Pat Harrington of Geezer‘s slide guitar fits so easily in with The Heavy Company‘s bluesy push that on first listen to “State Flag Blues,” you might not even give it a second thought. It makes enough sense alongside the guitar and vocals of Ian Gerber, the bass of Michael Naish and the drums of Jeff Kaleth throughout the six-and-a-half-minute new single from the Lafayette, Indiana-based outfit that it feels like of course it would be there. It’s not obvious, Harrington being in New York and The Heavy Company being in the Midwest, but works really, really well.
“State Flag Blues” is the latest output from The Heavy Co., whose 2013 full-length, Midwest Electric (review here), found them refining blues-psych jams for loose grooves, not sloppy, but human. The new single builds on that, adds Harrington for the guest spot, and brings a newfound political edge to the lyrics. Gerber champions an anti-prejudicial stance and calls out Indiana governors Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence by name in the last verse:
Well, you ain’t my man, Mitch
And Pence, you son of a bitch
Keep your hands off of my Hoosier home
‘Cause I’ll tell you right now
Even in my hometown
We think your shit is getting old
It’s a particularly bold statement in a heavy genre that’s usually apolitical if not inherently conservative, but you won’t find me arguing either with the message or how well Gerber, Naish and Kaleth make it flow in the song itself. If it’s a one-time thing or a new direction, I don’t know, but it comes across with conviction and the band’s usual lack of bullshit, and the track is cool, so there you go. That’s about all I need to post it.
Find the song on the player below, followed by some words from The Heavy Company about its origins and a quote from Harrington about contributing slide guitar. Enjoy:
The Heavy Company, “State Flag Blues” (2014)
Every once in a while you have to shake things up a bit. That’s what State Flag Blues is meant to do. While most of our counterparts in the stoner/doom genre are focusing on wizards, dragons, and galactic travel, The Heavy Co. has decided that it’s time to use their music for change. Don’t get us wrong. We love talking about wizards, dragons, and galactic travel, but sometimes you have to get your head into the real world. Being the proud Hoosiers that we are, we figured we aren’t going to let a small minded agenda get in the way of the social progress that desperately needs to happen. Not only in Indiana, but in our country as well. It might not be the popular thing to do, but it’s the right thing. Coincidentally, with yesterday’s passing of musician/activist Pete Seeger serving as a poignant reminder, we hope this song finds its way to the ears of those who need to hear it the most.
We hope you dig our new tune. We also really appreciate Pat Harrington of Geezer for lending his bodacious slide guitar to the track. As we say around here, he’s good company.
Please tune in…
Says Pat Harrington:
When Ian asked if I was down to play slide guitar on a new THC track, I said yes right away. I was a fan of their last release, Midwest Electric and definitely relate to who the band is. We both tread in those waters between blues and doom, too heavy for the blues purists and not heavy enough for the doom purists, so I was more than happy to contribute what I could to a kindred spirit. The fact that it was a good ole fashioned protest song just made it all even cooler! It was a lot of fun to do and I’m proud to be a part of it.