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Scissormen / Press

"Their music is extraordinary: grittier than their closest counterparts the White Stripes and the Black Keys, the Scissormen also display a fluidity and connection with blues idioms that surpasses that of both these groups. …the compelling, incendiary music the Scissormen create in Big Shoes deserves attention from listeners across the board.”

"Drozdowski favors evolution over replication, and with his duo Scissormen, he offers up an idiosyncratic roar rather than a sonic museum piece. … Drozdowski’s intensity and slide guitar mastery are on full display, and interview segments reveal Drozdowski as a uniquely visceral scholar.”

"Together the two discs of Big Shoes: Walking & Talking the Blues showcase just how vital the blues can be even in the 21st Century and how rich and far-flung a well contemporary performers can draw from. No blues fans should miss this one. Few rock fans, especially lovers of guitar gods, should bypass it either. This package is something different, something special, and more than listenable—it’s revelatory as well."

““There's a lot here to digest and appreciate. It’s a tour-de-force of Drozdowski’s slide guitar playing peppered with his nonstop commentary, a potent mixture that will require you to strap in, lock down and let it go.””

"This CD/DVD set features daring but elegant fusion of old-time Delta blues with modern, occasionally jazzy and even "outside" musical elements. Throughout, Ted Drozdowski's stunning slide work pulses from subtle to electrifying with a canny sense of dynamics. The accompanying 90-minute DVD, produced and directed by Robert Mugge, combines footage from the road and live gigs with bits of blues history, and well worth the time for any blues fan."

"Inspiration — not duplication — is what makes such originals as "Tupelo" so freely modulate off into far rockier wildness. With its grimy ferocity and sheer volume, Drozdowski's slide guitar supplies all the dirt and force. Matching the drama of hi vocal delivery to the drama of 'The Devil Is Laughing' and 'Delta Train,' his talking blues typically smolder for a bit first. Then musically flare up into the bar-walking showmanship which grabs tip jars and patrons' beer cans to do its sliding atop R.L. Hulsman's cymbal hazed drumbeats."

"Even when Scissormen use well-worn blues images (“I’m on a hell-bound train,” from “Whiskey and Maryjane”), they sound bracingly fresh and vital, thanks to a sure sense of song dynamics that both keeps the eight-minutes-plus pieces from dragging and sustains the incendiary intensity of Drozdowski’s slide playing. “The blues ain’t dipped in amber,” he declares on the title song. “Gonna fill my own big shoes.” And Scissormen deliver on that promise."

"This set really captures the rawness that makes the blues great. Just open-tuned, overdriven slide guitars and drums; you’re really able feel the emotion of the music."

Andrew Miller - Nashville Music Guide

““The film traces Drozdowski and Hulsman’s tour through a handful of wintry Midwestern cities. They talk with club owners in Redkey and Indianapolis, Indiana, and elsewhere. In Cleveland, they have an insightful discussion about the blues with Terry Stewart, President and CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. And, of course, they play lots of blues that highlights Drozdowski’s savage slide work and Hulsman’s driving, no-nonsense beat on the drum kit. "Throughout the film — and even on the 15-track accompanying CD — Drozdowski always conveys an earnest missionary zeal for the music he so obviously loves. His penchant for politely educating his audiences, without being overly didactic, marks him as something more than a mere entertainer. In fact, he seems a true believer, not only in blues music as a historically relevant artifact but as a mode of communication that’s as rich and life-sustaining now as it ever was.””

"Scissormen And Robert Mugge's "Big Shoes: Walking And Talking The Blues" is an exceptional offering from all concerned to the ever growing history of the Blues and a project they should be very proud to have brought forward to the masses. Scissormen And Robert Mugge's "Big Shoes: Walking And Talking The Blues" is really as brilliant as the colors on the album cover. 5***** for sure, my highest rating, for Scissormen And Robert Mugge's "Big Shoes: Walking And Talking The Blues". Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed."

"The film is unique in that it signatures one of the few genuine touring duets I've ever seen. Drozdowski and Snow hold their own well, and I can't say as I've witnessed such a configuration since Lee Michaels and Bartholomew Smith-Frost at the Hollywood Bowl in the 70s. Had The Scissormen appeared at the Whiskey in the era, they would've met with wild enthusiasm, blowing the doors out with thundering slide, hippies (me among them) welcoming the lads with open arms, as they had John Mayall and others. The film captures what may well be the last gasp of the hallowed world of blues bars as the country gentrifies. If you're weary of yuppie watering holes and cellophane repackaged muzak, then Big Shoes is precisely the mojo ya need whether you hail from a post-punk generation already tiring of the bourgeois crap littering the airwaves or are among Baby Boomers wishing a few more trips back to the era before Madison Avenue bit into the jugular of rogue dawgz, turning them into cash cows."

