Scott Biram plays by his own rules, which is a lot easier when you lead a one-man-band. The 42-year-old Texan plays a rugged electrified blues that he compares to John Lee Hooker.
"All I am is a loud version of John Lee Hooker's solo set-up," Biram said. "He was stomping his foot on the floor with a mike or whatever, but it's when it comes down to the one-man-band part of mine, I'm just a dude with too many speakers."
Biram has been releasing music under his name for 17 years and, in February, released his ninth album, The Bad Testament (Bloodshot Records). The album mixes his typical raucous blues rumble with a more sedate country/acoustic vibe. This mix of loud and soft is par for the course live, though a bit less so on wax.
"I don't know, I think I'll always go back and forth," he said. "There were some songs from past records I don't even play live because I wrote them on the couch without a microphone and it just sounds weird when it comes through a speaker for me."
Recently, Biram took part in the Outlaw Country Cruise, where he joined his buddy, Shooter Jennings on stage. Biram also shared a suite with Jennings—the son of legendary outlaw country artist Waylon Jennings—and his mother, Jessi Colter.
"We had this really amazing suite with this grand piano KISS had ordered to be up there and every morning Miss Jessi would be tinkering with the piano and would say, 'Come over here and help me write songs, Scott,'" he said. "So that was pretty awesome."
Biram and Jennings also talked a little shop.
"I was telling [Shooter] the other night how I really respect how he'll go and do a fairly contemporary cover that's not country and is out there a little bit or a weird choice. That's what his dad would do," he said. "His dad covered 'Gold Dust Woman,' a Stevie Nicks song. And 'McArthur Park.' That's inspiring to me when someone goes out of their comfort zone."