The Whiskey Shambles
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The Whiskey Shambles

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Blues




"Awards, Nominations, Showcases"

- Quarterfinalist at the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis
- Winner of the 2014 Northeast Ohio Blues Challenge

- Headlining 2016 Bockfest Cincinnati
- Headlined the 2015 Millennium Music Conference
- Invited to showcase at the 2015 Singer-Songwriters of Cape May conference
- Selected for stand-by for the 2015 NXNE Conference

- Winner: 2015 & 2016 Cincinnati Entertainment Award - Best Blues Act
- Nominated: 2016 Cincinnati Entertainment Award - Best Live Act
- Nominated: 2014 Cincinnati Entertainment Award - Best Blues Act
- Nominated: 2014 & 2015 & 2016 Best of Cincinnati, CityBeat - Best Original Band
- Winner: 2011 Cincinnati Entertainment Award - Best Blues Act
(for The Shambles' Brother James) - IBC 2015, NXNE 2015, MMC 2015, SS Cape May 2015, CEAs 2016/2015/2014, CityBeat 2016/2015/2014, NEOBA Challenge 2014

"Shamble On"

"While Loose Change exudes a contemporary vibe, the album bears the diverse hallmarks of the best ‘70s Blues Rock albums. Like Led Zeppelin, Cream and Free before them, The Whiskey Shambles channels first generation Blues subsets like Delta, Piedmont and Hill Country, combined with the members’ unique individual experiences to conjure an edgy, atmospheric vision of 21st century Blues." - CityBeat

"The Darkest Dirtiest Gritty Garage Band in Town"

"Whiskey Shambles has everything I’m looking for in a new original band (of their genre). It’s raw, talent laden, dirty and dark, savage yet smoothly aggressive.
Often listening to an original band means suffering through many so-so songs to find the diamonds in the rough. With Whiskey Shambles, every tune is interesting, compelling and addicting all at the same time. It was a packed house in the graffiti covered Junkers Tavern in Northside. Under a full moon on an oddly dark Sunday night, I watched Whiskey Shambles thrill the crowd. Stuffed in a dank corner, under no lights other than the amber jukebox display, they tore through their songs, thoroughly saturating the night air (inside and out) with their rowdy roadhouse raunch. Some songs are pure power plays, others are melodic and trance like. All are on the dark side. They keep you keep hangin’ on the edge of the seat in anticipation. After each song I could only wonder “What the hell are they gonna do next?” They keep challenging your perception of just who this band is with each passing tune. It got darker and deeper as the midnight cast it’s shadow over the block. Standing outside, I could hear the band clearly. Few souls were in sight but the music took on a new dimension, providing a virtual soundtrack to the neglected neighborhood, echoes bounced off ancient peeling walls and cracked concrete. Chilling vibes on this hot midnight sidewalk. Standing under the street lights, listening intently, it all felt wonderfully illicit.
The basis for all the viciousness and vigor is the stripped down, raw sound of the instruments. These guys keep the gear to a minimum and the electronics almost totally out of the picture. Only the savage sounding six string is darkly distorted. The vocals, bass and drums are running pure and clean. The only other distortion comes naturally as singer/guitarist Nathan Singer screams his heat seeking lyrics into the stained and strained mic. It all comes together as a mean clean sound that effects would only diminish and mask the genuine-ness of it all. This is what the term “garage band” means to me. To some “Garage Band” may be taken as an insult. To Whiskey Shambles it’s a philosophy. They’re not following a popular genre, and they refuse to play anything other than their own brand of “blues metal madness”. In my mind, they’re in a genre of their own.
In the winter of 2012, Nathan Singer (Vocals, Guitar, 8-String Bass), Aaron Tyree (Drums) and Brother James (Bass) formed Whiskey Shambles. The trio adds sexy singer Latonya Foster on back up vocals in both many live shows and studio recordings. Foster’s sweet clear and clean vocals add a sharp and often eerie contrast to the stark liquor spittin’ lyrics Singer spews out. Drummer Tyree looks like he’s not trying hard, or even hardly trying, but in reality he’s tappin’, tickling and thumpin’ the beat that fuels the beast. He’s a laid back pro, all beat, no show. Bassist Brother James doesn’t just bum the beat along, he drives it. Right off you’ll notice he often plays the bass like a lead guitar. Stretched four finger bottom neck cords bring out tones not associated with hum drum two finger bass players. He’s not so hung up on technique to marvelously repeat a simple tribal rhythm either. Together, these guys create a motley brew of music that meshes blues and metal, wrapped in a dark cloak, shades of the macabre.
Take their cute little diddy “Knoxville Girl”. A self described “Appalachian Murder Song”. It sounds like a modern version of some timeless turn of the century tune, but in fact it’s a deeply dark murder story about a man who kills a girl for no reason whatsoever. They rock you down and dirty with tracks like “In My Soul, Under My Skin” and “Leave Her Alone”, then unexpectedly turn around and soothe you with “Shoot the lights Out.” All three of those tunes are on their site and they are releasing one each week until their CD (Loose Change for a Broken Man) release in August at The Drinkery.
I say be there. Check it out online, send them a shout and start diggin deep into the mysterious music of Whiskey Shambles. Venues looking for a new down and dirty band that breaks the molds, these guys are worth a book." - CincyVibe

