Three one-man acts assemble for a one-night show

Bob Log III, Scott H. Biram and Possessed by Paul James will perform at 9 p.m. Monday at The Opolis, 315 N. Crawford St. in Norman. Tickets "  447-3416 "  are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.


Bob Log III launched himself into orbit 15 years ago and shows no signs of returning to to Earth.

On stage, the punk-blues rocker has locked up the lascivious. He prefers his scotch served neat " well, actually, "teat," encouraging consenting men and women to stir his beverage with their cleavage.

Log, who penned "Boob Scotch" in honor of the act, is unapologetic to anyone expecting a sedate, G-rated show " an act that he recently delivered to audiences in Australia and Japan.

"Those Japanese shows are wild, but the Europeans really do it up right," he said. "Someone cooks you dinner and there's always a hotel key. But you have to kick ass or they don't invite you back."

Log knows how to kick. Once part of the Delta blues-rock duo Doo Rag, he was left solo when the drummer quit in the middle of a mid-Nineties tour with Ween.

His hand is famous for working his guitar at warp speed, and he has long performed while wearing a customized motorcycle helmet with a built-in telephone microphone designed to distort his outrageous songs.

"I use double-bass kick drums, but guitar's my main thing," he said.

This year, Log said he has managed a grueling 80-city concert schedule across much of the globe. His Mississippi-roadhouse-frenzy-meets-asteroid-blues style has curious international appeal; Swedish and Italian audiences should be relieved to know that songs like "All the Rockets Go Bang" and "You Wanna What," only occasionally resemble English, and are virtually indecipherable, even to Americans. "Doug Hill

Scott H. Biram knows more than 500 songs and gives wild, tough performances like some kind of twisted, Southern-fried blues prodigy. With a talent for mutating and revering the blues, not even a head-on with a semi could keep him off the road.

Sometimes, it's the moments one hardly remembers that issue the most telling portents.

In mid-Seventies Kingsbury, Texas, noted photographer and "Shaft" director Gordon Parks was filming the dreamy (and hardly remembered) biopic "Leadbelly," profiling blues-folk musician Huddie William "Lead Belly" Ledbetter.

Biram was only a baby, but his dad was going to make sure his son witnessed the hometown filming. While he was still a young boy, the now self-proclaimed "dirty old one-man band" and his father trekked to Armadillo World Headquarters, an acclaimed venue in Austin that closed in 1980, to watch legend Doc Watson perform.

"That was a big-time influence. That's how I learned my bluegrass-style picking was listening to Doc and Bill Monroe," he said.

Biram writes about life in the sticks just about as well as anyone. Local one-man acts like Mike Hosty and El Paso Hot Button get the party started, but Biram's narrators have a frustrated philosophic bent of the wild man forever stuck behind a tractor.

His original songs are steeped in whiskey and wrecked cars, and his covers range from a foot-stomping version of "Wabash Cannonball" to Lead Belly's "Rock Island Line" and the haunting "Ella Speed." He can yodel, and with his lean solo setup and a 1959 hollow-body Gibson, Biram preserves a raw aesthetic that has even buzzed blues-loving British rock writers at Mojo magazine " a regard that earned the performer six European tours in the past two years.

"Lost Case of Being Found" could be about his flight from and return to traditional blues and bluegrass. As a teenager and regular of the San Marcos, Texas, music scene, he thrashed his way about in a punk band called The Thangs. Those days inform the steamrolling energy and distorted vocal work on his 2006 album, "Graveyard Shift."

But Biram said he is back to where he began.

"I had these roots when I was a kid,  and then I became a punk rocker," he said. "When I was coming out of that, I bought my dad a Doc Watson CD, and I listened to it first. And then it took me back to my childhood."

Gravel-voiced and blunt on record, Biram speaks softly in interviews, like a man who seems to need alone time. At home, he said he writes solitary on his front porch. In the murder ballad "Plow You Under," he has the keen eyes to write not only verses about an impending murder, but tells of little murderers-in-training, too: "Kids throwin' rocks at a blackbird on the line / I'm still down here plowin' / Tryin' to get you off my mind."

Biram has developed a sort of lore after surviving a 75-mph collision with a tractor-trailer. Just weeks after the accident, he said he played a show in Austin with Daniel Johnston, despite Johnston telling one local, "Scott Biram's been decapitated."

His oft-present trucker hat, truck-related accident and truck-driving songs have confused some fans.

"I got people coming up to me thinking I used to be a truck driver," Biram said. "(Once) these trucker guys came up to me and said, 'Oh, man, you're a truck driver?' Then I say, 'No, I'm not a truck driver. I just like truck-driving songs.'" "Danny Marroquin