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Scott H. Biram offers up a unique blend of "real" country, old-school acoustic blues, and punk, with influences ranging from Minor Threat and Slayer to Bill Monroe and Mississippi Fred McDowell. Biram is a one-man band, playing all his songs on a 1959 Gibson hollow body guitar and an amplified "stomp board," yet each song is unique, and Biram dishes out a rare sense of self-confidence and independence rivaled by the originators of outlaw country music themselves.
Describing his music as "the bastard child of punk, blues, country, hillbilly, bluegrass, chain gang, metal, and classic rock," Biram was born in Lockhart, TX and grew up in Prairie Lea (a small town of less than 250 residents) and San Marcos (a city of 50,000 not far from Austin). While in high school, Biram joined a local punk rock band called the Thangs, and did shows with them after moving on to college (Biram earned a degree in fine arts from Southwest Texas State University). As he developed a taste for roots music (in particular Lightnin' Hopkins and Doc Watson), he played with a pair of bluegrass bands during his college days, Scott Biram & the Salt Peter Boys and Bluegrass Drive-By.
In the late 1990s, Biram adopted his aggressive one-man-band performing style, and released his first album, This is Kingsbury?, in 2000 on his own KnuckleSandwich Records label. Another self-released album, Preachin' and Hollerin', appeared in 2002. In 2003, Biram was nearly killed when his truck was involved in a head-on collision with a semi on a Texas highway. While confined to his bed, Biram recorded an EP, Rehabilitation Blues, and less than two months after the accident, Biram played a legendary show at Austin's Continental Club, performing on-stage in a wheelchair with IVs still dangling from his arms. The Continental show defined Biram's relentless and rebellious image, and he hit the road hard, playing up to 200 dates a year and releasing records at a steady pace. Biram's 2004 album The Dirty Old One Man Band attracted the attention of "insurgent country" label Bloodshot Records, who released a revised edition of the disc in 2005. Since then, Biram has divided his time between his punishing road schedule and recording new music for Bloodshot, turning out four albums (Graveyard Shift, Something's Gone/Lost Forever, Bad Ingredients and Nothin' But Blood) and a pair of singles between 2006 and 2014.
Scott H. Biram, aka Scott Biram, SHB, Hiram Biram, or The Dirty Old One Man Band (born April 4, 1974) is an award winning American blues, punk, country, heavy metal musician, and record producer based in Austin, Texas. He is primarily known as one of the prominent musicians of the One Man Band musical genre. He has appeared on national television shows such as NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and performed in prestigious venues such as The Lincoln Center in New York City and The Fillmore West in San Francisco, California. His music has been featured in many American television shows and films. He has also appeared as himself in several films and documentaries.
Biram was born in Lockhart, Texas, United States, and raised in Prairie Lea and San Marcos, Texas. He graduated from San Marcos High School in 1992 and then from Southwest Texas State University (now called Texas State University) in 1997 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Prior to becoming a one-man band, he was a member of a punk band (The Thangs) and two bluegrass bands (Scott Biram & the Salt Peter Boys and Bluegrass Drive-By).
Biram first released five albums under his own record label, KnuckleSandwich Records. His first album was This is Kingsbury?, released in 2000. This was followed by a second release, Preachin' & Hollerin in 2002. In February 2003 he released his third album, Lo-fi Mojo, recorded live on the radio in Austin, Texas. In April 2003, while recovering from a major head-on collision with a big-rig semi truck he recorded and released the "Rehabilitation Blues E.P." The recording was made at his parent's home while he was still bedridden from his crash. In 2004, he released The Dirty Old One Man Band. Subsequently, it was re-released (with a few changes) in 2005 when Biram signed with Bloodshot Records from Chicago, Illinois. After signing with Bloodshot, Biram released Graveyard Shift (2006), and Something's Wrong / Lost Forever (2009). Something's Wrong/Lost Forever reached #5 on the Billboard Blues Chart. His fourth record on the Bloodshot label, Bad Ingredients, was released on October 11, 2011. The Album reached #35 on the iTunes Rock Chart on the day of release. A week after the release of Bad Ingredients he appeared on the cover of the Austin, TX weekly magazine, The Austin Chronicle. He received the "Best Blues Record" award in the 2012 Independent Music Awards. On November 29, 2013 (Black Friday/Record Store Day) he released a limited edition gospel 7" vinyl single, "When I Die," (with B-side "John The Revelator" featuring Jesse Vain). The downloadable version was also made available. His latest full length album,"Nothin' But Blood" was released on Bloodshot Records, February 4, 2014 on both limited edition, blood-red vinyl, and compact disc.
