Printer Friendly

Drakkar Sauna heed the gospel.

My great-grandmother Myrtle was what her fellow Oklahomans used to call a "real holy roller." She played electric guitar in church and typically punctuated any bit of good news with a "Praise god!" She was also fond of Depression-era gospel songs, which she sang at family gatherings in a sweet and warbly old lady style. It's what I remember most about her, which probably explains why listening to Drakkar Sauna's Wars and Tornadoes made tears fall from my eyes.

The album finds the Kansas duo covering the classic fire and brimstone country of the Louvin Brothers, an Alabama twosome who wrote some of the most influential gospeltinged, barnthumpin' music of the '50s and '60s. Jeff Stolz and Wallace Cochran of Drakkar Sauna aren't brothers--or even cousins, as often rumored--but they are best pals from Lawrence who've been making freaked-out, bluegrassy folk for the past six years. They've been performing Louvin Brothers songs since their earliest rehearsals, but were hesitant to go all the way. "We've been playing their songs live for so long," says Cochran, "It took us a long time to get good enough to actually record them. We wanted to do it right." With "The Family Who Prays" and "The River Jordan," Drakkar Sauna don't so much interpret the Louvin's songs as actually inhabit them--with guitars, mandolins and vocal harmonies square dancing around tales of lost love and spiritual yearning. The songs are all about pining--for the girl who won't do you wrong, for a god who can hear your prayers, for an afterlife free of hardship--and Drakkar Sauna play them as if their mortal souls depend on it.


The making of Wars and Tornadoes brought the band's fascination with the Louvins full circle in the most literal of ways. "We played in Nashville for National Record Store Day and Charlie Louvin turned up at the show," says Cochran. "He's in his eighties, but he still drives a big old car and smokes Marlboro Lights. We were scared to ask him, but he was eager to get up and sing with us. We did 'The Family Who Prays' and 'Are You Afraid to Die?' with him. Then he hung around to take pictures with all the girls at the show." I believe great-grandma Myrtle would surely approve.

COPYRIGHT 2008 The Fader
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:GENF: OLD TIME RELIGION; Wars and Tornadoes
Author:Rachel, T. Cole
Publication:The Fader
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Previous Article:Rye Rye grows up in the club.
Next Article:Whalebones are not satisfied.

Related Articles
Spirit of the Century.
Say Yo' Business.
EarthBeat! Every Tone a Testimony: An African American Aural History.
Twelve-step mantra a product of its times.
A personal appearance from Dale Earnhardt Jr. helped drive Drakkar Noir fragrance sales to record highs.
The lord's songs in a strange land; two histories dig down to the roots of gospel music and the culture of sound in African American life.
Susan Werner taps religious music; `Why does God have all the good music?'.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters