Drag City Supersession

Tramps, Traitors and Little Devils

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Here's a strange little jukebox of a record from the folks at the Drag City label. The three principal players (instigators, perpetrators, etc.) are Bill Callahan (Smog), Edith Frost, and Neil Michael Hagerty (Royal Trux, Neil Michael Hagerty). Essentially, the three stable-mates breezed into a studio with Jim O'Rourke, Rian Murphy, Brendan Murphy, Jessica Billey, and a host of other familiar Windy City faces and banged out a woozy, off-kilter hayride of a record. Each of the principals contribute two original tracks, none of which stray too far from the expectations generated by their composers' full-time projects, and all of which are either full-tilt in their boogie or hazily beautiful. What's really telling about the Supersession album, however, are the four selected covers. Del Reeves, Lou Reed, and Black Sabbath are all honored with goofy abandon, while Frost's tender take on Randy Newman's "Old Man" echoes itself in a delicate, piano-driven brume. With Hagerty's loopy production, a host of drunkenly loose guitar lines, and spirited vocal deliveries all around, Tramps, Traitors and Little Devils achieves the pinnacle objective of the supergroup LP -- it rides its own groove.

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