Gothic Americana Music

Latest

“Roots Run Deep” – The New Western Gothic Music Video

The Heathen Apostles have released a new Western Gothic music video; Roots Run Deep is the first single from their new album Bloodgrass Vol. 3 & 4 (produced by Chopper Franklin), out now on Ratchet Blade Records. The video was directed by noted Belgian filmmaker Caroline Poisson and filmed at Moulin Castral during the recent Heathen Apostles European tour in Spring of 2022 to promote the new album. You can check it out HERE.

Heathen Apostles' New Western Gothic music Video

 

Singer Mather Louth recently posted how important the song (and the Western Gothic music video) and the lyrics are to her:
I wish I could take credit for these words. However, the truth of it is that the chorus of “Roots run deep” was channeled.

The words came to me in January as I had finished reading out on my sun porch, watching the movement of the wind through the trees. Simple words, but far too true to come from one person: “Branches may sway, but the roots run deep”. I had no idea what to do with them, but I wrote them down and carried on with my day.

Months later, when Chopper presented me with a batch of new song ideas that would become the second half of BLOODGRASS VOL. 3 & 4, it became clear: those words were meant for the chorus of one of the most personal and unfiltered songs I’ve written to date. I’ll admit- it’s been scary to strip away so much pretense and use honest, simple language. But in a way, it was freeing, and it allowed me to set the constant weight on my shoulders down, if just for a bit.

Those words are a reminder. Those words are a spell. Every time I sing them, it instantly grounds me and reminds me to stay present, to not be shaken by the day to day. Bad things happen. Sometimes, very bad things. But remember your roots. Ground down. Breathe. Carry on. You are an oak.

How lovely that we were able to pair the song with such a beautifully simple, elegant video thanks to the lovely @carolinepoisson. True, I may have been filming this on 3 hours of sleep and several weeks of living the fast pace of tour life, but that seems to be all the more appropriate for the honesty in the song. No more pretense. No more pressure to look perfect.

I hope you’ll take the time to go check out the video. The fact that the song is 3:33 minutes long only seems to offer more proof that its genesis came from the beyond. This song grounds me.

Heathen Apostles' New Western Gothic music Video

Heathen Apostles Return to Goth Club Bar Sinister

Heathen Apostles - goth club

Chopper Franklin and Mather Louth at Bar Sinister

The Heathen Apostles will be returning to Bar Sinister for a Halloween show on Saturday October 29th. Bar Sinister is the premiere goth club is Los Angeles, located at 652 N. Cherokee Ave, Hollywood, just south of Hollywood Blvd.

The band will feature Pat Muzingo on drums, as well as other special guests that night. It is also the first Heathen Apostles US show since the release of their latest album Bloodgrass Vol. 3 & 4, out now on Ratchet Blade Records. You can check out the album HERE.

 
Bloodgrass Vol. 3 & 4 tracklist
1. Bad Patch
2. Careful What You Pray For
3. Black Hawk
4. Demi Monde
5. Tall Rider
6. Roots Run Deep
7. Into The Wild
8. No Peace
9. Solitary
10. Shadow of the Crows  

Album Review of Gothic Country Band Heathen Apostles

The Los Angeles-based dark roots and gothic country band Heathen Apostles continue their (very dark) interpretation of Bluegrass, Country and Blues. They have just compiled Volumes 3 and 4 of their collection of songs together under the title Bloodgrass. 

Heathen Apostles - gothic country band

Occasionally I’ll start a review along the lines of “not technically not a Celtic-Punk band” which usually means that that the band that I go on to review are not a Celtic-Punk band but are utterly brilliant and have a fiddle /accordion / banjo in them. Well welcome to the Heathen Apostles. A dark (very dark) gothic country band with their very own genre’s – ‘Doombilly’ and ‘Bloodgrass’. Heathen Apostles do to Country / Bluegrass music what the bands we all love here do to Celtic music but they also add on a dash of Goth as well. They may be based in LA but they sound like they’re from the Appalachian’s harkening back to a bygone chapter of American history while firmly keeping one foot planted in the present-day. The band features ex-members of Radio Noir (Mather Louth), The Cramps (Chopper Franklin), Kings of Nuthin’ (Thomas Lorioux), and Christian Death (Stevyn Grey) in their ranks. In fact it’s amazing the sound that only four folks can wring out. They have already started their biggest (yet!) European tour (mainly Germany) so be sure to check out the tour dates squeezed in here somewhere and move heaven and earth to get to one of their shows and then let me know how it was!

