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AMERIKAN MAGICK: The Stevenson Ranch Davidians celebrate the state of Amerika with new LP.

Photo Courtesy of Stevenson Ranch Davidians
Stevenson Ranch Davidians
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LOS ANGELES, California — For the past few years, Dwayne Seagraves has spent most of his time in his garden, living sustainably off the land. He believes it’s a form of “individual empowerment” that many people should try their hand at “just in case.”

And it’s that “just in case” that inspired him to get his band the Stevenson Ranch Davidians back together to release their first album since 2009, the hot-off-the-press Amerikana. Keeping with their psychedelic roots-based sound and anti-authoritarian attitude, Seagraves said that the album, even though it was started before the last election, has certainly become “informed” by it and recent happenings.

The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, "Amerikana" LP 

“The spelling of Amerikana with a K is kind of a throwback to the Soviet Union, and their totalitarian regime; I think a lot of people take a look at America now, even across the world, and what’s occurring here, especially with the more government involvement and intrusion into people’s lives,” Seagraves said. “That’s basically the concept, it informed the album lyrically and musically it’s just roots-based Americana music with a lot of gospel and blues in there.”

Writing most of the songs for Amerikana within “a week or two,” Seagraves said that most of the lyrics are inspired by the “trajectory of things” he’s noticed in our country and our culture over the past decade, from politics to the way we treat each other. It’s cumulated in a thought-provoking album that he’s pretty sure will “affect everybody differently.”

“I just want people to feel encouraged and empowered on an individual level because I feel that’s how anything in the world that’s good and true has gotten done,” Seagraves said. “These individuals decide to voluntarily come together; they can create a new society and civilization. All of the greatest art comes from individuals, it doesn’t come from governments, it doesn’t come from the top down. It embodies the bottom, it’s the grassroots stuff.”

That “grassroots stuff” is definitely on full display in Amerikana, hitting record stores on June 9th. The first single “Wack Magick”—a tune about the use of mysticism as a tool for social control—has music critics already comparing the Davidians to the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Kurt Vile, offering listeners glimmers of hope in a stale indie music scene.

“I view the record and every song on it as a celebration of the human spirit as well as a condemnation of those who seek to destroy it,” Seagraves added. “I think people are already coming together and they have been for a while…you’re not hearing about that in the mainstream media. They’re not reporting on all the good things regular people are doing, organizing voluntarily. It has always been there, and it’s definitely a minority, but you don’t need t a majority to change the course of things.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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