Lincoln Durham has built himself a reputation as a one-man band that delivers a sound which he calls Southern-Gothic Psycho-Blues Revival. Influenced by the blues legends of old, he brings a true raw energy that is accompanied by a writing style that his bio describes as “telling tales that E.A. Poe would have been proud of.”
This combination can be witnessed on his albums The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones, Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous, and Revelations of a Mind Unraveling. Each release showcases a musician who understands the true definition of the blues and it’s easy to understand why they have been receiving great reviews. With tracks such as “Love Letter,” “Mama,” and “Bleed Until You Die,” you get to hear how his songwriting has an impressive range and depth to it.
It is his live shows which really show off what makes Durham stand out. He uses an array of instruments to create a soundtrack as a one-man musical army. Everything from battled hardened guitars, stomp boards, banjos, 3 string cigar box guitars, and much more. If it makes a noise and its sounds bluesy, he’ll use it. Add to this vocals that howl but also have a gentle tone. You put this all together and you get a showman with a passion for his craft.
Durham has been working hard on new material, the result is his new album And Into Heaven Came The Night. Bringing his trademark Southern-Gothic Psycho-Blues this release takes no prisoners. So many of the songs feel lyrically inspired by the likes of Robert Johnson which also growls, howls and prowls around your ears like a hellhound.
This raw and thunderous soundtrack is mostly provided by Lincoln. He performs using a list of instruments that include guitar, cigar box guitar, pump organ, fiddle, and sheet metal. He does get some help from Chris Hausler (drums, mini Marvin) on some of the tracks. Listen to “Heaven” and “Gnaw” (backing vocals from Alissa Durham) to appreciate his skills at work.
Look past the music and you find someone who’s lyrical talent deserves a lot of respect. With a poetic storytelling style and captivating vocals, Durham knows how to grab the listener’s attention. His gentle track “Laugh” shows off his way with words that include:
“Wake up and see the diamonds floating by / They silently glitter, like angels; fly so high / You reach to kiss them / but you can’t stand the pain / The sweet smell slowly kills you / washed away in the driving rain / Where did you go, my old friend? / Did you finally find the sun through the rain?”
Lincoln Durham Embodies what the Blues is All About
Personal highlights show off the different sides of this album. “Feathers” begins with an infectious beat and distorted guitars before you get more of that raw bluesy tone. It may be the type of track that fans come to expect, but there is something more that is difficult to put into words.
“Hero” captivates from the start as Durham’s voice goes acapella. Gentle drums and distorted guitar then come in and continue subtly in the background. This gives the spotlight to the best vocal performance from this release. The control and range that switches from soft emotion to thunderous power when needed are impressive. Two songs are at different ends of his spectrum but both equally stunning.
And Into Heaven Came The Night is yet another release that not only shows that the blues ain’t dead, but that Lincoln Durham is one of the best true bluesmen of the modern era.