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The Dead South Served Live (2-CD)

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(Devil Duck Records) 17 Tracks - Gatefold Ecopac Finally...the live... more

The Dead South: Served Live (2-CD)

(Devil Duck Records) 17 Tracks - Gatefold Ecopac

Finally...the live album of the bluegrass/folk heroes with 17 songs!

Over 6 years ago we discovered the four gentlemen of The Dead South from Regina, Saskatchewan during Canadian Music Week in Toronto very late at night in a rather sparsely filled club. Our enthusiasm was accompanied by a signing and so we released their debut album "Good Company" in November 2014.

Needless to say, we are quite proud that we were able to write an indie success story with the band, which is now celebrated with a double live album called "Served Live". Of course, the idea is not completely new, but if it makes sense for a band, then for The Dead South, because their live shows are already quite legendary and especially on stage they show their strengths, which are quite difficult to show off on a studio album: irrepressible joy of playing, a genre-busting live dynamic, a good pinch of humor as well as pushing each other are just a few attributes that come to mind right now.

The "die-hard fans" of the band will not be 100% satisfied, of course, because despite only three studio albums, one or the other song is surely missing - for me especially 'Gunslinger's Glory', but this one is also very long. Also some of their cover versions of bands like the Animals, The Decemberists or various Tradionals are part of their live sets, but here only own songs should make it on the records or CDs.

The 17 songs on "Served Live" were recorded at 17 different shows, because the band wanted to say a little thank you to as many fans as possible, but unfortunately Covid-19 put a significant crimp in this endeavor for us and any Germany shows are missing, whereas USA (L.A., Seattle, Portland, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, NY), UK (Manchester, London, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Belfast, Dublin) and their native Canada (Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal) are represented.

"Served Live" an incredibly energetic and authentic live document that will also bring a lot of joy to local fans of The Dead South and a warm comfort for the time of waiting for the next tour.

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Dead South, The - Served Live (2-CD) CD 1
01 Diamond Ring The Dead South
02 Blue Trash The Dead South
03 Black Lung The Dead South
04 The Recap The Dead South
05 Boots The Dead South
06 Spaghetti The Dead South
07 Miss Mary The Dead South
08 Broken Cowboy The Dead South
09 That Bastard Son The Dead South
Dead South, The - Served Live (2-CD) CD 2
01 Snakeman Pt1 & 2 The Dead South
02 Time For Crawlin' The Dead South
03 Fat Little Killer Boy The Dead South
04 Heaven In A Wheelbarrow The Dead South
05 In Hell I'll Be In Good Company The Dead South
06 Honey You The Dead South
07 Travellin' Man The Dead South
08 Banjo Odyssey The Dead South
The Dead South The Dead South have been described as outlaws and modern hillbillies, but the... more
"The Dead South"

The Dead South

The Dead South have been described as outlaws and modern hillbillies, but the best way to describe the Regina-based band is fearless. They’re a rare musical commodity – a band that’s equally compelling on record as they are on stage.

While The Dead South’s signature blend of bluegrass and classic folk is familiar, it’s also eminently fresh; fuelled by the kind of energy and ethic you’d associate with a punk band. “A lot of our inspiration comes from an old school feel, but our sound is an amalgamation of the we all like, and the punk influence is definitely there,” says vocalist/guitarist Nate Hilts.

Since the release of their second record, Illusion & Doubt (Curve Music/Entertainment One), in late 2016, The Dead South have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the 49th parallel.

Illusion & Doubt recently hit Top 5 on the US Billboard Bluegrass chart and entered the top 30 on the US Country iTunes Chart. That’s fuelled interest in the band’s debut, Good Company, as well, which, though released in 2015, recently hit the Top 50 On Billboard and the Top 20 on US iTunes overall chart

The boost to both albums, Hilts believes, is partially due to the band’s video for ‘In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company,’ which was released in early 2016. “We were late to the game getting videos out for Good Company in general and after we did the ‘In Hell’ video in 2016 we concentrated on releasing Illusion & Doubt and put the video on the back burner. But, a few months after we released it, there was just this huge… BOOM.”

Boom is a good way to put it. Currently ‘In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company’ has over 8 Million views on YouTube and is gaining roughly 1,000,000 views weekly.

Having two records drive up sales and interest in each other is an enviable position, but when you’re listening to either album it’s not hard to see what the fuss is about. Like Good Company, Illusion & Doubt relies heavily on songs about lovin’, cheatin’, killin’ and drinkin’ – “But it’s a more mature take on lovin’, cheatin’, killin’ and drinkin,’” Hilts says, laughing.

Illusion & Doubt also finds the band expanding on their amalgamation of vintage folk, alt. country and bluegrass, adding fiddle and pedal steel, but not abandoning their stripped down, acoustic sound.

Nowhere is that more evident than on lead single, ‘Boots’ – a rollicking old school bluegrass offering that showcases The Dead South’s tight arrangements, gritty lead vocals, raw harmonies and unique blend of mandolins, banjo and cello.

What people tap into on both records, Hilts believes, is The Dead South’s ability to take on dark topics sounding like they’re wallowing in pain. “We tend to make songs sound happy, but if you listen to the lyrics you’re like, “Wait, that’s not happy,” he says, chuckling. “There’s a dark aspect to both records. A lot of the songs are tragic or about really bad habits.”

“All the songs on Illusion and Doubt play into each other,” he continues. “They’re like multiple love letters between a man and a woman” – songs populated by outliers, outlaws and down on their luck drifters who show up shit-faced drunk on a lover’s front porch begging for shelter.

That’s the story behind ‘Time For Crawlin’ – a track Hilts says is about, “Drinking your self into trouble, getting kicked in the ass for it, and just begging to come in,” Hilts says.

The Dead South, however, have never had to beg for a welcome – certainly not live. Since Hilts, Scott Pringle (mandolin, vocals), Colton Crawford (banjo) and Danny Kenyon (cello) got together in 2012, they’ve built a large international following on the road.

“Getting the band together really inspired everyone to woodshed, collectively and individually,” Hilts adds And the result is music that just sinks into your soul; raw, raucous and so aggressively honest it seems like the band just rolled out of bed, grabbed a bottle of whisky and hit the stage.

Since signing their first record deal with Germany’s Devil Duck Records in 2014, “Touring is pretty much all we’ve been doing,” Hilts says. The chops they’ve developed on tour come across loud and clear on Illusion & Doubt, displaying a no holds barred ethic that blurs musical genres and transcends time – not only because their singular brand of punk tinged, vintage folk can’t be pinned down to any specific era, but because Illusion & Doubt recalls a time when fans listened to records top to bottom, over and again.

While the touring paid off (in November 2015 The Dead South received the Canadian Independent Music Association’s Road Gold certification for ticket sales in excess of 25,000 over a 12-month period), it’s also taken a toll, prompting a lineup change after banjo player Colton Crawford, who’d been fighting insomnia and exhaustion for over a year, left the band.

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Tracklist
Dead South, The - Served Live (2-CD) CD 1
01 Diamond Ring
02 Blue Trash
03 Black Lung
04 The Recap
05 Boots
06 Spaghetti
07 Miss Mary
08 Broken Cowboy
09 That Bastard Son
Dead South, The - Served Live (2-CD) CD 2
01 Snakeman Pt1 & 2
02 Time For Crawlin'
03 Fat Little Killer Boy
04 Heaven In A Wheelbarrow
05 In Hell I'll Be In Good Company
06 Honey You
07 Travellin' Man
08 Banjo Odyssey