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The Spicewood Seven: Kakistocracy

[cover art

2006 country-rock "protest album" from Austin, TX, veteran Tommy Spurlock and friends. Garth Hudson performs the short piece "Garth's Dox" on a Nashville church organ, inspired by "Doxology," a 1709 work of the English bishop Thomas Ken.

Although it sounds like a frat-boy joke playing off the earthier associations of the Greek word "kakistos," or "the worst," Kakistocracy is an actual word, meaning "government by the incompetent and corrupt." Boy, what an on-the-nose title for an album released by an American band in 2006, huh? A deadly serious rebuke to the second Bush Administration and all of the incompetence and corruption associated therewith, Kakistocracy makes Steve Earle look like a milquetoast. Led by lyricist Luke Powers and multi-instrumentalist Tommy Spurlock (a longtime stalwart of the Austin music scene who's recorded with everyone from George Jones to Shania Twain), the Spicewood Seven include guest shots from a variety of names both well-known (Garth Hudson of the Band adds organ) and not, including a wide variety of guest singers. The songs aren't all directly related to the Iraq War and other examples of government malfeasance; songs like "Crystal Time" (a raving first-person account of the scourge of methamphetamine on rural America) and "Chinese Murder Mystery" are less accusatory, but amplify and deepen the anger and sorrow at the album's heart. Kakistocracy is by no means an easy listen, and just the sight of it will make the average Fox News viewer's head explode, but for all of those who have been complaining that there's no protest music coming in response to this war like there was to Vietnam...well, here it is.
--Stewart Mason, All-Music Guide


  1. Mercury's In Retrograde
  2. Iraqi Soldier Blues
  3. Crawford, Texas
  4. Poor Boy
  5. Easy Answers
  6. Going Down The Road To Bagdad
  7. 21 Guns (For Cindy Sheehan)
  8. Mr. President
  9. Crystal Time
  10. Garth's Dox MPEG-3 file (601K)
  11. Dying Planet
  12. Chinese Murder Mystery
  13. 400 Years
  14. Trumpets Goin' Round
  15. Halfmast
  16. America, What's Happened To You
  17. Prayer For The Living And The Dead

The Spicewood Seven - Kakistocracy - 2006 - Austin Records

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