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan) the session kicked off with Jay Chevalier's 1963 "Come Back to Louisiana," recently named the state's official recovery song, but the Hearts' opening theme since day one. Fittingly, it came to an end with the haunting "Trouble on the Road," a tale of hurricane exile sparked by Chevalier and Trahey in those first dark days of uncertainty.In between, the band dusted off timelessly relevant ancientry like Whitey Knight's "Another Brew, Bartender," Tommy Scott's "Juke Joint Girl" and Ford Nix's "Ain't No Sign I Wouldn't If I Could." They lived up to their name with foreboding, minor-keyed obscurities like Devora Brown's "You Can't Stop Me From Loving You" and the Country Dudes' "Have A Ball." They even threw in a little double-entendre auto-erotica in the form of Tommy Odom's "She Won't Turn Over For Me," since featured in the opening sequences of NPR's Car Talk.

Cherry-picking from their own discography, they mined half a dozen originals that range from the straight-ahead ("I Can't Say I'm Sorry For Being Myself") to the swinging ("I'm On My Last Go 'Round," "I'm Not Going Down With The Ship"); the sinister ("Mean, Mean Moon," "Hey Little Tornado") to the ethereal ("I Dreamed By Starlight").

The result is a rock-a-bayou testament that transcends mere genres and shatters much revisionist history, echoing the rough-and-ready sounds of white-hot hillbilly jazz erupting into rock 'n' roll.Self-released in 2006 to limited distribution, Come Back to Louisiana recently received the promotion it's long deserved courtesy of New Orleans' Allons Records, who have expanded the release to include not-to-be-missed liner notes courtesy of local historian and Hearts aficionado Patrick "The Lakeview Kid" Davis.

A long-awaited vinyl edition is set for release later this year.

Check them out - http://www.myspace.com/hauntedhearts