Rotten Belly Blues
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Rotten Belly Blues

Band Blues Americana

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Nov
20
Rotten Belly Blues @ Central Juniata EMS Building

Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, USA

Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, USA

Nov
15
Rotten Belly Blues @ Fish Head Cantina

Arbutus, Maryland, USA

Arbutus, Maryland, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


by Dead Sea Mike

It’s very humbling to watch a child grow and develop, mature and become more complex. Such is the case with the new baby from ROTTEN BELLY BLUES. The foundation of the band, Rotten Belly Michael, has been traveling across the country in recent years spreading a new blues, “a blues for the 21st century” as he calls it. Twice now, Dead Sea Records has had the opportunity to assist ROTTEN BELLY BLUES with Southern California tours, playing everywhere from coffee shops to the Ramona Bowl in Hemet, Ca.


The most recent release, their self-titled third album, ROTTEN BELLY BLUES, consists of songs with local roots, and is in fact available on Dead Sea, a fine addition to our growing musical family. From the first notes of “Mr. Barton,” there is a vintage Dylanesque feeling to the song and the album as a whole, but with a fresh twist to it,a new energy. Michael’s uplifting sense of musicianship is a great contradiction to his often-biting lyrics. “Believe” enters the room slowly strollin’, sexy as hell. The guitar fades in and out like a long, long night of drinking. The lyrics to “The Worst Thing” remind me of best friends come and gone and loves lost. “I don’t mind / your girlfriends know everything we do/well I don’t mind the worst thing about you” are lines that hit close to home and make me smile and squirm at the same time. A piano plays in the background, offsetting the blues with dark cheer. “Money Is For Spending” becomes one of my favorite songs the instant I hear it. It has a backporch-grandma-in-a- rockingchair sound that makes me want to learn how to play the banjo. Beautiful simplicity. His jaded love lyrics are so true to life that he makes me stop on the train tracks and just listen. “Money is for spending/with gold you could make a ring/but your heart is hard as diamonds/to you love don’t mean a thing.” Nice. “Last Lovin’ Thing” is an orchestration of horns and vocals that tell the last wonderful words Michael heard as the door hit him. I don’t think his lyrics are bitter: I think they are cuttingly wise.


If I ever said, ”I’ve got a hundred dollar bill that says you like me” to anyone, I’d have a red handprint on my face, but not ROTTEN BELLY. He says it with a smile and enough years behind him to know what he’s talking about. “Hundred Dollar Bill Blues” is a cheerful stab that bleeds sarcasm like muddy water.


There is a strange irony to the song, “Lytle Creek Gold.” It speaks of the gold that was stolen from the hills of Lytle Creek and how the town suffered from the ravaging of its treasures. Tragically, a great deal of Lytle Creek was burned in a fire at the beginning of this month. I can only hope that this song, although its subject matter is different, can help bring attention to Lytle Creek and its need for help right now.


ROTTEN BELLY has a very powerful sense of imagery in his lyrics. Lines like,” I’ve stumbled on every stone in my path” make “Every Stone” a mental classic, the words playing in my head long after the CD has finished.


The jazzy closure of “Oh What Love Can Do” gives us all a little hope for dying love and the future of music. The album ends with a lyrical smirk and a desire to hear it again. Thanks Michael. - Paper Cuts Fall 09


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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