On March 25, 2003, Biram was involved in a head-on collision with a big-rig semi truck, which resulted in both his vehicle and his body being crushed. He survived the wreck and was flown to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He suffered from a broken femur, knee, foot, and arm, and severe internal injuries. Metal rods and pins were placed in all of the broken bones, and one and a half feet of his intestine had to be removed from his body. One month later he was back on stage at Austin's Continental Club playing a show from a wheelchair with an I.V. still dangling from his arm.
Since 1999, Biram has toured the United States, Canada, and Europe (performing approximately 200 dates a year). Between 2005 and 2014, he has toured Europe eighteen times, including France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. He has toured and/or shared the stage with bands such as Reverend Horton Heat, Shooter Jennings, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Hank Williams III. Biram has also performed on bills with blues legends such as Pine Top Perkins, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, T-Model Ford, and Cedell Davis, as well as support for hard rock bands, Clutch, Social Distortion, Weedeater, and Pentagram, and appeared at large music festivals such as South By Southwest, Austin City Limits, and Fun Fun Fun Fest with big names like Judas Priest, Robert Plant, Foo Fighters, Black Keys, John Fogerty, Snoop Dog, and Dinosaur Jr.. When Scott H. Biram took the stage at his 2004 SXSW festival showcase right after country singer, Kris Kristofferson he was quoted as growling "They said that was a hard act to follow….I'm a hard act to follow motherf***ers!!”
Although Biram doesn't cite anyone, or thing as an influence for becoming a one man band besides "a need to pay bills" and "a need to avoid the politics of being in a band," he has mentioned that he is proud to have shared the stage with other prominent one man bands such as the late Hasil Adkins and his friend Bob Log III.
Biram's musical style covers a wide spectrum. "I grew up on Doc Watson, Lead Belly and Lightnin' Hopkins," he revealed, "and in college, I discovered more obscure people like Lil' Son Jackson and Mance Lipscomb." Biram mixes roots music, CB radios and a punk rock attitude. "I kind of pride myself on being able to release my emotions freely and not hold back at all," he says. "So many people these days have timid little weak voices like they're scared to belt it out."
Although primarily known as a One Man Band, other musicians have participated and appeared on multiple Biram releases. Austin, TX musicians, The Weary Boys appeared on songs featured on Biram's records, "Preachin' and Hollerin'" and "The Dirty Old One Man Band". Particularly the songs "Truckdriver," "Sweet Thing," and "Ocean of Diamonds". Ethan Shawe of Austin, TX based band, Chili Cold Blood contributed steel guitar on the song "18 Wheeler Fever" on Biram's 2006 release "Graveyard Shift". John Wesley Myers and Van Campbell of Black Diamond Heavies appeared on two songs on Biram's release "Something's Wrong Lost Forever". Walter Daniels, more widely known for his harmonica playing, contributed saxophone solos on the song "I Want My Mojo Back" which was featured on Biram's 2011 record, "Bad Ingredients". Percussionist, Matthew Puryear of the local Austin, TX band Chili Cold Blood also contributed various percussion on several of the songs on Biram's "Bad Ingredients" album.
In 2012, Scott H. Biram's 8th release, "Bad Ingredients", won "Best Blues Record" with the Independent Music Awards. He accepted his award and performed at The Lincoln Center in New York City on March 28, 2013.
