The Agnostic Phibes Rhythm & Blood Conspiracy 'Campfire Tales' - Shoutin' Abner Pim

With a band name like that you don't expect some soft-focused folk picking. No, these self-written folk tales are written in a deeper, darker part of the woods. This Canadian quartet includes punk singer Jackson Phibes (Tom Bagley) from garage punk legends Forbidden Dimension which goes part of the way to explain the ragged electrified nature of this, the bands, fourth album. Previous albums are described as pre-war acoustic blues and banjo workouts. Not so Campfire tales. Here Phibes joins Bob Keelaghan, Vladimir Sobolewski and Jay Woolley on a range of instruments that deliver their punkified, roots blend of blues, country, psychobilly and mountain music. Keelaghan and Phibes take the lead vocals on a set of spikey, howling songs that tell of such nocturnal pastimes that are the essence of Campfire Tales. They ask Who Fears The Devil?, tell of Wolfman Franz, they hear Voices and ask who us Butcher, Maker, Undertaker and listen for the Blind Ghost Moan. These are songs that surely Roky Erickson would understand and applaud. Maybe not for the faint hearted or the traditionalist but those who have come to roots music through the storms of punk rock will understand this rough shod spookiness and applaud the underlying skill with which it is being delivered. Crossroads blues, midnight murder ballads and ferocious folk fables that breath life into songs styles that have been left for dead but have now been given a jolt of electricity that brings them back to a new life. Dancing along a new path that leads from hillbilly hideaways to raucous nights in local hostelries. These campfire tales will warm the hearts of many but, be warned, this is not easy listening but is an easy listen for those who understand.