David Serby says of his latest release, “My original idea was not to put any artwork on the album at all. It was just going to say David Serby and the Latest Scam, and that was it. It was going to be like the White Album.”
The allusion to the Beatles’ self-titled 1968 two-LP set is no joke, for Serby – best known to Los Angeles audiences for his storming honky tonk country records – has made…a rock ‘n’ roll album.
The surprising, exhilarating two-CD collection David Serby and the Latest Scam comprises 20 new original Serby songs. Produced by the musician’s longtime collaborator Ed Tree at his Treehouse Studios in San Gabriel, California, it features Serby’s working band the Latest Scam: lead guitarist Tree, bassist Gregory Boaz, and drummer Dale Daniel. Serby contributes lead and background vocals and, for the first time, electric rhythm guitar.
Serby’s latest release represents a sharp left turn from the music that has acquired a loyal following among L.A.’s alternative country fans. His first three albums – I Just Don’t Go Home (2006), Another Sleepless Night (2007) and Honky Tonk and Vine – flexed a brawling honky tonk sound in the grand West Coast manner. His most recent album, 2011’s Poor Man’s Poem, was a dark, acoustic-based folk cycle that still cleaved to Serby’s California-bred country roots.
David Serby and the Latest Scam is a a sprawling rock ‘n’ roll opus whose songs contain all the virtues of Serby’s previous work – literacy, energy, soul, and emotional impact. But, by returning to a different but equally valid set of musical roots and letting it rip, Serby has broken exciting new ground in a career that gets more interesting with each release. As he tells it, this rich new development came about almost naturally:
“When I was writing Poor Man’s Poem, I thought about it a lot. One of the things I didn’t want to do with this record was think. I didn’t go back and rework lyrics. I said, ‘That’s what it is, and I’m just going to have a ball. I’m gonna have fun, I’m going to make a rock record, I’m gonna get some guys I love to play with, and I’m gonna play some great shows.’”
Closely follow the instructions on the package – “PLAY LOUD” – and see David Serby and the Latest Scam when they rock through your town.