Scott H. Biram's fans are commonly referred to as "The First Church of The Ultimate Fanaticism". This title was inspired by a fanatical extremist church in the town of Fentress, TX near where Biram grew up. His father jokingly referred to it as "The First Church of The Ultimate Fanaticism" because of its reputation for playing rock records backwards and burning them. The original Scott H. Biram heavy metal song "Church Babies" was written while Scott Biram was the front man for his 90's punk band, The Thangs. The lyrics are about "The First Church of The Ultimate Fanaticism." Despite his seemingly sarcastic lyrics protesting organized religion in various songs, he is also known for recording and performing both original, and traditional, genuine gospel music. In many interviews he has mentioned that he is fascinated with the push and pull of spirituality on a person's life and what he calls "The Human Condition."
He is popularly known for playing original trucker songs such as "TruckDriver", "Reefer Load", "18 Wheeler Fever", "Hit The Road", "Open Road", and "Draggin' Down The Line," among others. He is also known for writing and singing songs about "chickens," which he claims refers not just to poultry, but also to lovers, ex-lovers and "loose women" in general. He also raises real chickens at his home in Austin, TX.
Scott H. Biram's long time fans will recognize his sense of original, casual, rural fashion. He is known for wearing mesh-back trucker hats, and proudly sporting velcro shoes on stage.
The song "Blood, Sweat & Murder" from The Dirty Old One Man Band album, was used in the television program, Dog the Bounty Hunter, in the episode titled "A Helping Hand" and also on an episode of NBC's My Name Is Earl. His song "Hit The Road" was also used on Dog The Bounty Hunter. "Lost Case of Being Found," "Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue," and "No Way" were used in season four of FX Cable Channel's Sons of Anarchy. His song "Wreck My Car" was used in the film, The Darwin Awards, starring Winona Ryder and Joseph Fiennes. The Biram song, "BBQ Commercial" is used in a television commercial for Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q, a popular Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado restaurant chain. Biram has appeared in many documentary films, including a part in J.D. Wilkes 2008 film, Seven Signs: Music, Myth & the American South. Biram appeared in the 2008 German film The Folk Singer: A Tale of Men, Music & America. He was also featured in the French documentary, One Trip Some Noise. Biram's music was featured in the documentary, Running Heavy, and another short documentary entitled "The Tuesday Nighter". He also appears in the film "My Blue Star", a biography about the late Hasil Adkins, a prominent musician in the One Man Band genre. In 2013, Biram was the featured artist on an episode of the PBS television show "The Sun Studio Sessions".
Hard rock band, Nashville Pussy covered his song "Raisin Hell Again" on their 2005 album, Get Some! Hank Williams III covered Biram's song, "Truckdriver". Biram also appears as a guest vocalist on "The White Trash Song" featured on southern rocker, Shooter Jennings's 2013 release, "The Other Life". Biram appeared with Jennings as musical guest on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in March 2013.Usinger, Mike (May 27, 2009). "Scott H. Biram, the one-man electrical band | Georgia Straight, Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly". Straight.com. Retrieved 2014-06-14. "Out with a bang: 2009 Austin albums packed with sonic goodness". www.austin360.com. December 25, 2009. Retrieved 2014-06-14. Atkinson, Brian T. "Scott Biram – A Crash Course in Perseverance " Americana and Roots Music – No Depression". Archives.nodepression.com. Retrieved 2014-06-14. "Austin News, Events, Restaurants, Music". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-06-14. Chris Parton (June 26, 2009). "News : Scott H. Biram Mixes Roots Music, CB Radios and Punk Rock Attitude". CMT. Retrieved 2014-06-14. Swedlund, Eric. "Fierceness of Exposure | Music Feature". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved 2014-06-14. ""Seven Signs" Trailer 1". YouTube. January 16, 2007. Retrieved 2014-06-14. "Seven Signs: Music, Myth & the American South (2008)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-124. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)  "A Trucker Documentary by Nick Robespierre". Running Heavy. Retrieved 2014-06-14. "Scott Biram is on the Soundtrack!". Running Heavy. August 2, 2007. Retrieved 2014-06-14. "discography | Get Some". Nashville Pussy. September 20, 2005. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
Independent Music Awards 2012: Bad Ingredients – Best Blues Album"11th Annual Independent Music Awards Winners Announced". The Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 2014-06-14.