Sour Mash Benefits

By Jean-Marie Ebel

Louisville's only comprehensive CD sampler of the local original music scene is one step closer from vision to reality. According to producer Mark Gordon of Boss Snake Productions, Sour Mash is unique from other music projects since it "offers a widely eclectic selection from the local original music scene."

To fund the CD, the organizers staged a benefit January 22 and 23 at Tewligans, with several local bands performing for the cause. Friday night featured the Uglies, Cherub Scourge, Bodeco, Juanita, and Hogleg. The line-up Saturday included Crab Nebula, Crain, Big Wheel and Hula Hoop.

The Uglies (does the name reflect a good sense of humor or the shocking truth?) got the night rolling around 11:00 with an energetic sound they call "turbo-pop." They performed several songs which made references to monuments of pop culture, although it was difficult to understand the message they wanted to convey. Selections from their current album Spoon were also included.

Cherub Scourge followed with music derived from the late '70s punk movement. Their sound ranged from self-described "nasty rock and roll" to funky dance blends, including the current release You Cannot Eat the Sun. When the set ended, the crowd was dancing and looking for more.

By the time Bodeco began, the house was packed with followers. They played a rollicking sound composed of a unique mix of early rockabilly with a searing edge of rhythm and blues — a kind of "swamp boogie." Next month, their EP Suicide Ride will be released. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch the Friday performances.

With Sour Mash, Gordon and the organizers want to give local bands more exposure in an attempt to gain airplay on radio stations nationwide. They hope to attract the interest of those in the record industry, perhaps leading to tours and recording contracts.

Although no label has yet been snagged for Sour Mash, it is hoped that the 18- to 20-song CD will be released in May. It will feature those that performed at the benefits as well as other notable Louisville bands. Two more benefits are planned soon but the date and location are unknown at this time.

Sour Mash will showcase an important collection of some of Louisville's best original music, in addition to providing greater opportunities for local talent.