"Whiskey Shambles’ cover of blues classic will haunt your dark thoughts"

"In December, Cincinnati-based 'Garage Rock/Basement Blues' quartet, The Whiskey Shambles, released their latest song to the Interwebs… 'Mother Earth.' Originally written and made famous by Memphis Slim in 1951 as a plinky, slow, twelve-bar blues piano number with a down-tempo feel and solemn lyrics, The Shambles have taken the unusual descending chromatic and replicated it with a slide guitar riff, played on a fuzzed-out and overdriven acoustic(!). Shambles’ bassist Brother James plays an adaptation of Slim’s left hand on his five-string bass — also slightly overdriven and gritty — which adds a deep tone to the entire piece, and helps underscore Aaron Tyree’s steadily growing and increasingly manic drum part. The result adds a heavy and somewhat psychedelic rock feel to a song that always had weighty lyrics, but only mildly dark instrumentation in its original and most-well known recordings.
Staying true to the haunting harmonies, the group gives particular focus to the background vocals, including several layers of their female vocalist, LaTanya Foster — a classically trained opera performer — and a strong baritone foundation from their frontman, Nathan Singer. Singer’s soulful rendition of the lead is both a somber and biting reminder of our mortality. Between the heavier instrument arrangement and the dark supporting vocals that stay true to the original, yet enhance the impact of the part, the piece breathes new life into one of Slim’s best-known songs.
Though the version currently on the web is listed as a 'pre-master' track, I’m told the final iteration will be released soon. 'Mother Earth,' along with other blues classics from Blind Willie Johnson and The Louvin Brothers, and six original songs will appear on their upcoming CD, 'Loose Change for a Broken Man,' intended to be released in February 2014.
Visit their website to listen to Mother Earth and several other songs from the new album, and find out more about this exciting new group. If you like what you hear, they’re up for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award in the Blues category, so be sure to give them a vote, and definitely check out one of their live shows soon — which I hear are something to behold." - CincyGroove

"Cincy's Whiskey Shambles Rock for a Fallen Friend"

"Cincinnati rockers The Whiskey Shambles are bluesy, raw, intense, and ominous." - Youngstown Vindicator

"Blind Willie McTell meets Exile on Main St. meets Howlin' Wolf"

"Medicine Eyes (part 1): Wow! Where have YOU been all my life, Whiskey Shambles? Blind Willie McTell meets Exile on Main St. meets Howlin' Wolf. LOVE IT! ...and... Holy cow! Mother Earth sounds like a nasty gumbo of Memphis Slim, Hound Dog Taylor, Elmore James, and maybe even a TINY bit of Moby Grape." - Aaron Levin, The Heaters

