Black-Eyed Snakes

Black-Eyed Snakes is an American blues rock band from Duluth, Minnesota. Since releasing their debut album “It’s the Black-eyed Snakes” in 2001, the band has toured the U.S. with Charlie Parr. Front man Alan Sparhawk also performs with Low and Retribution Gospel Choir.

The Black-eyed Snakes often perform at the Homegrown Music Festival in Duluth, Minnesota. Black-eyed Snakes was selected by City Pages as the Best New Band of 2001. Their attitude towards the blues is summed up by Sparhawk: “We actually hate most blues. We were trying to destroy it. We’re interested in putting the blues back into a gut level — instead of talent, we go with feeling more.

Sparhawk formed the Black-eyed Snakes in 2000 with Bob Olson on guitar and Brad Nelson on drums. The following year the outfit was named Minnesota’s Best New Band by Minneapolis’ City Pages. “In his beat-thwacking, voice-distorting, primal blooze threesome,” wrote Peter Scholtes about the award, “he has something to tell us, and it goes a little something like this: ‘People, have you heard of a better day?’ … ‘That’s called hope.’ … Black Eyed Snakes fans seem caught up in that old Minnesota yearning for a Southern blur of intemperance and contrition, Saturday night and Sunday morning rolled into one.”

After supporting the band’s first two releases, It’s The Black-eyed Snakes and Rise Up! with national and European tours, and sharing stages with The Jayhawks, Wilco, The Mars Volta and many others, the band slowed down to a crawl. But in the past 18 months, The Black-eyed Snakes have emerged from the mud—performing more and writing new material. They’ve recorded with Charlie Parr. They performed at the 2011 Midwest Music Fest and the 2012 Duluth Dylan Fest “Blood On the Tracks Express,” a rolling music festival on a train. The Black-eyed Snakes were shut down before the train reached it’s final stop though—the conductor seemed sure the crowd’s dancing was about to derail the train.


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