Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Forgotten Music: Devil's River by The Divine Horsemen

I make no secret that I am a sucker for '80s Cowpunk. For those who are not familiar with the term, it's simply the tag that was given for Country and Countryesque music that was played by punk rockers, often with the fury and velocity of punk music (and really if you go back you will see that a lot of Hillbilly, Jump Jazz, Folk, and Blues that inspired what we came to know as Country Music had the same fury, passion and anger that punk later had)

Anyway, Chris D from the LA band The Flesh Eaters formed The Divine Horsemen in '83 and recorded todays forgotten record Devil's River on SST Records in 1986.

I discovered the Divine Horsemen and their records via the Trouser Press Record Guide while looking for information on the Flesh Eaters, and was quickly able to find LP and Cassette copies of most of their records. Devils River is their best release in my opinion.

Musically the record moves between between rocking tunes like; My Sin and Devils River and the slower Tenderest Kiss, but there is a consistency of the feel and vibe of the tunes that never makes the changes jarring. Lyrically the album deals with betrayal, loss, redemption and desolation-- it's pretty much all the classic country tropes, only updated for a time and place that the country music machine never figured on playing to.

There was also a EP released at the same time Middle of the Night, which featured not only a couple of tracks from Devils River, but also covers of The Cramp's Voodoo Idol, The Stones Give Me Shelter and the country standard Field of Stone. Neither has been given a CD release (and I don't know that they ever will), but a handful of tracks from Devil's River can be found on the Chris D & Divine Horseman Time Stands Still CD

1986 Devil's River on SST Records
Track Listing
My Sin (Chris D.- Matt Lee -Divine Horsemen)
Devil's River
He Rode Right Into Town
Come Into This Place (aka Poison Arrow Of Flame)
Tenderest Kiss
Love Call
Too Young To Die
It Doesn't Matter
Middle Of The Night

More on Devil's River can be found Here and more Final Thursday Forgotten Music can be found over at Scott Parkers blog Here


Evan Lewis said...

Couldn't find "My Sin" on YouTube, but I sure like "Devil's River." I'll be listening to more.

Iren said...

Evan, Glad you liked it. In addition to the DIvine Horsemen, there was a couple of other similar bands like: Green on Red, Blood on the Saddle and The Jet Black Berries who were all playing in the same musical sandbox with different takes on the cowpunk.

Anonymous said...

New Rose released Devil's River on CD in '86. It had all of Middle of the Night on it, except Voodoo Idol. Voodoo Idol can be found on CD on the Play New Rose For Me compilation.