Tuesday, August 24, 2010

By Dixy Bliss

“Go tell ma, go tell pa, go git sis outta that mud, we’re gonna go see Dixy Blood!”

Dixy Blood is a new/old area quartet who specialize in classic country ‘n’ western themes played with a rawness, intensity and attitude that suggests a sneering punk aesthetic. No surprise, as the group is comprised of members of The Sickidz, a local mainstay since the original Hot Club era. Dixy Blood, however, constitutes a striking new direction south.

But no Hee Haw jokes, Buckaroo, ‘cause this here ain’t no laughing matter.

“We exhausted The Sickidz,” explains lead singer Clarence “Mick” Cancer, “and I had absolutely no impulse to do anything musical. But we reformed, in a truncated version, to perform a Lux Interior/Cramps tribute. It was a satisfying experience and the line-up presented intriguing possibilities.”

The line-up being Cancer’s eternal cohort Rockin’ Richie Lustre on guitar, Drummer Moe Jo, and rising diva Ms. Bettyloo Gee providing lead vocals and hay bales.
Cancer has long harbored a deep appreciation of country and it recently developed into another full-blown teenage obsession.

“I always loved songs like “Please Help Me I’m Falling” and Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk on By”, all that old hillbilly and honky tonk stuff, the Gram Parsons ethos,” states Clarence, “and over the last few years listened to it almost exclusively. I swallowed the genre whole.”

“After the Cramps show,” continues Mick, “I began to think that this outfit could potentially concoct a unique and also valid approximation of that style.”
But this is no mere alt-country escapade.

“My heroes are guys like Webb Pierce, Wynn Stewart, Floyd Tillman, Mel Tillis, hard-core trailer park honkybilly.” exclaims Clarence, “and our material is drawn from that vast source. Country music often reflects bleak, damaged lives and some very twisted, stark situations. We try to play it accordingly.”

So what exactly are the aspirations of these honkybilly punks?

“I suppose we’ll play out somewhere,” speculates Clarence, “and hopefully we’ll record it, document it, you know, in a room, live, one take, put it out on cassette and listen to it at home someday.”

Nonetheless, during their existence as Sickidz, the band frequently played with some of the artists they most respected such as The Cramps and Iggy Pop…

“Oh sure, you bet, “enthused Mick, “we wanna open for Merle, Paycheck, Coe, Jamey Johnson, The Dixie Chicks, whoever else is left alive. I mean, why the fuck not!”
Hee Haw indeed.

Tritone, 1508 South St, Philadelphia, PA


PALMYRA DELRAN (with The SlotCars) – 11 PM

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