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David Serby and The Latest Scam at The Grand Ole Echo

davidserby_GOE

This Sunday, September 14, 2014, I’m excited to play The Grand Ole Echo at The Echo in Echo Park…that’s a lot of echos, but then…it’s a echo.

My band, The Latest Scam (Edward Tree, Gregory Boaz, and Dale Daniel) and I will be powering up some brand new electrified Los Twangeles, California Honkytonk, as well as dialing up some roots and roll off my previous records.

My pals Nocona and Amilia K. Spicer also play the main stage. Tawny Ellis and The Dank are playing the back porch.

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Pasadena Weekly previewed the recent HonkyTonk Hacienda show at El Cid

Thank you to Bliss Bowen for the nice preview of the show we played last week at Suzanne O’Keefe’s HonkyTonk Hacienda at El Cid in Los Angeles. Thanks, Bliss!

Pasadena Weekly

Barroom Bards

Brian Wright & the Waco Tragedies, David Serby & the Latest Scam, Santa Barbara’s the Tearaways make El Cid the place to be Thursday night

By Bliss 09/05/2014

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If you’ve got a taste for juicy songs that wrap barroom wisdom, existential poetry and badass musicianship in pretty melodic bows and roots-rocking ribbons, then hie thee to El Cid Thursday night. Former Angeleno Brian Wright is reuniting his band the Waco Tragedies, and he and local song hero David Serby will be hoisting the banner for class act songwriting and storytelling. Santa Barbara’s old school rock ‘n’ rollers the Tearaways will also be on the bill, but make no mistake: This is going to be Serby and Wright’s night.

Area music fans most likely remember Wright from his formerly frequent shows at Hotel Café in Hollywood, where the native Texan first dazzled normally jaded audiences with the Waco Tragedies. The meaty wordplay of songs like “Junk Queen,” “War on Wilcox” and “Falls County” could reduce chattering club hounds to hushed, head-nodding putty. After making two albums with his band, 2011’s “House on Fire” arrived under his own name and was released by Nashvilled-based Sugar Hill Records. Wright subsequently relocated with his family to Nashville, which has proved to be a professionally judicious move for him. But it was longtime LA bandmates like pianist Brother Sal and fiddler/guitarist Michael Starr that he rounded up for 2013’s “Rattle Their Chains”; loaded with gems like “Haunted” and “Weird Winter” (“Everyone confuses the man with the bruises with the one actually carrying the scar”), it earned Wright comparisons to the likes of Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt. LA’s loss was definitely Nashville’s gain.

Like Wright, Serby has earned respect as a songwriter among songwriters. He fronts one of the tighter bands in town, usually featuring invaluable guitarist/producer Ed Tree, and he has independently released several finely crafted honky-tonk, traditional folk and straight-up rock ‘n’ roll albums. Regardless of the musical settings, Serby’s trump card is always the economic eloquence of his songwriting:

“I’ve got a ’60 El Camino
And I spend most nights under the hood
And she watches from our kitchen window
Thinking ’bout leaving me for good
Wish I could fix it with this set of tools
New oil belts or fans
’Cause I can’t find the words she longs to hear
Guess I’m just better with my hands”

Serby’s been actively promoting LA’s Americana community this year through the California Roots Union, which he launched earlier this year with fellow songwriter Grant Langston. No promotional hats need be donned Thursday night, however; the music can speak for itself. n

Honky Tonk Hacienda presents Brian Wright & the Waco Tragedies, David Serby & the Latest Scam and the Tearaways at El Cid, 4212 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4; $5. Info: (323) 668-0318. Brianwrightmusic.com, davidserby.com, elcidla.com

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Dirt Beneath My Nails

As I mentioned last week, I’m putting together songs for a new record.

I’ve got a gig this coming week (Suzanne O’Keefe’s Honkytonk Hacienda at El Cid in Los Angeles, CA) and The Latest Scam (Edward Tree, Greg Boaz and Jim Doyle filling in for Dale Daniel) and I are going to play 12 of the new tunes, so, if you’re interested in hearing what we’re working on, I hope you can make the show.

In the meantime, I’m introducing you to some of my older music in the hope that you might purchase/download a song (only $.99!) or an entire album of music to help me finance a new record.

If you drive around Los Angeles (probably any big city in the United States) you’ll eventually pass U-Haul rental locations, giant storage facilities, and home improvement stores. In front of those locations you’ll likely see a pack of hungry men hoping to be hired to perform some sort of manual labor.

In 2006 when I was writing the songs that would eventually end up on my first record (I Just Don’t Go Home) I passed a group of these men while I was driving to Billy Block’s Western Beat (a singer/songwriter hangout on Highland in Los Angeles).

I started thinking about these men and when I finally arrived at Western Beat I sat at the bar, ordered a beer, and scribbled the lyric for “Dirt Beneath My Nails” on napkins while listening to open mic singers.

