Wicked Saints style themselves as the oxymoron of rock – and the title fits. On the one hand they have a beautiful, old-style rock and roll sound. But their instrument line-up includes an upright bass, a banjo and an accordion. They add styles from country, pop, classical and Louisiana swamp folk – and just about anywhere else they find a good sound that will move listeners.
Their musicianship is unassailable. This eclectic mix of instruments and styles blends into something that will get into your head and trickle all the way down to your toes and set them dancing. Meanwhile, the lyrics will etch themselves into your head and leave an imprint on your soul.
Many of the lyrics are written by Paul McCarty (no, that’s not the former Beatles member – way more talented) who says he bases his songs on whatever inspires him – whether it is blackbirds or Craigslist. Other members of the group also write songs, and some are drawn from other sources. One of the songs on their new album is a translation of a song by Yuri Loza, a Russian star. The cover has the artists blessing, and he has shared in promoting the Wicked Saints Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Talk about international inspiration! Now that’s eclectic.
The crowdfunding campaign will help pay for production of the group’s new album, Free. Their first two albums, Wicked Saints and Wicked Saints: Don’t Kill the Blackbirds were produced using arduously saved personal funds. Paul comments that leaves you really poor, with not much left over for promotion. He adds that they hope to be smarter about this new album, find the right promoter, and oh, by the way, not bring out a non-Christmas album in November. Hey, it’s all a learning process, right?
The part that is not a work in progress is the group’s incredible talent. If you love Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger or even the Beatles this is going to head straight for your musical heart. But even if you’ve never heard of any of these performers, their sound speaks for itself. It rolls right down out of the Appalachians, across the oceans, dances through the streets of New Orleans, the streets New York, and the streets of hundreds of small towns, and even across oceans. It has been written that music is the universal language – Wicked Saints have learned to conjugate it well.
Rewards for contributing to this crowdfunding campaign focus around the music – digital downloads, autographed albums (including the new one when it comes out), copies of the t-shirt with John Gannon, the Wicked Saints’ drummer, or even t-shirts with your choice of photo on it, Skype conversation with Paul, house concerts with Paul or with a trio – includes license to sell tickets, and finally at the apex of the reward pyramid, the guitar Paul has used to compose and create many of the wonderful arrangements from this talented group. Truly, when they are making magic. This isn’t your average garage band folks, these are real musicians who have a broad range of skills and just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they have a new angle on the age-old business of making music. There are not enough good things to say about Wicked Saints: the Oxymorons of Rock.