For the better part of a decade, Austin's The Meat Purveyors were the skunk tossed into the tent of stoic bluegrass revivalism. Always more Brothers Ramone than Brothers Osborne and more comfy in boots jack than cowboy, TMP are still able to out-lament most of the current crop of high lonesome pretenders. Top shelf musicianship, razor sharp songwriting, and a total lack of concern for the confines of genre, made the Meat Purveyors one of the most entertaining and energetic plying the dark corners of the roots underground and touchstone in the thrashgrass movement.
Whiskey-fueled and case-hardened deep in the heart of Texas, TMP boast a personal history that would shame Fleetwood Mac, and wood shedding that sends so-called roots revivalists, snooty bluegrass purists, and alt-country poseurs into paroxysms of self-doubt and years of expensive therapy.
And just who are these Texans who dare to breathe fresh life into the overly stoic, staid and mossback world of bluegrass? Anchoring this dysfunctional lot with his percussion guitar and gift for lyrics is Austin Music Hall of Fame inductee Bill Anderson -a veteran of several Austin bands of note including Bigfoot Chester, Ballad Shambles and the legendary Poison 13. Diva Jo Walston is a honky tonk angel gone wrong under a towering beehive, while Miss Cherilyn DiMond delivers piledriver stand-up bass and harmonies directly from the choir (and banter directly from the truck stop parking lot). Mr. Peter Stiles, a reformed (we hope) Deadhead, presents a flabbergasting prestidigitation on the mandolin and it is rumored that he has never played a bad solo. Ever. Darcie Deaville provides the fiery fiddling and the wild-eyed stares that fans fear to love and love to fear.
The Meat Purveyors did their best to keep bluegrass from tottering meekly into a dust-covered coffin. Help them, won't you?
- Ben Kweller covers TMP's "2:00 AM" on While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records
- "The Madonna Triolgy" on Making Singles, Drinking Doubles
- "Little White Pills" on For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records
- "TMP Smackdown" documentary on the DVD Bloodied But Unbowed
- "John Hardy" on the Pine Valley Cosmonauts' The Executioner's Last Songs: Volumes 2 & 3
- "Sunshine" (Split Lip Rayfield cover) on Down to the Promised Land: 5 Years of Bloodshot Records
- "Take Me Back To Tulsa" on The Pine Valley Cosmonauts' Salute The Majesty of Bob Wills
- "The Crawdad Song" on The Bottle Let Me Down