You can hear a snippet of the song and purchase it at CD Music Baby:

CD Baby Music

Song: Dirt Beneath My Nails
Album: I Just Don’t Go Home

Standing on the corner before the sun comes up
With a dozen other hungry guys waiting on a truck
At home she heats a bottle on the kitchen stove
In an hour I’ll be picking fruit in an orange grove

If dirt beneath my nails was diamonds
If sweat upon my brow was gold
If dust on my boots was silver
If there was treasure in the bottom of this hole
I’d buy a rattle for my baby
A brand new dress for Abigail
But all I have is dust
Sweat, love, and lust
And there ain’t no diamonds in the dirt beneath my nails

We’ll jump from this flatbed they’ll hand up burlap sacks
We’ll work until the sun goes down tonight they’ll drive us back
I’ll stand below our window watch her silhouette
As she’s singing to our baby swinging in that bassinet

If dirt beneath my nails was diamonds…

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Starting a New Record with Old Records…

I’ve been writing like a possessed madman recently and I’m about to start working on a new electric honky tonk record. The Latest Scam (Edward Tree, Gregory Boaz, and Dale Daniel) sounds great playing the songs and we’ll slowly be working them into our sets as I book more gigs to get us ready to record. I hope some of you make it out to the shows and let us know what you think of the tunes.

I don’t do kickstarter campaigns or fund my records through crowd sourcing. I pay for them myself. So, I won’t ask you for dough up front. But…I have made five prior records that are sitting on the shelf and can be purchase or downloaded.

If you like the music I’ve made, and want to support me as I try to make some more, it would be a huge help if you could purchase a song (only $.99!!) or an album by following the link to my page at CD Baby Music.

I’m going to use this space to highlight a song or album every couple of days. I’ll include a line or two about the song, and the lyrics. This is something I’ve never done before, and I hope you enjoy and appreciate it. Here you go…

Song: I Just Don’t Go Home
Album: I Just Don’t Go Home

“I Just Don’t Go Home” is the title track off my first record. Esteemed music critic Chris Morris put the record on his 2006 Year End Top Ten List in Los Angeles City Beat Magazine along with records by Tom Waits, Los Lobos, and a Beatles reissue.

I wrote the song about a time in my life when I was so far down over a broken relationship that I’d rather spend 24 hours a day at a dead-end job that I hated than go home to an empty house full of sad echoes.

You can listen to listen to a clip and purchase the song (or the entire record) at CD Baby Music:

CD Baby Music

Lyrics:

I Just Don’t Go Home

I should drag the door down, kill the neon lights
Count up all the money, head home for the night
But here I’ve got a sofa, and a candy bar machine
Day or night you’ll find me pumping gasoline

Ever since you left I just don’t go home
The California King’s too big for one man all alone
I don’t pick up the mail the grass is overgrown
Ever since you left I just don’t go home

I’m patching up a flat on a silver Greyhound bus
The folks there in the window look a lot like us
Some of them are sleeping, some are wide awake
But they’ve each packed their bags with nothing but mistakes

Ever since you left I just don’t go home…

I’m sitting in the dark on a wooden orange crate
Truckers rumble past me down that interstate
I might just stick my thumb out try to catch a ride
I hear you’re at your momma’s out in Riverside

Ever since you left I just don’t go home…

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RockTimes in Germany calls David Serby and The Latest Scam “Flawless Americana”!

RockTimes Review: David Serby and The Latest Scam

David Serby is already a ‘sore thumb’ in the Americana scene – hard to believe that this vigourous type only now crosses from sunny California on our way, not even with his previous albums, such as “Poor Man’s Poem” or “Honkytonk And Vine “…

The fact that the guy on verbal wit and eloquence – both highly desirable virtues for a singer / songwriter – has, proves Serby with the tongue in cheek titling, he and his band were the ‘latest scam’ [the latest scam]. We have suspected it, Mr. Serby – at least since the Great Rock’n'Roll Swindle …

“David Serby And The Latest Scam” especially shines Serbys eloquent art of telling short stories. Compressed episodes that illustrate his analytical sense of observation as well as his sharp tongue, full of empathy for each described environment, full of humanity and lived a with a good dose of self-irony spiked humor. It is a pleasure to listen to this singer / songwriter attention.

Musically David Serby And The Latest Scam flawless Americana, between languid country ballads and earthy Rock’n'Rollern (very-old-school) settled as antipodes. Times folk of the sixties and the rich power-pop of the seventies scattered – in between – depending on the mood of the protagonist.

The twenty original songs would have fit easily on a disk. The fact that Selby has a breakdown of the songs on two CDs decided, must have conceptual reasons that have not opened up to me, however. A booklet with all lyrics have here can help, but that is – not enclosed with the simple gatefold cover – safe for cost reasons. It’s still a shame that such exquisite music is no corresponding label, itself must be sold!