Heathen Apostles - gothic country band

We have already reviewed Bloodgrass Volume 3 last September but here it comes with an extra five songs labelled as Volume 4 and in an attempt to tie in with the Euro tour we are more than happy to re-visit the whole album. The album begins with ‘Bad Patch’ and fiddle, banjo and mandolin accompany Mather’s beautiful voice as she sings of the tragedy of the 1930s Dust Bowl. Severe dust storms wreaked havoc on the mid-west prairies during the 1930’s causing untold misery to those poor unfortunates. Trying to survive through those times “by the skin of their teeth”. Great lyrics and one hell of a catchy tune with the bands dark side kept at arms length.. at least musically anyway.

The next song is much more Apostles at heart. ‘Careful What You Pray For’ tells of the danger of religious dogma and while not dissimilar to the opening track it has that much darker feel to it. Mather’s amazing voice is put to great use here. What we must beware is that people don’t replace the dogmatism and fanaticism of some religions with divisive ideologies. These days notions such as original sin, atonement, ritual and excommunication are as likely to come from secular groups as they are from religious institutions. ‘Black Hawk’ was the lead single for the EP and I’ll not pretend to have any idea what the lyrics are about except the band say it tells “of transformation by shedding the darkness in order to welcome in the light” so there.

One band we always sneak a mention in when we review the Heathen Apostles is the fantastic The Phantom Of the Black Hills. Along with sharing many similarities music wise, they also share a record label (Ratchet Blade Records), a producer, the Apostles, Chopper Franklin and a love for telling entire stories in their intricate videos. So if you like what you hear go back settle down and check on their older videos. ‘Demi Monde’ is a slow song shrouded in occult imagery paying homage to the fires of Beltane while ‘Tall Rider’ brings down the curtain down on what was Volume 3. Catchy as hell and a reminder of the possibility of healing through love. With their roots in the ‘Folk tradition’ the music mangles up several genres while all the time adding much to the final sound.

What follows are the five songs that make up Volume 4 that begins with the catchy ‘Roots Run Deep’ and not unexpectedly continues in the same vein. The best of this side of the album is ‘Into The Wild’ where moments of Mather’s primal snarl and swagger run parallel along some of her most beautiful singing on the whole album. A beast of a song that sees them at their thigh slapping foot stomping best. ‘No Peace’ was written in response to recent cases of police brutality. Despite the subject matter the song bounces along rather nicely. ‘Solitary’ speaks of following one’s own path in life, no matter how lonely the road it may seem at times. Meaningful words given even more meaning through Mather. The album closes with the amazing ‘Shadow Of The Crows’ with it’s hybrid of several genres, mixing Middle Eastern and borderline psychedelic sounds with the band’s distinctly gloomy bloodgrass. The CD which comes out at any time contains an extra song I’ve not heard yet. A cover of the late Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan’s song ‘The Gravedigger’s Song’.

If anyone knows of any promoters or venues able to help get this gothic country band over to the UK please get in touch. PLEASE!

The music here is exemplary throughout. Catchy as hell and heading there very happily! The various elements are once again handled expertly through the excellent production of master producer Chopper Franklin. With their roots in the ‘Folk tradition’ they mangle up several genres while adding much to the final sound and as you can imagine a band with their own genre it is virtually impossible to compare them to anyone else! The excellent artwork was done by their good friend Stephanie Inagaki, who also did the cover art for the previous Bloodgrass Vol. 1 & 2 album and EPs.

Tour Photos and New Dark Country Album

Heathen Apostles dark country albumThe first batch of photos from the Heathen Apostles’ 2022 European tour are out, they feature pics from Ghent, Belgium, Dranouter, Belgium and Kempten, Germany. You can check them out in the gallery below, the tour lasted five weeks and was to promote their new dark country album Bloodgrass Vol. 3 & 4, out now on Ratchet Blade Records.

