Pork Chop Willie | Love Is the Devil

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United States - NY - New York City

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Blues: Juke Joint Blues Country: Alt-Country Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Love Is the Devil

by Pork Chop Willie

The sounds of Mississippi's Hill Country--from the streets of Manhattan
Genre: Blues: Juke Joint Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Too Many Cuts
2:58 $0.99
2. Ain't Nobody (Gonna Save My Soul)
4:03 $0.99
3. Snake Drive
5:29 $0.99
4. Lonesome Poor
3:27 $0.99
5. Rosalie
3:22 $0.99
6. Poor Boy
4:02 $0.99
7. She Give Me Joy
3:07 $0.99
8. Falling
3:36 $0.99
9. Crawdad Song
4:14 $0.99
10. All Night Long
8:08 $0.99
11. She's Gone
2:18 $0.99
12. Devil in my Soul
3:50 $0.99
13. Black Heart
3:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Pork Chop Willie’s debut national album, Love is the Devil, lights a new fire under America’s musical melting pot, bringing fresh heat to the Mississippi hill country blues tradition while blending in elements of Americana, rock, alt-country and even classical music. The 13-song disc serves as a bridge between those genres, the past and the present, and the band’s Magnolia State inspirations and Manhattan home.

Led by singer-guitarist Bill Hammer and violinist Melissa Tong, Pork Chop Willie is fueled by grooves, grit, honesty and passion as well as a unique blend of down-home and uptown musicianship. Love is the Devil’s songs “have integrity and tell stories about real people in a direct, unfiltered way that anybody can relate to,” says Hammer, who founded the band in 2007. “That’s something I don’t hear much in blues anymore, or in music in general.”

The album’s tunes, most written by Hammer, cover a lot of territory. The rollicking two-step “Lonesome Poor,” which classically trained Tong colors with Louisiana roadhouse fiddle lines, and the hip-shake chant “Ain’t Nobody,” a one-chord wonder sung in the voice of a lonesome ghost, both embrace the longstanding blues ethos of telling sad tales in a joy-inspiring way, thanks to the undeniable power of their hooks and grooves.

Many songs evoke the kudzu-covered hills of North Mississippi, where Hammer’s inspiration dwells. He pays tribute to Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside — the blues wizards of Chulahoma, an unincorporated county just over the Tennessee line — with their “All Night Long” and “Snake Drive,” respectively. Both numbers reflect the region’s strong preservation of its African musical roots in their hypnotic single-chord, call-and-response arrangements, made even more mesmerizing by the turbulent dance of Hammer’s slide guitar in “Snake Drive” and Tong’s graceful, melodic ballet in “All Night Long.” Love is the Devil is, in part, payback for that musical inspiration. All proceeds from its sale will be used to benefit the musicians and music of the hill country.

Hammer and Tong have developed a chemistry that’s both liquid and incendiary. It’s in full, graceful and raucous display on Love is the Devil entries like “Devil in My Soul” and “Too Many Cuts,” where Tong plays like an old-timey Delta street musician and Hammer balances raw swagger with trim precision. And in “Falling,” where Hammer plays a four-string cigar box guitar, they push the roots music envelope, crafting an elegant, otherworldly soundscape that transcends all limitations of genre.

“Right now too few people play this style of music,” Hammer says of the Mississippi hill country blues that serves as Pork Chop Willie’s true north. “It’s so honest and emotional that we can’t help but speak from our hearts when we’re playing. Even when we’re covering a song by one of the style’s masters, the form is so open that we can make it our own. This music changed my life and put me more in touch with myself. I’d like to expose more people to it.”



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