It is striking in terms of the concept in question, that the songs on Disc 1 ‘Old School’ are much more pronounced. Here you can meet American Rock’n'Roll on British Beat – Hound Dog , “Oh Boy” and ( Buddy Holly ) on Do Wah Diddy Diddy . The floor-rocker “Waiting Out ​​The Storm”, “Those Is not My Dreams” and “Pharaohs” like this best. The hilariously funny “You’re Bored” (beautiful artificial sitar) and the great love-yearning “I’ll Meet You There” entice contrast to Spontanfönen a great lard, of course with an extra dose of pomade.

The second CD reveals contrast rather Serbys ‘soft’, folk-oriented page. The on Simon & Garfunkel reminiscent “I Still Miss You” this conveys as well as the melancholy ballad “Better With My Hands” (great pedal steel). Also, the country is indulged in proper style in “Everybody Loves A Fool” and “Gospel Truth”. The in wild CCR abrockenden-style “Tumbleweed Blacktop Blues” and “Like She Was Never Here” to speak to me personally at the most.

What is noticeable in all twenty songs the extremely tight corset – most are only a little more than two minutes. Everything seems to have been compressed to the point. This circumstance makes “David Serby And The Latest Scam” highly enjoyable, while quite tense, without exuberant ‘lengths’ flow.

Music for the heart and mind alike is David Serby succeeded here – sound art, the pleasing apart from the usual Americana-Allerlei . Two really nice slice …

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Swedish Blog Obladoo digs David Serby and The Latest Scam

Obladoo – March 5, 2014

David Serby and the Latest Scam David Serby and the Latest Scam davidserby.com

David Serby decided after four right acclaimed discs in the alternative country / honky tonk genre (where the last Poor man’s poem additionally was a dark, more popular thing) to completely change tracks. He needed to feel the energy of the blow-out system and playing with other musicians. Said and done: he quickly wrote up fifty (!) Rock/pop- songs, of which twenty got a place on the new record.

Here we hear the echoes of his own early inspiration in life, as Rockpile , Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson . Already on the first song True love bubbling energy and joy almost over and then followed a string of smart pop songs. Serby is namely a very talented songwriter and the lyrics are really sharp. As Amnesia about a man who falls in love with a girl named Amnesia – and forget everything. Or You’re bored , a poisonous comment to exflickvännens attempt to resume the relationship where Serby says that it probably is not about love, but that she simply is bored …

Sure sounds his country and folk roots still, as in the stately ballad Better with my hands (incidentally one of the disc’s only two ballads) – a song that many would kill to have written themselves and who deals with men and women’s different ways to handle problems. Serby is a chameleon musically and succeeds to stand firmly in the tradition and at the same time make it sound interesting. To help them, he recently composed the band The Latest Scam consisting of people he already know and trust. The energy, the distance and playfulness makes me besides the aforementioned names even think of well NRBQ who Dwight Twilley and The Byrds .
Now I should surely have dropped enough names to warrant you to locate David Serby!?
, you will not regret s.
Especially if you obey the call on the cover: PLAY LOUD.

Per Wiker

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Hyperbolium gives David Serby and The Latest Scam a very cool review

Hyperbolium

February 22nd, 2014

David Serby and The Latest Scam

L.A. honky-tonker goes power-pop

David Serby’s Honkytonk and Vine revisited 1980s Los Angeles’ honky-tonk with its cowboy-booted country twang. Serby’s follow-up, Poor Man’s Poem, turned from honky-tonk to folk-flavors, but still kept its roots in country. So what to make of this double-album turn to the sunshine harmonies and chiming electric guitars of power pop? Well first off, the change in direction works. Really well. You can hear influences of both ’60s AM pop (particularly in the faux sitar of “You’re Bored”) and late ’70s power pop and rock, including Gary Lewis, the Rubinoos, and the Records. Serby’s quieter vocals are full of the romantic yearning one would normally ascribe to a love-sick teenager; it’s the bedroom confession of a twenty-something who’s finally enunciating out loud what’s been confusing him for years. Disc two rocks harder and more country than disc one, but even the two-step “I Still Miss You” is set with chiming 12-string and wistful answer vocals. The country-rock “Gospel Truth” brings to mind Rockpile and the Flamin’ Groovies, and the cheating-themed “Rumor of Our Own” connects to Serby’s honky-tonk background. Each of these ten-track discs would have made a good album on their own, but together they show off a terrific continuum of pop, rock, country and a touch of the blues. Serby’s reach across country, folk and rock were evident in his earlier releases, but the pure pop side is a welcome surprise. [©2014 Hyperbolium]

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Country Standard Time give David Serby and The Latest Scam a great review.