"In With the New"

"When The Whiskey Shambles (who’d earlier won the Blues CEA) were performing their diverse spin on Blues/Rock, a guy next to me said, 'They’re good, but they’re not Blues.' While it’s true if perhaps based on an inflexible dictionary definition, the Shambles are impressive because they don’t adhere strictly to the antique Blues blueprint, which is just the kind of act the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards loves to honor and celebrate." - CityBeat

"The Whiskey Shambles Release Loose Change for a Broken Man"

"Hard-driving, whiskey-reeling, dirty, and raunchy blues rock." - CincyMusic

"Best CD of the Trimester"

"Best CD: This is a magnificent album of modern hill country blues, in the steps of the one and only Screaming Jay Hawkins; a music that will give real pleasure to the bold and audacious — and the people who, like me, long for a rejuvenation of the blues!" - Blues & Co. Magazine (France)

"Tarantino Soundtrack"

"The Shambles sound like the soundtrack for a Quentin Tarantino movie that hasn't been made yet." - Cincinnati Creative

"Judges' Remarks"

"You guys hit hard! No one else is doing what you do." "I like the re-arrangements and the uncommon instrumentation/presentation. Thanks. Refreshing!" "Truly a fresh take on the blues - I appreciate the originality - hope you succeed." - Northeast Ohio Blues Challenge

"Ghosts of the Delta"

"It was like listening to the darkest Black Keys or Junior Kimbrough songs, played through a drunken stupor in an abandoned church, on a cold moor. While listening to one of their murder ballads, I started to think the church was haunted and the spirits pissed. Or I mixed up acid with my Prozac again." - subpopular (music blog)


December 2012 - "ONE LAST BLAST: Live at the Mad Frog" Live EP

September 2014 - "Stumbling Toward Beale Street" Live EP

November 2014 - "Loose Change for a Broken Man" LP



Hollering tales of murder, betrayal, debauchery, and long, dark Saturday nights of the soul. Stripped raw, bruised, and cracking a bloody, split-lip grin, The Shambles deliver a loud, belligerent style of demonic hill-stomp blues that almost . . . but not quite . . . betrays an air of subtle sophistication lingering just around the edges. "Rough garage rock and dirty basement blues that kicks you right in the gut bucket." Whatever you call it, The Whiskey Shambles sure enough get asses shakin and heads rockin -- and that ain't no half-steppin! This is the hard part, nephew. Whooooo well well.

For the last few years, The Whiskey Shambles have been working their way through the dive bars and juke joints of the Midwest and Rustbelt, with regular trips to more exotic locales. They've moved on to larger venues, festivals, and events, earning many showcase and sub-headliner roles.

The Shambles won the 2014 Northeast Ohio Blues Challenge, and represented Northeast Ohio at the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The band headlined two showcases at the 2015 Millennium Music Conference near Philadelphia, and were invited to showcase at the 2015 Singer-Songwriter of Cape May conference in southern New Jersey, and the 2015 NXNE conference in Toronto.

In addition to winning the 2016 & 2015 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Blues Act (for which they were also nominated in 2014), they were also nominated for Best Live Act in 2016, as well as CityBeat magazine’s Best of Cincinnati (Best Original Band) in 2016, 2015, & 2014, and several of their song releases have earned critical acclaim.

In 2012 The Whiskey Shambles released the EP, “Live at Mad Frog.” September 2014 saw the release of a second live EP, “Stumbling Toward Beale Street.” Their first LP “Loose Change for a Broken Man” was released in November, shortly thereafter was named #23 on WNKU's Top 89 Albums of 2014, and is getting regular airplay on college and AAA radio stations. The Shambles are already working on their second full-length album, with plans to release it in spring of 2016.

Band Members