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Exclusive Premiere: Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen, ‘Beggin’ Jesus’

The Scissormen
Bill Steber

Somewhere in the woods near a small town you’ve never heard of in Tennessee, Ted Drozdowski made his new album, Love & Life, with his Scissormen duo. A self-described “acid trip in a time machine,” the record — out on July 31 via Dolly Sez Woof — showcases Drozdowski’s staggering guitar skills and relentless desire to create music that will stand the test of time. Today (April 20), Diffuser is beyond thrilled to debut Love & Life‘s blues-soaked opening track, “Beggin’ Jesus” — take it for a spin in the audio player below.

Drozdowski has a bit of a fabled history, having studied at the feet of R.L. Burnside and being personally influenced by the likes of Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill. Beyond that tutelage, he was a driving force in the bands Vision Thing, Bloodblister and Devil Gods.

“I came up with the riff for ‘Beggin’ Jesus’ when I was on a steady diet of Howling’ Wolf, and then all three verses popped into my brain at once,” Drozdowski tells us. “That isn’t surprising, because I’ve been obsessed with the conflict between good and evil that goes on inside people for as long as I can remember. Probably since I saw The Wolf Man as a kid, where the gypsy tells Larry Talbot, the guy who turns into a wolf, that ‘Even a man who is pure at heart / And says his prayers by night / Will become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms / And the moon is shining bright.’”

He goes on, “But the guy in this song is just a petty crook and a schnook. And, like all of us, he’s got his regrets. I’m happy making fun of all that stuff.”

As for the overall vibe of “Beggin’ Jesus,” Drozdowski says he “wanted to answer the question, ‘What if Led Zeppelin were born in Arkansas?’ Cranking up my Les Paul in a tent on a mountaintop in the middle of the Tennessee woods helped me get there, and Paul Brown’s keyboards were the icing on the big-ass cupcake.”

Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen have a handful of live gigs scheduled for the spring and summer; you can grab their full itinerary — along with details about Love & Life — at their official website.

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