Gary and his trusty Gibson didn't give us a break
TEXAN Scott H Birham may have been the only person on the stage but, bashing the life out of a beaten up heavily distorted 1959 Gibson guitar, surrounded by ancient amps and with a stomp box under his feet he made a sound every bit as big, loud and raucous as a heavy metal rock band.
His music, which seemed to owe something to the whole history of American popular music including blues, country, bluegrass, gospel, soul, punk and rock, was often incredibly raw and almost brutal.
And he growled, whooped and yelled into the microphone in a fashion that was at times close to being primal.
Whether playing songs from the blues greats like Mance Lipscomb, Muddy Waters and Doc Watson, country songs by people like Woody Guthrie or Gary Stewart or his own songs he did so with all the aggression of a punk band and the elegance of a hardcore rock band
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There was a set list but he threw that away early in the proceedings, playing songs as the mood grabbed him. Often that meant merging songs together, even such unlikely bedfellows as his Victory Song and the old Big Boy Crudup blues Mean Old Frisco.
His version of Woody Guthrie's Pastures Of Plenty was superb, on Don Walser's Rolling Stone From Texas he proved that he can yodel extremely well but his version of Gershwin's classic Summertime was horrible.
Old favourites from his back catalogue were greeted by loud cheers especially Only Whisky Can Sleep In My Bed and of course I'm Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue and No Way which were both used in the soundtrack to the TV series Sons Of Anarchy. Despite it's punk leanings Wildside had a soulful vibe.
There were quieter moments, notably his slow Open Road, but they were few and far between.
After a while all that power, aggression, ferocity, energy and volume did prove rather too one-dimensional and a set that lasted for two hours without a break and contained more than 30 songs was a tad too much..
Which was a shame because actually it had been a lot of fun.