26/05/2022 Thursday – De Cactus, Henglo, NL
27/05/2022 Friday – De Pit, Terneuzen, NL
28/05/2022 Saturday – Paradox, Tilburg, NL
29/05/2022 Sunday – De Klinker Club, Aarschot, BE
30/05/2022 Monday – De Floeren Aap, Mechelen, BE
31/05/2022 Tuesday – day off
01/06/2022 Wednesday – Franzis, Wetzlar, DE
02/06/2022 Thursday – Unordnungsamt, Kalbe, DE
03/06/2022 Friday – Extra Blues Bar, Bielefeld, DE
04/06/2022 Saturday – Alte Schlosserei, Wuppertal, DE
05/06/2022 Sunday – Wild at Heart, Berlin, DE
06/06/2022 Monday – Buchholz Saloon, Altlandsberg, DE
07/06/2022 Tuesday – day off
08/06/2022 Wednesday – Oberstübchen, Regen, DE
09/06/2022 Thursday – City club, Augsburg, DE
10/06/2022 Friday – Alter, Mannheim, DE
11/06/2022 Saturday – Muziekcentrum Dranouter, Dranouter, BE
12/06/2022 Sunday – Deux Ours, Modave, BE
13/06/2022 Monday – day off
14/06/2022 Tuesday – Missy Sippy, Ghent, BE
15/06/2022 Wednesday – Die Heile Welt, Munster, DE
16/06/2022 Thursday – Monkeys, Hamburg, DE
17/06/2022 Friday – Schule 2, Bremen, DE
18/06/2022 Saturday – Kufa Löseke, Hildesheim, DE
19/06/2022 Sunday – Lokaal 42, Helmond, NL
20/06/2022 Monday – day off
21/06/2022 Tuesday – Teatro Munganga, Amsterdam, NL
22/06/2022 Wednesday – Pferdestall, Bremerhaven, DE
23/06/2022 Thursday – Mout – The Netherlands – Nijmegen, NL
24/06/2022 Friday – Rakete, Stuttgardt, DE
25/06/2022 Saturday – mySkylounge / 13th floor Kulturetage, Kempten, DE
26/06/2022 Sunday – Hafen 2, Offenbach A.M., DE

Heathen Apostles Dark Country album

From the Heathen Apostles’ Bloodgrass Vol. 3 & 4 press release:
2020 was a year of loss, reflection, and reevaluation. Trying as the times were to have a trio of tour cancellations both stateside and abroad as the live music industry seemingly evaporated overnight, the Heathen Apostles did not let the unexpected gift of time go to waste. To the contrary, the band channeled the turbulent year’s events and its complex emotions into their music, and the result- BLOODGRASS VOL. 3&4- is a dark country album of a collection of songs at once timely as they are timeless.

Bloodgrass Vol. 3 & 4 – New Gothic Western Collection Out Today

2020 was a year of loss, reflection, and reevaluation. Trying as the times were to have a trio of tour cancellations both stateside and abroad as the live music industry seemingly evaporated overnight, the Heathen Apostles did not let the unexpected gift of time go to waste. To the contrary, the band channeled the turbulent year’s events and its complex emotions into their music, and the result- BLOODGRASS VOL. 3 & 4– is a Gothic Western collection of songs at once timely as they are timeless.

Heathen Apostles - Gothic Western CollectionThe album opener “Bad Patch” uses the lyrical analogy of the 1930s Dust Bowl to express the collective desperation brought about by feeling at the mercy of the sort of devastation best described as an “act of God”. “Careful What You Pray For” touches upon the hypocrisy of self-righteous religious dogma and the damage it inevitably brings in its wake. “Black Hawk” moves the album in an introspective direction as Louth sings a tale of transformation by shedding the darkness in order to welcome in the light. As the title suggests, “Demi Monde” offers a return to the occult imagery the band has incorporated since its inception, while subtly paying homage to the fires of Beltane. “Tall Rider” closes the EP on a cathartically optimistic note, plaintively serving as a reminder of the possibility to heal through love.

Heathen Apostles - Gothic Western CollectionThe foot stomping single “Roots Run Deep” casts a lyrical spell in its own right, reminding the listener of the divine within. “Into The Wild” is a primal, incendiary runaway train filled with plenty of snarl and swagger. “Solitary” is an embrace of following one’s own path in life, no matter how lonely the road may seem at times. “No Peace” was written in response to the victims of countless cases of police brutality in recent history that have yet to receive justice for the crimes committed against them. “Shadow Of The Crows” offers an intriguing hybrid of several genres, mixing Middle Eastern and borderline psychedelic sounds with the band’s distinctly gloomy bloodgrass. You can check out this Gothic Western collection HERE.