Al Scorch and the Country Soul Ensemble call the windy city of Chicago their home and through maddening, lightning fast clawhammer banjo there is no shortage of high energy with these folks. With songs that penetrate a different way of thinking, these are original tunes that incorporate a cast of different characters. Al gets the inspiration from watching the people on the street. The most finite detail can become something in a song. The stain on a jacket, that slightly odd indifference, almost about anything Al can write it up in his head as rediscovers a way to get it out. Not one for the traditional, while those ways have been inspirational, Al doesn’t want it to be predictable. It’s the unknown that makes him “well up” or “gives him the chills.”
While Al is a student of musical history and the traditions laid before him he is not bound by them. For him his sound is sort of like, in his own words, “An Irish ghost on a gypsy pirate ship drinking beer with a cowboy. What the hell is it? Where is it coming from?” Al’s mom played banjo and his dad played guitar and piano. Through this and hearing Pete Seeger and Dolly Parton records at a young age he thought “the banjo sounds pretty cool.” He has been at this for 8 years now everywhere and anywhere and everything in between. Something he is really fond of is playing house shows. They aren’t printed in a newspaper it is a simple as a flyer goes up, phone calls are made, a facebook page is created and everyone brings their own beer, again according to Al. Who by his own right is a very do it yourself kind of artist, and very much a live performer. If he isn’t a sweating mess by the end of a show something just wasn’t right. He pours his heart into every performance to give the folks that listen something to remember him by.
With that all said, Al Scorch and the Country Soul Ensemble have put together this folky, old timey, Chicagoy, cacophonous sound that takes his own characters who have lived their own rough lives and wraps them around blazing banjo licks and tearing down the rail melodies. Al and the fellas will leave all out there on that proverbial stage for our listening pleasure come this Saturday at Buckle Up and it one performance that will definitely not disappoint.