They wear white shirts and black suspenders, black pants and travellers’ hats. They sing about murderous, estranged spouses and runaway lover cousins in a boot-stomping acoustic configuration that includes banjo, mandolin, cello and guitar, some whistles, hoots and hollerin’, and finger snappin’. Sometimes their fans dress up like them too and dance and sing the night away – but that’s not mandatory. The Dead South — Nate Hilt (lead vocals, guitar), Scott Pringle (mandolin, vocals), Colton Crawford (banjo) and Danny Kenyon (cello) — are fun, modern hillbillies from Regina, Saskatchewan (that’s in Canada btw), who can make you forget your troubles and even what century you’re in.
Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We are a couple of fellas from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and since 2012 we have been recording, touring around Canada, the US, The UK, parts of mainland Europe and breaking strings for a living. We have been very fortunate with what we have accomplished in the 4 years that we have been a band.
How would you describe your music?
Our sound is a type of dirty bluegrass blended with elements of folk, punk, rock and classical. With some mean boot stomps, of course.
Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
Our influences come from an array of places. We take influence from Old Crow Medicine Show, The Devil Makes Three, Trampled By Turtles, Earl Scruggs, System of a Down, etc.
What are you currently promoting?
We are currently promoting our new album “Illusion & Doubt”.
Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
We have many songs that we are proud of; one that defines us would be “In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company” from our album “Good Company”. We are still getting the feeling for the new album.
What are you currently listening to?
Currently, I am sitting here listening to Andy Shauf’s album “The Bearer of Bad News” while I type this.
And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
“Bat out of Hell” Meat Loaf
What are your hopes for your future career?
Hopes for the future are to continue what we are doing while being able to pay the bills and keep the family happy.
If money were no object what would be your dream project?
Dream project would be to have a nice shop in the back where one could work on various projects like forging, have a place to build guitars and have an area for other artists to come in and work on anything they want.
What’s the best thing about being a musician?
The best thing about being a musician is being able to travel around the world seeing amazing places and meeting fantastic people.
And the worst?
Lack of sleep and exhaustion.
Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
We hope you folks enjoy the music and hopefully we will see you down the road.