This article bears the two sided coin of being a music website. You get to hear albums like these before everyone else, the good side is I get to announce the new album right now for 2022…the bad news is those albums are all covers. Now for many other bands that is an ugly truth but not with The Dead South.
Once you hear their take on the songs off both albums, you will find a dark, poignant and gothic direction of some of old classic songs like the 1969 classic “People Are Strange” by the Doors. As well as classic folk songs the likes of “You Are My Sunshine” which is a public domain song pretty much.
What makes me so elated concerning these two album full of covers? Well, allow me to elaborate on one thing that makes this album so good…for the first time ever all four members of the band take turns with the lead vocals on this album here! Banjoist Colton “Crawdaddy” Crawford makes his vocal debut on a Ween cover called “Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain”.
The source material for the EP two-pack sees The Dead South trace very different musical lineages: one a beloved folk songbook and the other a set of volatile modern outsider anthems. Always playing against type, The Dead South flip traditional bluegrass and hard rock conventions upside down, drawing out an ominous, lurking unease in the bright innocence of Bristol Sessions-era sound, and pulling moments of absurdity from the hardcore bluster.
Part I includes the Sun belt-meets-black belt take on “You Are My Sunshine,” in which The Dead South dig below the surface layer lullaby to levels of deep desperation. In a minor key, “Keep On The Sunny Side,” changes from sweet to sinister. “Matterhorn,” a gallant adventure tale that sees four friends set off to climb a mountain, also works on the level of The Dead South’s origin story. “It’s closer here to heaven than it is back to the ground,” goes the song, now also a fitting encapsulation of the band’s feelings of anxiety and exhilaration about returning to life on the road.
Part II is inspired by the band’s own pre-show playlist, and will include songs by System of a Down, The Doors, Cold War Kids and The Misfits. Easy Listening for Jerks are the first releases that see all four members taking lead vocal turns.
Rich with quality finger picking and replete with harmonies, Easy Listening for Jerks offers many new moods of songs we think we know so well. Under a title that recalls the songwriting humour of Roger Miller and Steve Martin’s comedy stylings alike, the EPs offer a surprising and compelling mix of gravity and levity. From Earl Scruggs to Serj Tankian, the two parts of Easy Listening for Jerks find surprising common ground between traditional bluegrass and hard rock in the selection of songs of alienation, misanthropy and adversity. Foggy Mountain Boys, but make it Beetlejuice.
Hey folks! We just released our new single “You Are My Sunshine” from our upcoming EP Easy Listening For Jerks, Pt. I. Everything’s better in a minor key, so we broke down the cheery childhood lullaby and uncovered levels of deep desperation and sadness behind the lyrics.
“You Are My Sunshine” was our first experience recording songs separately from our own homes. Nate went first and had to play these songs completely on his own in his house to nothing and just hope that he could capture and convey the energy despite us not all being there at the same time. We’re so happy with the final version, and we can’t wait for you to hear it! Watch “You Are My Sunshine” in the video below, shot by Two Brothers Films!
Easy Listening for Jerks Part I Track Listing:
1. Keep On The Sunny Side
2. Pallet On The Floor
3. Will The Circle Be Unbroken
4. Flint Hill Special
5. You Are My Sunshine
Easy Listening for Jerks Part II Track Listing:
1. Yahoos and Triangles (Intro)
2. People Are Strange
3. Chop Suey
4. We Used To Vacation
5. Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain
6. Saturday Night
7. 96 Quite Bitter Beings
Nov 2 – Wiesbaden, DE – Schlachthof
Nov 3 – Amsterdam, NL – Mlekweg Max
Nov 4 – Dusseldorf, DE – Zakk
Nov 5 – Weissenhauser Strand, DE – Rolling Stone Beach Festival
Nov 7 – Hamburg, DE – Docks
Nov 8 – Stuttgart, DE – Longhorn
Nov 9 – Nuremberg, DE – Lowensaal
Nov 10 – Berlin, DE – Columniahalle
Nov 15 – Dresden, DE – Alter Schlachthof
FARGO, ND: Sanctuary, Jan 14 & 15
OMAHA, NE: Slowdown, Jan 16 & 17
IOWA CITY, IA: Englert Theatre, Jan 19 & 21
BLOOMINGTON, IL: Castle Theatre, Jan 22 & 23
NASHVILLE, TN: Exit/In: Jan 24 & 25
KEY WEST, FL: Mile 0 Fest, Jan 27 & 28
PENSACOLA, FL: Vinyl Music Hall, Jan 30 & 31
SAVANNAH, GA: Victory North, Feb 2 & 3
London, UK: Shepherds Bush Empire, Mar 18
Manchester, UK: Albert Hall, Mar 19
Tunbridge Wells, UK: Black Deer Festival, June 19
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Junction, June 21
Coventry, UK: Empire Coventry, June 22
Cardiff, UK: Tramshed, June 23
Paris, FR: La Cigale, Apr 11
Strasbourg, FR: La Laiterie, Apr 12
Lyon, FR: Ninkasi Kao, Apr 15
Toulouse, FR: Le Metronum, Apr 19