Merry Airbrakes (from the album Merry Airbrakes available on Scissor Tail Records)
Referred to as Psychedelic Blues by Merry Airbrakes frontman, Bill Homan, the self-titled debut, and only release from the short-lived band, presents forward thinking ideas about war as he presents a futuristic take on the Blues. Merry Airbrakes has become a coveted find in the years since its 1973, though the groups’ frontman, Bill Homan, has adopted a new moniker as Watermelon Slim and continued to take Blues into the future in his own career. Picking up the harmonica early in life, Bill Homan eventually found the guitar when he was hospitalized, purchasing a $5 guitar from the commissary as he recuperated from an extended illness while serving a tour of duty in Viet Nam. Merry Airbrakes is a protest album recorded by Bill Homan along with his brother Peter and a group of friends when he returned from Viet Nam. Of the album, Bill Homan said ‘It is 1973... in three years it will be 1976. This album of music, conceived and recorded during the months between the 1972 Presidential election and the full-flowering of the Watergate disclosures, is an anti-capitalistic, anti-imperialistic album, and is the distillation of the best four years of my life, in the Vietnam War, and as one of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.’
Ragged chaos makes a beautiful noise to begin the song cycle for Merry Airbrakes with “Vigilante Man”, a tune borrowed from the Woody Guthrie catalog and re-worked as gut bucket Blues. “The Bearded Man” is introduced on a rock heavy Folk Blues as Merry Airbrakes put some funk in their Rock’n’Roll with “Draft Board Blues” and lightly touch the acoustic chords and percussion of “Preacher Song” with a psychedelic kaleidoscope that spins Jazz, Country, and Electric Blues. Musically, Merry Airbrakes is a mirror of the times it was created, the studio work of the band taking a cue from Psychedelia’s ability to make any sound its own. The original recording of the album resonates with musical choices of the 1960’s as much as the stories reflect the anti-war climate in the United States during the period. While all the pieces lead towards nostalgia, Merry Airbrakes make music that sonically fits our times. Country slide Blues is the only backing when Merry Airbrakes count “Three Hearts” and let a marching beat lead “Quang Tricity”.
Listen and buy the music of Merry Airbrakes from AMAZON