Country Standard Time

David Serby and the Latest Scam

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

David Serby’s latest, which introduces his new band, the Latest Scam (the moniker’s inspired by a Nick Lowe lyric), somewhat announces a new, more rocking direction for the SoCal singer/songwriter. Country and roots rock fans need not be alarmed, though, because a song like “Everybody Loves a Fool” (and others) contain plenty of hearty twang.

This slight change in musical direction may be bringing much of the special attention to this two-CD set, but Serby’s detailed storytelling skills are far more attention-grabbing. Like a musical Raymond Carver, Serby gets right to the heart of the relationship problem described in “Better With My Hands.” Over a tortuously slow musical bed, the man in this song is a mechanic and good with his hands whenever he’s working on his vintage El Camino. These skills don’t help him one iota when it comes to communicating with his ever-distancing girl, though. You end up really empathizing with this guy because there’s no tool in his box to fix his relationship. “What She’s Running From,” about a mysterious girl that’s “intoxicating and impossible thin,” is another revealing character study. Her friends all know she’s running from something, but nobody can quite figure out what it is.

Serby says bands like Rockpile had a big impact on the style of these songs, and you can certainly hear that band’s bar band vibe running through a track like “Gospel Truth” with its rumbling electric guitar and cheeky lyrics.

Whether singing over a country or a rock beat, Serby always vocalizes with a smooth, inviting voice that makes whatever style he’s inhabiting at the moment sound in character. At 20 songs long and filled with so much great storytelling, Serby’s Latest Scam is the absolute opposite of a rip-off, so don’t misjudge this book by its cover.

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Americana Review gives David Serby and The Latest Scam a great review!

Americana Review

Friday, January 31, 2014

Album Review: David Serby and the Latest Scam

The goal of this blog has always been to promote the great music that is created by hard working, dedicated and talented artists who do their best to stay positive to themselves and their craft. I’ve had the great fortune to write about a lot of great musicians, singers, songwriters and bands. These are the people I love writing about, the ones that create music and albums for the love of the art. Los Angeles, California has long been known as a hot bed for great music, and the latest project from David Serby is proof positive that the Los Angeles independent music scene is still thriving to this day.

David Serby and the Latest Scam is the fifth release from this talented singer-songwriter-musician. If you’re looking for an album that explores various aspects of human relationships, the trials of life and has a feel good aspect to it, this project belongs in your collection. The album is reminiscent of the old sound of California country-rock of the late 60’s and early 70’s in the vain of Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Considering this project is a double-CD containing 20 songs in total, it is great value for your money.

The first CD kicks off with a great up tempo number called “True Love” and leads right in to one of the many highlights of the album, “Amnesia.” This is a cleverly written tune that speaks to a condition I’m sure many of us have acquired when we find ourselves in the opening stages of a new romantic relationship. Generally speaking, it leads to a situation where your world becomes that person, you don’t go out with your friends anymore, that sort of thing, which is a different topic for a different blog.

“When Couples Fall In Love” keeps the new love theme going, and the masses can relate to this story. New love starts off with fiery passion, then settles down somewhat as the relationship grows and gains solidarity. What impresses me about this track, in addition to the solid writing, is how it sounds. Sonically, it takes me back to the days of a great country music group of the mid- to late-1980′s, The Desert Rose Band.

Another of the great highlights of this double CD package is “You’re Bored”, which relates the story of the (dreaded?) phone call that one may receive from that ex-partner who wants to, possibly/maybe/who the heck knows for sure, get back together. Fortunately for our central character in this story, he has the strength to see through the folly of getting involved again. Great song lyrically and musically.

Other highlights of this double-CD package include “Breaking News”, “Rumour of Our Own”, “Better With My Hands” and “Waiting Out the Storm.” This is a really solid project that David Serby and producer Ed Tree have put together. You can order the package directly from their web site, and you can sample six of the tracks via the playlist. Give David Serby and the Latest Scam your time. If this project is any indication of the great music to come in 2014, it is going to be an outstanding year.

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Robert Kinsler at The Desert Star Weekly says the new record sets the bar for 2014

THE DESERT WEEKLY – NEW ALBUMS SET BAR FOR 2014

Artist: David Serby

Title: David Serby and The Latest Scam (Independent)

You might like if you enjoy: Rockpile, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello

Tell me more:

Like Elvis Costello, David Serby is not content to work in and around one genre. On the heels of his wonderful folk-roots tour de force “Poor Man’s Poem” and several honky tonk collections (notably 2009′s “Honkytonk and Vine”) the San Gabriel, California-based artist has issued an outstanding 2-disc power-pop album “David Serby and The Latest Scam.”

The 20 songs boast the authentic songwriting instincts that have made Serby’s previous work such a marvel adorned with and extra jolt of Nick Lowe-meets-Plimsouls melody displayed on shimmering songs such as “When Couples Fall in Love” and “Do I Still Need to Worry?”

Robert Kinsler

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