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Dirtfoot thrills Memphis, Prepares to Release New Album
July 24th, 2008 by Rachelandthecity
While it can sometimes be hard to express the music of many bands in words, there seems to be no lack of colorful adjectives to describe Shreveport, LA's Dirtfoot. From their own distinctive explanation of Gypsy Punk Country Grumble Boogie to the less over-the-top designation of jug band style folk mixed with jazzed-up Americana, they cover a wide array of musical territory. Mixing banjo, guitar, upright bass, drums, sax and percussion, with special guest appearances by everything from xylophones to pots and pans, they are a band that can grab your ear with their unique sound, but shine the brightest when they are playing live. Last weekend their current tour brought them to Otherlands in Memphis, and their entertainingly chaotic set was definitely a crowd pleaser.
As legend has it, Dirtfoot was birthed in the aftermath of a tornado, which seems not only totally believable based on where the are from but perfectly appropriate. From laid back odes to liquor and lovers, to foot-stomping sing-a-longs their sound manages to be effortlessly their own. With the abundance of musical acts on the scene these days, they are certainly a refreshing alternative. Not to mention, it is almost impossible not to at least tap your foot, but more likely jump up and dance along. It is also not surprising that their audiences are often filled with fellow musicians, as was the case in Memphis.
Led by songwriter Matt Hazelton, the sextet have cultivated a style that is soaked in traditional Cajun-tinged instrumentation while still sounding contemporary. Unfortunately, a casual examination of the group could easily result in them being lumped into the hippie-dippie jam band genre. I have to admit, the first time I caught their act that is what I expected. Admittedly, there are certainly some similarities. However, while it is often hard for me to appreciate the meandering musical improvisation of many bands, when Dirtfoot colors outside the lines, the qualities that set them apart result in the music being more enjoyable than annoying.
With two albums and an EP under their belt, the spreading of the gospel has kept them steadily touring, playing everything from pubs to coffee houses, to festivals and music halls. Last year the band was the winner of the "Play Voodoo" contest, garnering a main stage slot at Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans. Currently they are working on a new album, recording with Chris Bell at Luminous Sound in Dallas, TX. The new album will continue to capitalize on each member's individual yet complimentary styles. They are aiming for an end of summer release date. Dirtfoot's tour schedule has mostly kept them in the south and the Midwest but their route is continuing to widen as they attempt to win new fans one-by-one. In the coming year, look for the bands name on a marquee near you and don't pass up the opportunity to be impressed.
Link to original release: