Release Date: Sep 13, 2011
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Country, Contemporary Country, Honky Tonk
Country music has evolved into the 21st century as well as any pop music out there, and whether one is happy about how it’s done that or not, the fact remains that it has stood its own and even increased its audience in an incredibly diverse and challenging musical era. Yeah, most of the big hits really sound like pop/rock with Nashville vocals, all big drums and stinging electric guitar leads, and the lyrics feign authenticity by name-checking Hank Williams, George Jones, and other country icons while praising the glories of back roads and late-night bars (and dalliances) in an unabashed and deliberate nostalgia that recasts the past in the present as if the only thing that really changes these days is the digital cloud. It is what it is, which brings us to the Dirt Drifters, a band that plays an Americana-infused version of contemporary country that is Nashville enough to sound good on the country stations and rock enough to remind one of blue-collar rockers like Tom Petty and John Mellencamp, or even the harder side of the Eagles and California country-rock.
Bruce Springsteen has a new album out this year, but he’s never been too far away. In country music, he’s been in the air—Kenny Chesney’s characters are listening to him, Eric Church named a song after him. On the Dirt Drifters’ debut he’s never far from the surface, especially on “Always a Reason”, which starts, “word on the vine is Johnny got a job / three days a week at the auto parts shop,” leading up to a standard E-Street rock move.
Self-reliant country band The Dirt Drifters have put their feet down with their boldly titled debut, This Is My Blood. After years of grinding tours in RV campers, the band offers an album of road tested tunes, 10 of 11 written by the band themselves, recorded without the help of session aces and showing a rare flash of artistic independence from Nashville’s Music Row. Combined with commercially appealing hooks and a current, rocking sound, these self described “nobodies” might have a real chance at country stardom.