I have been casually following local dirty rock & rollers Chili Cold Blood for a little over a year now, and ran into them again last night at the large free-for-all gathering that goes down on the first Thursday of every month down on South Congress. Basically, on The First Thursday of each month, merchants of the historic, pedestrian-friendly South Congress Avenue keep their doors open until 10 pm and later playing host to an array of events and activities, including live music happening at a handful of joints along the roughly half mile section of road.
This is where I first heard Chili Cold Blood, a trio consisting of Doug Straham on electrified guitar & vox, Ethan Shaw at the controls of a mean pedal steel, and Matt Puryear keeping things steady on the drums. There is no bass. They don't need no stinking bass. Traffic was moving at a snail's pace one night as my company and I made our way down S. Congress, and at one point we were at a stand-still directly in front of Jo's Coffee while we waited for a long line of pedestrians to make their way across the street. As we waited, with windows rolled down, our ears and eyes slowly gravitated toward Jo's patio, where three guys were entertaining a crowd of onlookers with a raw, raunchy, mostly instrumental bar-room rock and roll sound that never seemed to end. I said to myself, those dudes sound pretty good. A few months later I saw them again at the big Led Zeppelin hoot night at Ruta Maya, where a bunch of local acts were jamming on Zeppelin covers all night. Then I saw them again later performing with my friend's band The Guest, and was once again pleased by what I heard. Last night I finally got around to picking Chili Cold Blood's newest record called Lips, and there's a couple of tracks from it below.
The back cover reads: "On a steamy Austin, Texas Saturday night I drove my Dodge North past Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon up to the Poodle Dog Lounge. Bikers, cowboys, college kids and off-duty strippers from the Yellow Rose were packed in tight; all in defiance of the "no smoking bylaw." The cigarette machine was pushed aside to accomodate 3 lanky ranch hands dressed in their finest honky tonk attire. The instrumentation seemed harmless enough: an old Fender guitar, a pedal steel and a bare bones trap kit. But country music was not on the menu. The boys played as if they'd been raised by wolves. What I heard was a one chord stomp so filthy that I felt like I needed a shower. That was "Chili Cold Blood" and this is some Austin, Texas weird ass rock and roll for all y'all muthafuckas." - Grady Johnson, November 2006
The Austin Chronicle said "The sound is razor-blade, roller-coaster, boot-stompin' ecstasy. The freedom of rock & roll, discipline of country, and passion of blues; the best elements of all three genres liquefy into one powerhouse set. When Strahan starts picking a free-flow solo and Shaw's steel flies back and forth like an air hockey puck, a brand-new history lesson is being written at 100 mph.
Chili Cold Blood - "Bush To Be In"
Chili Cold Blood - "Juicy Pink"
Get more: myspace.com/ChiliColdBlood