Bone to Pick


Black Bone Children Donny James and Kenneth M.

Here’s a litmus test to determine whether or not you’ll be a fan of Black Bone Child. Does the Delta blues yowl of Jimmy Page’s guitar on When the Levee Breaks rock your soul? If the answer’s yes, the music of Black Bone Child will likely smash it to smithereens. The duo is made up of Donny James and Kenneth M., a slide guitarist and bassist from Austin, Texas. Their songcraft is simple, but resounding: shuddering guitar riffs, guttural bass lines and distorted vocals that iterate unrelentingly. The banshee screech of guitar on Make Me Bleed is heart-stopping by itself, and combined with gritty, circulating rhythms creates an almost intimidating display of blues mojo. Light Up the Sky lumbers and sways, bearing down with the crunching, yowling guitars. Black Bone Child has stumbled upon something potent and primal. In the state where everything’s bigger, their music is a powerful beast.