tisdag 6 maj 2014

Deadstring Brothers in English #2

My heart broke a little bit ...

…When I realized that the Deadstring Brothers doesn't exist as a band at the moment, and that there will not be a tour in Sweden this year.

This is, in a way, a very strange text for me to write. It’s not like when I write book reviews, or something else literature or library related. To be quite honest I have absolutely no idea why I’m writing it at all … I don’t really know where to start, or if I’m going to publish those other texts about the band that I’ve been writing. We’ll see what happens.

But, since this is something that’s been on my mind for over a year now, it feels like I have to do something about it.

In June last year I published this text about the Deadstring Brothers' (dsb from now on in this text) show at Pustervik in Gothenburg, which also was the first time I ever heard the band. Since then I’ve been doing a lot more reading about this band. I’ve read all the reviews and interviews that I could find on the Internet, from their first album and up till now. I did it sort of backwards though, since I started with their latest release ‘Cannery Row’ which came out quite soon after the show in Gothenburg.
I had absolutely no idea what so ever, about their earlier releases (Thank you Spotify!), so I just started to read whatever I could find.

I just realised, that if I will publish those other texts I’ve been writing about dsb, it will be the same thing really. Me, starting at the end, since I’m writing about the band not being a band any longer in this first post.

Once I had started to read the reviews about ‘Cannery Row’, I realized quite quickly that the line up for this tour was a new one and that there had been a few years without any touring as a band at all, but with Kurt Marschke (founder and front man) touring on his own. When Jeremy Mackinder (bass player with the dsb for two years, from Detroit just like Kurt Marschke, even if Marschke relocated to Nashville a few years ago), left his band Whitey Morgan and the 78's (which I haven't listened to at all) they (Marschke and Mackinder) decided to restart dsb. Nathan Kalish (also with his own band 'Nathan Kalish and the Wild Fire, which I have listened to and like a lot!) was also in the tour line up at an early stage I think. The plan, according to interviews with the band, was to tour very intense for two years. Kurt Marschke mentions this quite often when interviewed, the importance of being on the road a lot with a band, especially within this genre, if you want to get through with your music.
It has been a lot of fun to follow this band on fb, twitter etc. And it has also been a lot of fun to read old interviews and reviews. It seems like they are extremely appreciated everywhere they go. People can’t praise them enough, which seems to have been the case right from the start.

Another good thing that I’ve been gaining by following this band is all the references to other bands. I’ve discovered so much new (to me) music this last year, for which I’m very grateful.

I’m so impressed about how they been coping, playing all these shows. If you take a look at their schedule for 2013, one notice that there are not many days off between January and October 2013.

During the really intense year, 2013, dsb also went into the studio and recorded yet another record, with covers. That’s why really, I was a bit surprised when it didn’t turn up any posts on their fb-page regarding this years tour dates. I knew that they were supposed to be back in Sweden sometime in February or March, and I was naturally looking forward to hear them live once again. No information showed up though …

Then, all of a sudden there was a photo of Kurt Marschke on the fb-page with a very short text. Still nothing about another tour, however. After a while the profile and cover photo on the fb-page were changed as well, just showing Kurt Marschke.

So, I worked up my courage and asked him, (Marschke) since I’ve been lucky enough to have had some email conversations with him a few times, about what was going on. He was nice enough to answer, and he told me that there isn’t a band at the moment, but that this is not anything unusual really. He mentioned that he’s been having different line ups since 2008 and also that he’s been touring on his own for a few years in between. He also explained how extremely expensive it is to have a band touring and that he, even if he really loves playing in a band, felt that he might have lost ground with his one man act while touring as a band again. To me, it seems so strange (and unfair!) that despite all the shows they’ve been playing and despite the overwhelmingly positive response they’ve had,  that it should be so difficult to make ends meet.

Anyway, the fact that there isn’t a band at the moment is to me, who was looking forward to another tour, quite sad. I really, really hope that I will be able to catch a live show with Kurt Marschke again, sometime. Either as a solo act or with another band line up.
I’ve never had any real longing for travelling in the States, but when you read some of the posts on fb about shows dsb been playing in places that sounds extremely nice, it’s really a bit depressing not being close enough to be able to go to at least some of them. I will have to start saving up so that I will be able to travel around ‘over there’, listening to lots and lots of good music before I get too old and grey …

What I’ve been trying to do with all the gathering of texts and blog posts I’ve been reading about dsb, is to write my own texts in some kind of chronological order (except for this first one), based on these different texts.

Like I mentioned earlier, I have no idea really, what so ever, why I’ve become so fascinated by the history of dsb. There has to be something (except for the obvious that I really like their music) that somehow gets to me. I want to know more about this band! I feel quite nosey … How it all started, the stories behind it all. You can actually find some information on the internet, about how it all started, but I want more. I want to know what was going on before the first line up of band members. Where there other bands? Have they been able to live on their music? Worked with other things besides the music? I have so many questions …

One of the reasons why I went on listening to this band, which I also mentioned in that earlier post almost a year ago, is Kurt Marschkes voice. I think it’s his voice in combination with the lyrics. He sounds like he’s really present while he’s singing, and many of the lyrics are like short short-stories that really starts off my imagination. I find myself thinking about the characters in the songs long after I’ve stopped listening to the music.

Below, I have listed a few of the reviews I’ve found of the Cannery Row album. Almost all of them, except for the two at the bottom, are positive. And there are many more out there in the same style. What many of the reviews have in common, except for the fact that the people writing the texts think it’s a really good record, is the comparison to the Rolling Stones. Especially Marschkes voice which everybody seem to love to compare with Jaggers. I agree to some extent, but it’s get a bit boring after a while, when everybody’s mentioning it, everywhere. And, for the record, I like Marschkes voice better than Jaggers. I mean I really like the Rolling Stones, but Kurt Marschke got a really nice voice. Go on and listen to the Deadstring Brothers albums and find out for Yourselves!

http://www.rockthebodyelectric.com/2013/04/album-review-deadstring-brothers.html The review above contains a few mistakes i believe, regarding the back up singing. On the Cannery Row album, Kim Collins is one of the back up singers, and I think she is absolutely amazing. Kim Collins and her husband Scott Collins are the Smoking Flowers .

Another  web page that I would like to mention is Rootsy Live. This is the the organizer that brought the Deadstring Brothers to Sweden last year. Let's hope they will do that again sometime.

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