First thing y'all should do is check out Barstool Mountain for our post about our namesake. Is it essential reading/listening? Yep. But we're precocious that way.
And then, and then, and then, a new band for all y'all to check out. Interview to follow below.
Dixie Whiskey were kind enough to send us a link to their new record, and we think it's one of the best honky tonk records of the year. All y'all who, like us, lament the slow erosion of great Outlaw Country in favor of safe, mass-produced pap we hear on the radio these days, Dixie Whiskey are your salvation. Perfectly distilled.
Dixie Whiskey are dangerous. Their songs will lay you out flat on the hardwood floor with an aggressive hoe-down choog'n'stomp, then break your heart with a lonesome keen, all back porch lonesome me.
From their press release:
"There’s a growing phenomenon ruining dive bars across the United States. This problem is that the jukeboxes are running dry of great drinking songs, while metrosexual pop music is finding its way into filthy saloons. On their self-titled release, the boys Dixie Whiskey intend on being the brown jug remedy to the bar-room predicament."
Band member Jon Decious was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
1. First off, tell our readers who you are, where you come from and where you're going. What do you sound like?
Howdy all, this is Jon Decious from Dixie Whiskey. We're a country-ish rock-ish band from Nashville that's only going as far as folks that hear us let us go.
2. You mention Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers as influences. Given that Gram and the boys were bringing Country to a rock audience, do you feel that you are continuing their mission? With "alt-country" (whatever the hell that ever was) slipping into blandness, and pop Country losing all traces of its roots, do you feel the time is right for artists such yourselves and folks like James Hand and Hayes Carll to take back the Honky Tonk to its rightful relevance?
I've never felt like we were "attempting" to carry forth any mission of Gram's but, when I take a step back and look at our band for what it is maybe that's exactly what we're doing. If folks like Hand, Carll, and ourselves can pump air back into the flat tires of honky tonk music, so much the better. Whether that time is now or not, I guess we'll all just have to wait and see.
3. On a related note, tell us about the current Nashville scene. Do you find receptive audiences at your shows? What are the bars one should hit to see y'all play?
The Nashville circuit is a tough one to tackle. With so many bands in one town, I guess it's not hard to see why. We've been pretty fortunate, though. We're a pretty new band and have been able to draw good crowds on a regular basis at bars like; the 5 Spot, the End, FooBar, and a little joint outside of town called the Pond.
4. Did you really sell your soul to the Honky Tonk? And if so, who is the patron saint/demon of Honky Tonks?
I, and fellow Dixie Whiskey-ers Dillon Napier and Bob Ferrari, came damn close a few years ago. The patron was some white girl named Jack that we couldn't out-run for the life of us.
5. Dean Dillon is a hell of a songwriter and singer. How did you get him to guest on your record?
I'm actually a farmhand at Tenorado Ranch, which is Dean's farm. Crazy story, if you can indulge me. The day I started working for Dean, cleaning out the barn, when I stumbled across this demo tape. I begrudgingly put it back because I know how some folks get about worktape demos. Well, 'bout 2 weeks later, curiosity killed my cat, and I took it home and listened to it. Fell in love with this tune called, "Some Days It Takes All Night". A week later I asked if we could cut it as a duet and he said, "Hell yeah! Let's fire it up!". That's the short story of how it went down.
6. On your record, "Dixie Whiskey", you mix back porch, autumnal ruminations (most strikingly on "Odelay", and "Welcome Home, Kentucky") with rowdy, honky tonk bootstompers like "Ride With the Devil" and "This Barstool's My Tombstone". How do you approach such varying styles, or do you feel that there's no variance,and it's all part of the organic whole? In other words, tell us about y'all's approach to songwriting both lyrically and musically.
Our songwriting style involves everyone in the band in one way or another. For instance, Dillon and I will generally write the songs and make a guitar/vocal worktape of them and then give the songs to the other fellas. If everyone loves it, we'll keep it, if they don't, we scrap it. On this record, we'd written a song with a riff that Bob really dug, but didn't like the song. He said, "Ya'll go back and write a song around that riff." So the next day Dillon and I sat down and wrote "Wheels On The Wind", which is a song that made the record. Lyrically, I honestly have no idea how some songs come out. Dillon and I will knock things back and forth til we like how it sounds. Sometimes it makes a whole lotta' sense and other times it doesn't. We try to record the ones that DO make sense! haha
7. What is a "dixie whiskey", and will we go blind if we drink it? Is it similar to a, ahem, "whiskey dixie"?
I read that a 'dixie whiskey' is a mixed drink. I couldn't tell ya what's in it, nor can I confirm whether or not it'll make you go blind. I'm not sure what a 'whiskey dixie' is either. They'll probably both kill you eventually.
8. You're on the road at 3 in the morning, and all you have is the radio. AM or FM on the dial?
At 3 am I'm more likely to turn the AM dials. It's a strange feeling to be up at 3 am driving through the middle of nowhere. When I'm feeling faded from a long day or still got a good buzz goin' on, nothing makes for a better soundtrack than "Coast To Coast" or some static-y music from the 1930's.
9. Speaking of being on the road, and as a transition to the next question, what can one expect from a Dixie Whiskey show? How different are the band live versus on CD/Record?
We're gonna make you feel at home and we're gonna give you your hard-earned money's worth. For instance, at our recent cd release show, we greeted everyone at the door with a free cd and, just before our set, we bought everyone in the crowd a shot of whiskey. We barely broke even after the tab that night, but I feel like everyone there knew how much we appreciated them coming out and watching us sing. That's hard to get across in a song, so I 'spose that's how the live show is different.
10. What's next for Dixie Whiskey? Tour? More recording? What does the future hold?
Like I said at the top, we'll go as far as the folks listening will let us go. If they want us to tour or record more, they'll let us know.
Thanks to Dixie Whiskey for answering a few of our questions. If you're interested in the band, and if you're a fan of what we post here, you should be, you can actually download the full album at this here site, free and legally! How's that for a bargain? If you like what you hear, either here or at the aforementioned site, please consider supporting the band on their upcoming tour or by word of mouth. Just sayin'!
The following are two of our favorite tracks from the new rekkid. Don't take our word for it...check 'em out yrselves!
Whiskey Dixie: This Barstool's My Tombstone (mp3)
Whiskey Dixie: Odelay (mp3)
Please support yr local, independent, beer swillin' honky tonk!