Most bands from The Motor City tend to be greasy rock bands (Iggy Pop, The White Stripes) or slick soul outfits (Motown). But imagine if the Rolling Stones had made Exile On Main Street, then decided to stick with that brand of country rock. Got that in your head? Ok, now you have a pretty good idea what Detroit’s Deadstring Brothers is all about.
Singer and guitar player Kurt Marschke started assembling Deadstring Brothers in late 2001. He had been performing solo but wanted to flesh out his songs. They released their eponymous debut album in 2003 and went out on tour to support it. Along the way they got to open for Drive-By Truckers, Cat Power, and My Morning Jacket, and grew a devoted fan base.
The strength of that fan base led to the band getting signed by Bloodshot Records. Bloodshot released their second album, Starving Winter Report in 2005. The album included a cover of The Band’s “Get Up Jake” that managed to improve on the original.
The band released their latest album, Silver Mountain, on October 9th. The album features Marschke and his female counterpart Masha Marjieh trading vocal duties. Lineup changes have lead to a British invasion in the band, recalling Jimi Hendrix’s English rhythm section. Overall Silver Mountain acts as a reminder that what was good in 1968 is still good now.
Deadstring Brothers - You Look Like The Devil
This song really shows off the band’s country chops, with honky tonk piano and pedal steel guitars accompanying lyrics like “You look like the devil when you’re crying”. Great barroom music.
Deadstring Brothers - Rollin Blues
“Rollin’ Blues” is pretty much a straight Delta blues song. It could have been recorded in the 1930’s. Blues harp, dobro, liberal use of the high hat, and soulful lyrics add up to a damn fine blues tune.
Official video for “Meet Me Down at Heavy Load”:
“Ain’t No Hiding Love”, live: