Bury Me Not
Hailing from the backwoods of Vermont, Pariah Beat plays old time roots music with a youthful edge. Described as 'a dirt-encrusted buzzsaw from the past, moving forward with the weight of a freight train behind them,' they take that sentiment to heart, rooting the tunes they play and the stories they tell firmly in the now. Neither a gimmick nor reenactment, Pariah Beat's raucous roadshow has earned the group notoriety up and down the Eastern seaboard. In the words of one true believer, "The most energetic firecracker of a live show that I've ever had the privilege of seeing first hand. They make you shake, rattle and fall right down like the walls of Jericho." Released at the tail end of 2010, Bury Me Not marks an exciting new chapter for Pariah Beat. The album features 9 finely honed tracks that showcase the songwriting of Nick Charyk, Billy Sharff and Emily Eastridge. It took a full year to complete, but the band is confident that the result was worth the wait. "We really wanted to get this album right," explains Nick Charyk. "We tested all the songs out live, recorded several version of a couple of them, and set aside a bunch of songs that didn't seem to hold up." This focused approach is a departure for Charyk, Sharff and Eastridge. "We spent our first four years as a group playing every weekend and writing on the road. We were trying to figure out what worked for us. Our last album had hints of klezmer, blues, Zydecco, punk, bluegrass, gypsy jazz and anything else we took a liking to," says Charyk. "When we played in New Orleans, we came away with a new accordion riff, and when we left Nashville we had two new country songs. " Along the way, the group picked up and jettisoned a host of members and songwriters. "We were coming from the perspective that every story was valid, every voice had merit." Released in June of 2008, Pariah Beat Radio was well received, and the band hit the road hard in support of it. "We played seven shows the weekend it was released, including a pancake breakfast in Vermont that made back most of the money we'd put into the release. We tried to keep up that level of intensity and played over 100 shows in the next twelve months. " By late 2009, however, the group was exhausted and ready to try something new. Coalescing around the core of Charyk, Sharff and Eastridge, they set to work planning a new direction for the band. "Em, Billy and I talked a lot about the different music that excited us. Some point along the way, we boiled it down to three different records: Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Dwight Yoakam's Guitars and Cadillacs and Steve Earle's Guitar Town." Seeking to bring the essence of what they loved about these records into a project of their own, the trio recruited John Garret and Nick Heyes to join them in the endeavor. "I'd booked some shows before we'd even practiced, so I was a bit apprehensive. When we got the five of us together at Billy's house, though, I knew we had something to be excited about. The shows we played with John and Nick were my favorites yet.... We played for about four and a half hours on New Year's Eve, woke up hungover, and then did it again the next night. " The five spent the rest of January holed up, recording the album's initial tracks. Twelve months later, Bury Me Not is ready for the light of day. Recorded in Vermont with pit stops in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and South Carolina, the collection includes musical contributions from some of the band's favorite players. "I guess we could have finished a little sooner," Charyk muses, "but what fun would that be? At the least, we got a good title out of the process. We wouldn't have called it Bury Me Not if we weren't ready to break out the shovels ourselves at one point or another."