These guys are rolling in from Saskatchewan, Canada. Reminiscent of the movie Slapshot, a hockey film from the 90’s, where they have trouble reading where the player was from “if I can read the card here Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.” This quartet is done up and plays all kinds of tunes: kinda of a mix of Folklore, Western, Bluegrass, alternative Country, with influences from all over. They are coming to Forum Karlín to do a second show this year on the 28th of November.
The band is a bit of a wonder. Looking up the tour on their webpages, tickets are still available in Saskatoon, the largest city in Saskatchewan, next week. But many dates, including Prague April 4th, all over Scandinavia etc are already sold out! So if you wanna a chance to go, you can buy your tickets here and now: https://coloursselection.cz/en/shows/the-dead-south-2/
Now these fellas are bearded up, hatted up, and look like a quartet of cowboys off to a year-end celebration after a good year with the grain. The energy in the music is amazing and is purely guitar, cello, banjo, kick-drum and mandolin rolling into vocals and harmonies.
Now we present the write up from the UK Press release in March 2018 when they released their album “Illusion & Doubt“ before they started selling out venues in Europe:
The first album really was a promise that is now fulfilled with the new release titled “Illusion & Doubt”. No doubt the four piece from the prairies has matured, not only because the banjo is now being played by a lady. Harmony changes as well as excellent and virtuosic instrumental parts have been added to their incredible energetic, passionate and sometimes surprisingly catchy melodies. But Hilts and company are far from being tame: “We are definitely closer to the Pogues than to Alison Krauss. Unfortunately, we do not possess much of the delicate elegance so we try and bring more energy and entertainment to our side. You could say we are a mix of Nu-folk with a few different styles mixed in between. We tend to add elements of classical, punk, rock, alternative, bluegrass, folk and everything in between.”
What is sometimes hard to describe, is often better to simply listened to. The opener‚ ‘Boots’, starts like a grizzly on ecstasy. After a short quiet prelude, the boots really start to want to dance. Lighted by banjo and guitar and grounded by a stoic cello, Hilts tells a more free-spirited love story: rough, sincere and honest.
With the following track ‘Every Man Needs a Chew’ – the first song the band has ever written – they speed up with the impulsive tact, a squeaky fiddle and some Gypsy Swing components. There is proof of a second great lead singer from Scott Pringle in ‘Dead Man’s Isle’, – a drinking song with a great chorus and bizarre lyrics – a drunken guy expects his dog who is obviously sober to give him a ride home. If that doesn’t remind you of The Pogues, then maybe “One–Armed Man’, another tipsy party hymn, will.
They really feel good in an up-tempo environment, but they can do slower and subtle as well, as you can hear with ‘The Good Lord’: “This our version of a classic country tune. It is about a husband and wife separated by war. The wife waits pregnant at home wondering if the child will ever meet his father, while the father at war wonders the same thing,” says Hilts to this harmonically accommodating, but lyrically vexing song.
That’s how they like it, and another good example is ‘Miss Mary’: “The album’s title is taken from a line in this song. In classic Dead South fashion, a woman takes too many pills and murders her husband, before she comes to and realizes what she’s done” describes Hilts, as their type of humor. The same darkness can be found in the Western-Style of ‘Massacre Of El Kuroke’ and the gloriously nostalgic 8 minute “Spaghetti Western Ballad”, ‘Gunslinger’s Glory’.