sartainThe next artist in this series is Dan Sartain. He hails from Alabama and plays a cool line in rockabilly, mariachi, blues and punk. If you like stuff like The Cramps, The White Stripes and soundtracks to Tarantino movies, I think you will dig this guy! He may look like the bastard offspring of Steve Buscemi and McKenzie Crook, but he is the real deal.

Dan Sartain Vs. The Serpientes (2005)

dan sartain vs the serpientes

Key Track: Walk Among The Cobras Pt. 1

Sartain’s debut proper is a mix of rockabilly, punk and blues. There is a suite of three songs entitled Walk Among The Cobra’s which are pretty cool, as they are all stylistically different from each other and act as the centrepiece of the album. The album is probably a bit more varied than what came after, but I prefer the subsequent album because I heard it first. There are some other stand out tracks such as Tryin to Say and Leeches, and a definite air of The Hives being time warped back to the fifties. A good crack at a debut album.

3.5 guitars

Join Dan Sartain (2006)

join dan sartain

Key Track: Flight of the Finch

His stone wall classic in my opinion. This is the first album of Sartain’s I purchased, mainly because the front cover intrigued me. I had no idea what delights awaited me. It starts off with a bundle of energy and doesn’t relent until the fourth track, entitled Flight of The Finch, which is a glorious piece of Mariachi pop, more than suitable for a Robert Rodriguez movie. From there Sartain barely takes his foot off the gas and accelerates through the whole album at breakneck speed. There are some great punkabilly numbers as well as some cool spaghetti western type guitar parts, all adding up to a classic album that I can listen to over and over. Sure, it can be accused of sounding a bit samey, but when the songs are this cool, who cares!

4.5 guitars

Dan Sartain Lives (2010)

dan sartain lives

Key Track: Athiest Funeral

After a four year hiatus, Sartain returned with Lives. It sounds fairly reminiscent of Join Dan Sartain with that mix of rockabilly, punk, blues and spaghetti western stuff. After the last album, which is pretty much all guns blazing, I’m sure Sartain needed an extended break, and he sounds refreshed and revitalised on his third. His attitude isn’t dampened though, and he continues to rattle through the songs, of which there are numerous highlights. There isn’t really a single track you would think of skipping.

4 guitars

Too Tough To Live (2012)

too tough to live

Key Track: In Death

Dan’s last album release to date wasn’t more of the same mix of punky blues and rockabilly but a short sharp burst of Ramones style punk. Only one song clocks in over the two minute mark (and that is by mere seconds) meaning the entire album lasts for less than 20 minutes. It is a slight departure from Sartain’s previous two albums, so some fans may be put off, but it’s nice to see an artist try something different anyway and opens up different doors as to what he might try in the future.

3 guitars

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. I’m curious to know how you heard about this guy? It’s not often someone in the UK discovers a singer from Alabama whose most popular YouTube video has 26,000 views… or maybe it is more common than I realize!

    • I think I just saw the album cover (where the guy is shooting his head) in a magazine and thought it looked cool and read the review which sounded like I might like it! I like to listen to stuff outside the mainstream if I can as I find it better generally.

      • haha cool. It’s always neat to know these little stories. I remember I discovered Lily Allen (not that she’s not mainstream, at least not in the UK) because she was interviewed for a magazine and there was a picture of her blowing a huge bubble with her bubblegum, looking the opposite of contrite. And I was intrigued.

      • Is Lily Allen big in the States? It’s hard to ever know who is big where really. Like, Kings of Leon are big here in the UK even though they are American. Are they. Big there as well?

      • No, Lily Allen isn’t really that popular here. Kings of Leon are huge, though. Or at least they were a few years ago.

      • It’s funny what becomes big in different countries. Like we have loads of bands that are big in England, we had Oasis and Blur etc which I’m guessing weren’t ever as big in the States, and you have mega acts like John Mayer and Dave Matthews and Matchbox 20 who make no waves over here at all.

  2. Sartain always releases great stuff, I don’t get why he isn’t bigger.

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