Adopting a surname from his early days with the Foul Mouthed Elves, Boston’s notorious “drunk rock” band, Al Foul has been making music for over 15 years. Shortly after hitchhiking to Tucson in 1991, he formed Al Foul and the Shakes, who quickly generated an international fanbase and became known for delivering something most rockabilly bands at the time lacked: a raw poise and straightforwardness culled from a punk rock background. With Al at the helm, their songs took on a primitive emotional immediacy, preferring to shine with an inner savagery rather than get by on frills alone.
Now, as a one-man band, Al has been able to focus more on whittling his distinctive songwriting and inimitable style into a sharp point that pokes through the trends and fashions to get at something timeless. All the cuts on this album were recorded live with Al simultaneously singing, playing guitar, and drumming in the basement of producer Naim Amor (www.amormusic.com).
No overdubs or fixes will be heard on here – just the real deal, what you might hear if Al were playing at a party in your living room. The only things added in post-production were the occasional handclaps and a violin in the background of Frankie Lane’s “Wanted Man”. Al’s unmistakable vocals never waver throughout the disc, brilliantly capturing the character of each song with a broad, smooth voice coming from deep inside his beer-soaked guts. Whether it is a desperate love song or the ballad of a troubled troubadour. Al Foul can sing it with a degree of sincerity that cuts to the bone.