Green Bay Bands
Purgatory Hill Description
Purgatory Hill Reviews
Map of Purgatory Hill
Purgatory Hill Basics
- Rock / Blues / Experimental
- Band Members
- pat mAcdonald: Lowebow (Purgatory Hill Harp), foot stomp, vocals, harmonica;
melaniejane: tambourine, maracas, keyboard, backing vocals
- John Lee Hooker...Johnny Cash...Johnny Lowebow...
- Home Town
- STURGEON BAY
- Purgatory Hill
- How to Contact Us
- Email Us!
More Purgatory Hill Events
- Upcoming Shows
- Oct 15 2009 9:00P
Malarkey’s - with pat mAcdonald & melaniejane Wausau, Wisconsin
Oct 16 2009 9:00P
Harmony Bar - w/ pat mAcdonald & melaniejane Madison, Wisconsin
Oct 23 2009 10:00P
IQs - with Delaney Davidson & TBA Green Bay, Wisconsin
Oct 30 2009 10:00P
Cherry Lanes - EDGAR ALLAN POLKA and Other Dark Delights (various artists) Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Oct 31 2009 8:00P
Ladder House - EDGAR ALLAN POLKA "Ghost Writers In Disguise" (various artists) Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
October 1, 2009
While the band Purgatory Hill may not be as familiar as its musician's, melaniejane and pat mAcdonald, they have clearly put their heart and soul into this self titled debut album. melaniejane and pat mAcdonald sent me a couple copies of their new Purgatory Hill album. I got them, read the sweet note with the additional instructions to share the second copy with someone who I knew would dig it. Nice! It was a color print digi pack, simple book open with no sleeve. I had to make a run for the store so I put the disc in and went into the night. By the time I got to the end of my block my radio was as loud as it could go. By the time I got to the store I called a friend and played track 2, BLUES of SIN/BABYLOVE with my cell phone up to the door speaker. He was over at my place 30 minutes later to pick up the second copy. I would be a fool not to mention to you how monumental this album is for Wisconsin music and the music scene in general. To my ears there is this raw, southern sounding, crossroads traveling, blues sound, but before I lay complete claim to the delta south, the roots of this kind of blues came here in the 1930s at Paramount Records in Port Washington, WI. A stretch maybe, but a few things are true about Purgatory Hill: the music is rooted as much in early blues as it is in alternative indie rock, they use unique musical instruments, they put talent and passion into making this album and it's obvious from when you press play. To play this kind of music you have to pay your dues, and you can tell that these musicians have paid theirs. This debut album does a great job of setting sin and redemption in all 13 tracks. There is alot on this record that I can personally identify with, and I'm sure many of these songs are universal, pat mAcdonald is such a great down to earth song writer! pat mAcdonald plays a Lowebow slide guitar/bass, purgatory hill harp, sings, and stomps. Meleniejane plays the tambourine, backing vocals, and organ. Together they create an addictively rhythmic, raw blues rock duo.
Track one "Sintro" plays and we're rolling. A slight moan from a slide lowebow and you can almost hear rust, pain, and even a little morning dew as this tune is awakening and then???
Track two "blues of sin/babylove." Your mind is flashing back, your heart is racing, you're going over the details, you chill out over a fix, you get mellow, and you oh so got this! The shakers shake, the perfectly over driven harp comes in and the vocals and demeanor are way too cool in contrasting tone. The lowebow bass string owns this song. There is tension, no turning back, and commitment in this song.
Track three "Reset Me Lord" is totally repenting for whatever happened in life or even on track two. Slide owned lowebow, a hybrid cigar box guitar/bass, tambourine, distant harp, and vocals are harmonically layered. This is probably one of the most touching songs for me on this album, I'm sure we all have been there.
While my insights on Purgatory Hill are just my insights, the full album puts everything into context and I love how track 13 roles right back into track 1 almost seamlessly. The whole album is haunting, nostalgic, and reflective, packed with so much energy and remorse.
Let me just say Steve Hamilton and Travis Kasperbauer nailed the recording of this album down to the floor boards. Absolutely perfect! The only thing that could make this album better is if it was released on vinyl.
There are 10 tracks beyond what I have written about: and they are all worth checking out. This is, by far, is one of the best albums to come out of Wisconsin and our Area. Purgatory Hill's next show in our area is Oct 23 @ IQ's Bar on University Ave
Album photos/art: front cover - bruce rose, back cover- ilan laks, inside covers - todd wolfson, design/graphics pat mAcdonald.
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