Sammy Craigars’ Nothing Left To Lose is a collection of spectral low fi, doom tinged folk and country ditties that is bound to please fans of Gothic and Death Country.
Craigars’ songs are well crafted and are written to get those metatarsals tapping and the ghostly porch swing a rocking. Sammy wears his influences on his sleave with pride. Some of the greats are here, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Hank Williams and some of their bastard musical kin as well, Hank III, Lonesome Wyatt and Rachel Brooke.
The fact Sammy has only been crafting songs for 3 years also makes this an impressive achievement. Each song has something different to offer the listener. From the bouncy corpse confessional, Six Feet Deep to the eerie Hold On To Me that jumps between a funeral march and a ghostly knees up, there is little repetition in form so that the journey we are offered does not get tiresome or circular. We are led into the desert and with the eyes of an able handed guide of these haunted hills, Craigars takes us not only to the sites we expect to see, but also the places only a resident of these musical badlands could show us.
Joining Craigars on this recording is the glorious voice of Sadly Al, who sings sweetly in our ear, like a lost spirit seeking a séance, as Sammy intones his ghoulish stories. Edward Wesson also brings his fine musical skills to the project, contributing banjo, and keys on the opening tracks.
The primitive production is convincing and appropriate. These are intimate songs of death (Rot Away), decay (Day by Destine Day) and lost hope (the title track, Nothing Left To Lose). Songs that were found abandoned in an unmarked grave somewhere along the back-roads. To wrap them in sounds too finely spun would be a betrayal of their origins. This is contemporary nihilistic folk after all, and that spirit is best captured with the technology of modern alienation – cell phones, cheap microphones and recording apps – the digital detritus that not only pollute our culture but also make it such a fertile ground for personal and idiosyncratic expression.
Nothing Left to Lose is released through the steller dark roots net lable Death Roots Syndicate and you can download the album for free, yes FREE, by visiting their wonderful online repository at archive.org.