“The DVD is a 90 minute feature directed by legendary Robert Mugge [Gospel According to Al Green, Saxaphone Colossus (starring Sonny Rollins), Deep Blues and New Orleans Musicians in Exile]. I loved Deep Blues and this movie is every bit as captivating but for different reasons. It captures singer, songwriter, guitar player Ted Drozdowski along with drummer R.L. Hulsman reconnecting with the early primitive blues and the life that still exists with it. This new film is captivating to watch. The cd portion is also terrific. It contains 15 tracks all of them great. Both cd and DVD capture the essence of that music genre that we love so much. The slidework all has the characteristic unpolished sound of the real delta blues (sometimes with a bit of delay). Specific tributes are made to both Hemphill and Burnside and if you know their work you know that'd be happy with it. This is a hot package of video and music and I highly recommend it.”

" The Scissormen comprise guitarist Ted Drozdowski and drummer RL Hulsman whose music is a raw and raucous, slide driven tribute to the likes of RL Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill et al – the CD laying down twelve prime examples of their amplified Hill country blues. The film directed by acclaimed music documentary filmmaker Robert Mugge is a fascinating insight into the blues duo’s life on the road including a performance at the Key Palace Theatre in Redkey, Indiana, where owner Charlie Noble puts up the artists in replica plantation shacks – and a revealing visit to the world-renowned Slippery Noodle Inn in Indianapolis. Add a visit to the blues related section of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, a slide guitar workshop and an insight into the historic Gennett Records label to the music on offer and you have a fascinating double-header."

“An Interview with slide guitarist Ted Drozdowski of Scissormen: The sounds and stories of the blues are timeless Posted by Michalis Limnios BLUES @ GREECE on March 2, 2012 at 12:30pmView Blog "The blues is profound, and come from so many places full of light and dark." Ted Drozdowski: Dharma Blues Bum”

"In the lyrics of the title track “Big Shoes,” Drozdowski objects to keeping the blues alive by simply repeating the classics: “There’s ten-thousand different bands trying to play the same damn song.” With this in mind, the Scissormen use Big Shoes not only to pay tribute to the past, but also to showcase their own original style. As Drozdowski sings, “The blues ain’t dipped in amber. Gotta fill my own big shoes.” It’s his mission - a noble one – and Big Shoes invites you to share in it."

Sheila Skilling - Blues Blast

“MIDWEST RECORD – CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 29, 2012 VIZZ TONE SCISSORMEN - BIG SHOES-Walking and Talking the Blues Ya like the blues? This package will burn your retinas. Packaging music and a documentary about the real blues with the music provided by Scissormen, a bar band in love with the blues, you get sights and sounds that take you someplace else entirely. A Robert Mugge documentary, there’s just nothing here to be faulted or dissected as everyone put out 120% to drive this experience over the top. If this entire package doesn’t hypnotize you, I just don’t what blues you are talking about if you say you like them. Amazing! – Chris Spector ”

Chris Spector - Midwest Record

“Big Shoes: Walking and Talking the Blues, the new 90-minute documentary by famed music filmmaker Robert Mugge, and an accompanying live CD produced by slide guitar master Ted Drozdowski, will be released as a special 2-disc CD/DVD set March 20 on VizzTone Records. The film and the CD both spotlight Drozdowski’s Nashville-based band Scissormen, and as a prelude to this joint release, the band will perform a special showcase on February 2 at B.B. King’s in Memphis during the International Blues Challenge competition. Big Shoes was produced during Scissormen’s tour of the Midwest in February 2010 and is part road movie, part concert film, part history lesson, and part state-of-the-genre report. The film’s central performance was shot and recorded at the Key Palace Theater in Redkey, Indiana.”

"The Scissormen are an unusual blues band -- just a guitarist and a drummer -- sort of like some very early blues bands. And they have an unusual, but very good, new album -- a CD recorded live, and a DVD documentary. Their music is the music of the North Mississippi hill country, filtered through their own ears and blues senibilities. It's a thick, hypnotic sound, laid heavily on here by just guitar and percussion, and it works just fine. Much of the music is original, and the SM lean on inspiration by Mississippi Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill and the like. But there's also inspiration from the world of rock, expecially the higher-energy kind, and the blend here is higher octane than most blues, as in "Whiskey and Maryjane." There are tribute songs to Hemphill, McDowell and Burnside. Drozdowski, a former music writer, makes his case for advancing the music of the blues, and taking it beyond where he found it. Meanwhile, he makes darnn good music."

“ The group's forthcoming release, "Big Shoes: Walking and Talking the Blues," wastes no time in getting down to business. The core of Scissormen, Ted Drozdowski and Matt Snow, turn in a CD of live musical performances recorded in Red Key, Ind., last February. That audio CD is coupled with a DVD documentary, which is part road movie, part concert film and part blues history lesson. The music will appeal to those who enjoy plugged-in, wonderfully distorted electric guitar blues with the occasional touch of psychedelia. Drozdowski's voice is solid and reminiscent of that of the late Mark Sandman of Morphine. And songs run through the usual popular blues subjects: women, whiskey, the devil and trains. But the music here is anything but typical. The documentary bucks the trend of albums that include such extras, and actually ends up being interesting. Scissormen's live show is apparently not to be missed. ”

““Cutting edge juke joint blues!””