Thanks Uncut, For The Deadstring Brothers, Shaky Hands
In the Uncut Magazine that serves up heaping platters of remembrance and enigmatic quotes from The Glimmer Twins about the upcoming archaeological exhibit from Exile On Main Street, they include their wonderful monthly gift of a free CD, this time comprising bands that sound like they’ve spent as much time listening to the Stones as the gang at Tulip Frenzy. Now, some of the usual suspects are present — components of the Drive-By Truckers, Dan Baird — and yet there are some notable omissions — how can you have a compilation of Stones soundalikes without anything by Izzy Stradlin and the Ju-Ju Hounds? There are also a number of bands/artists featured that we’d either never heard of or never taken the plunge for, e.g. Deer Tick, Israel Nash Gripka. However, there are two stand-outs so worthy of breaking out of the pack that we choose to feature them here:
The Deadstring Brothers
The Michigan-based Deadstring Brothers are showcased with a song called “Houston” from their 2009 album Sao Paolo, and as an intro, it’s a pretty good reminder that in the early ’70s, the Stones were as much an influence on Southern Rock as on the culture at large. I mean, “Houston” could as easily be featured on a Lynyrd Skynyrd homage. However, the title track sounds like what might have happened if Oscar-award winner Ryan Bingham had stumbled onto the set of Performance, as it has almost perfect Ry Cooder-Keef jamming chops underneath a scratchy-voiced, hair-chested vocal. And the whole album stakes out that region between Dallas, Texas and the Butter Queen and Mick’s estate with the Rolling Stones Mobile Truck parked out front to record Sticky Fingers. Maybe throw in Big Pink in Woodstock for a full sense of the geography they cover. What a revelation these guys are! Nicky Hopkins has clearly come back from the dead to play the piano pieces, and is that Merry Clayton and Kathi McDonald on the backup vocals? Sao Paolo should have been on everyone’s Top Ten list from 2009, and here’s the good news: these guys are prolific, and promise more stuff in 2010.
The Shaky Hands
This Portland, Oregon combo come out of a different Stones tradition, and interestingly enough given their rainy surroundings, it’s not the one where they’re woodshedding in Redlands with John Phillips and Marianne Faithful’s Milky Way bar. On their 2009 release Let It Die, The Shaky Hands prove they come more out of the pop-anthemic “Start Me Up” school of Stones classicism. Remember how great that first Kings Of Leon album sounded? You’ll love these guys: tight and twisted three-chord rockers with throbbing beats and a lead guitarist who probably thinks Steve Cropper’s guitar solos had too many notes in ‘em.
Thank you Uncut for turning us on to these two bands in particular.