precious blood bio - 2010
"...this stuff really does transport you, to the days of Harry Smith's or Alan Lomax's backroads recording adventures, when 78rpm records had just eclipsed sheet music, and families still gathered around the radio. It's magic, plain and simple. How else could these two incorporate so much musical history so effortlessly?"
~~Nadav Carmel, KDVS Radio
photo by Amy Gawlick
"Amy Annelle and Ralph White have for years practiced a kind of musical and literal nomadism that makes their unearthing of spooky old folk tunes come out effortlessly heavy...the songs bleed out of their breath like fire"
~~Elliott Johnson, Arthur Magazine
"I feel like I should have paid forty dollars for this"
(overheard during a Precious Blood show)
Austin, Texas' new roots duo Precious Blood are indeed "kindred spirits, musical nomads who yearn for the same pastoral past" (Austin Powell, Austin Chronicle). Singer-guitarist Amy Annelle and multi-instrumentalist Ralph White (ex-Bad Livers) met while on tour with their original music projects; the two solo artists soon hit upon their abiding love for the far-flung corners of old folk and country roots music, and Precious Blood was born. White and Annelle debuted the band in New York City and New Orleans, and showcased the duo on a US tour with folk legend Michael Hurley.
Precious Blood throw themselves into the tunes and times of rowdy public houses, haunted bayous and lonesome prairies with atavistic abandon, and impart this living spirit directly to the audience. They forego old time-y shtick and folk-purist formality, drawing instead from inner sources and a deep respect for the repertoires of traditional/regional folk and country roots music. Though most of their material is from the public domain, they can instill a more contemporary tune with the same idiosyncratic spirit as they would a traditional cowboy ballad, conjunto waltz or Georgia fiddle tune. Their first album, Top of the Holler, was recorded outside, live onto cassette in the traditional field recording style. They also contributed a live track to KVRX Radio's 2009 compilation.
Both Annelle and White are prolific solo artists, and are busy recording new albums of their original music. White was part of the Bad Livers' original and definitive lineup; Annelle fronted Portand Oregon's acclaimed modern folk band The Places. They have performed or recorded with notable modern folk and roots artists such as Roy Harper, Michelle Shocked and Michael Hurley. White also plays fiddle with traditional Cajun dance band The Gulf Coast Playboys, of which Annelle is an occasional member. ~~D. Walker, 2010
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PRECIOUS BLOOD "TOP OF THE HOLLER" liminted edition of 250 CDR w/ handmade packaging
"Ralph White and Amy Annelle's old-time psychic-twin vision comes alive on Top of the Holler, the pair's new collection of field recordings as Precious Blood. Annelle's guitar and hay-fine gospel voice alone are capable of evangelical Dust Bowl flashbacks, but when combined with White's solitary fiddle and accordion, "Shady Grove" sounds rapturous, as do covers of the Carter Family's "Can't Feel at Home" and Leadbelly's "Western Cowboy."
~~Audra Schroeder, Austin Chronicle
(2009) album art by Able Brown & others unknown.
Cassette field recording, circa 2009, of Precious Blood in Travis County Texia. "Cowboy hollers, heretic gospel, fractious bluegrass & wayward folksong"
TRACK LISTING: Goodbye Old Paint + Waller Creek Waltz | Can't Feel At Home + Hell Broke Loose in Georgia | Shady Grove | Ramblin' Man (Hank Williams) | "tit Yeux Noirs | Western Cowboy