Vinyl&Wine 22: Scott H. Biram + Hy.Brid Pinot Noir

If you have ever purchased music online, Itunes, Amazon, and other sites always make recommendations based on your current purchases and searches. So if you buy a Britney Spears album, they will recommend Shakira or some other pop princess. This is how I came to love the music of Scott H. Biram. I believe I was searching for a Cory Branan vinyl and fell into a music suggestion blackhole eventually landing on Scott H. Biram’s release entitled Nothin’ but Blood.

Also known as the Dirty Old One Man Band, Scott H. Biram is just that, a one man band whose songs are the soul child of the ghost of country icon Waylon Jennings and Heavy Metal legend Dave Mustaine. He plays soulful and solely on his acoustic 1959 Gibson guitar, with a raw unadulterated style. His grit an attitude may possibly be attributed to growing in the heart of Texas. His solo style was first recorded while stuck at home for a period of time while recovering from a devastating head on collision with a big rig truck in 2003 that completely totaled his car and nearly himself. When I listen to Nothin’ but Blood, the image of Scott H. Biram playing his guitar in a sweaty, smoke-filled church in the deep south leading his fanatic followers in his punk rock energy fueled sermons. He would be singing and yelling into an old-timey radio host style microphone or even a megaphone. The roots rock/ folk style comes from this strange almost demonic organic place, which he seems to harness perfectly. I can’t say I always drink wine while playing this record, it is mostly whiskey, but when the occasion is right there is only one choice for me, it is a Hy.Brid Pinot Noir by Peltier Station from Lodi, California. (Yes, Hy.Brid is spelled this way on the label.)

Hy.Brid Pinot Noir by Peltier Station is a fantastic find if it is available at your local wine shop. It’s too bad you can just download wine from the internet with the click of a button like you can with the music of Scott H. Biram. This Pinot Noir is also organically grown like Biram’s sound is. I really enjoy California Pinot Noirs, but I can’t say I have had that many from Lodi. The region is mostly known for its Zinfandels and other high ripening grapes. It is a warm climate region and Pinots are usually grown better in cooler climates like in coastal Sonoma county areas. For a wine that retails for about $10, it took me by surprise and had my palate hooked at first sip like the album Nothin’ but Blood. It is not a Pinot that is strictly following the standard Pinot Noir “guidelines.” This one is outside of the box, and has some grit and attitude, like a cowboy in a western who shoots a fiery smug smirk to his opponent in a duel to the death and then shoots his pistol first. I dug deeper into the wine, because I knew it wouldn’t be 100% Pinot Noir juice in the bottle. Legally to label a wine as a 100% varietal, there only needs to be 75% of that label grape in the bottle, the other 25% is allowed for other grapes to help balance wines and give the winemaker room to maneuver to achieve their desired goals. My first guess was that Hy.Brid Pinot Noir had 25% Syrah in the blend, but I was wrong, and I was surprised and really happy with what I found out. The current release is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir, 20% Petite Sirah, and 5% Viognier. It made so much sense, because it does have the attitude of Petite Sirah, exuberance of Viognier, and sensibility of Pinot Noir. It is my new favorite wine under $10, it is my dirty old one man band of a wine.

Sometimes just like people, grapes can find their strengths and character from their upbringing and their roots, through hardships, characters will emerge. Scott H. BIram has found himself in his music and with each release, the nitty gritty raw attitude has emerged as his own, and reinventing old solo blues and country styles from decades ago. I have never had a wine that has ever shown off as much nitty gritty attitude as the vinyl Nothin’ but Blood until I sipped Hy.Brid Pinot Noir by Peltier Station.

To quote Scott H. Biram, “Can I get and amen?” from the song, Been Down Too Long.