A bluegrass band selling out the Brixton Academy? That’s right, but this is the Canadian acoustic four piece The Dead South, so add punk, rock and folk, all at a furious pace. It does not take long to understand why they are called, “The Mumfords’ evil twins.” Visually they exude menace and foreboding. Their stage is sparse, a porch light in front of each mic with ghostly arched windows behind. Into this setting ambled four men clad in white shirts, black braces and trousers, wide brimmed hats, looking like a bunch of hucksters walking into town, intent unknown but probably not benign. Without a word they strapped on their instruments as the mysterious ‘Act of Approach’ raised the tension. The crowd loved it when the mournful first notes of Danny Kenyon’s bass cello made way for lead singer Nate Hilts’ rasp, “My baby wants a diamond ring”. Continue reading “The Dead South, Brixton Academy, 27th February 2020”
This live performance of ‘Blue Trash’ showcases everything that’s great about The Dead South: fabulous playing; fantastic singing; foot-tapping rhythm. The band’s UK and Ireland tour starts today, 18th February, and their live shows come highly recommended. The first bluegrass band to play and sell out the O2 Academy Brixton, they have a rarely matched charismatic energy and precision. The Dead South describe themselves as: “A rock band without a drummer, a bluegrass band without a fiddler.”
Sometimes you’re forced to ponder on the number of brilliant acts slogging away on the live circuit year after year for scant reward and then there are those odd occasions when, seemingly out of nowhere, a band or artist is elevated to giddy heights without you even appearing to notice. Such is the case with The Dead South, who are about to commence a tour of the UK, including venues of the size of Brixton Academy, with two of their UK tour dates already sold out.
Continue reading “The Dead South bring ‘Sugar & Joy’ to the UK”
Black Deer Festival have announced their first names for next year’s festival and the line-up is already something of a mic drop moment, including as it does The Waterboys, Canadian folk and bluegrass ensemble The Dead South, Grammy-nominated folk duo The Milk Carton Kids, Arizona’s Courtney Marie Andrews, New York natives The Felice Brothers and the headline act of none other than Wilco, an exclusive for the South of England. Here’s the line-up poster so far: Continue reading “Black Deer 2020 announces Wilco as headliner”
It’s fair to say that The Dead South are making noises with a burgeoning reputation as a kick ass, high-energy bluegrass band. The Canadian four-piece can’t help but enhance that reputation with the release of their new album ‘Sugar & Joy’. Sometimes, when scratching around for the right words with which to articulate the feel of an album, it is in the expressions of others that the perfect descriptor come to mind. The late departed Terry Wogan, admittedly not oft quoted in these parts, had an affectionate term for music like this. This, in Tel’s own words, is “hooligan” music at its finest. Continue reading “The Dead South “Sugar & Joy” (Six Shooter Records, 2019)”