Deadstring Brothers: Heavy Load
Supposedly, blues music is mostly listened to and purchased by white people, and it took white Brits in the early 1960’s to spearhead a blues revival, that, in many ways, created the rock music that took over the world. Bands like the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds and Bluesbreakers paid direct tribute to American blues, and Led Zeppelin stole wholesale from the blues canon. Then, of course, this music found its way back across the Atlantic and inspired Americans to revisit the blues.
By the time of Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St., the Stones had perfected their sound, which while still based on the blues, was now a synthesis of other influences. But, despite the fact that Keith and Mick (sometimes known as the Glimmer Twins) have had an almost brotherly relationship, with all of the fighting and bickering that entails, this is not about the Stones. Instead, it is about an American band that clearly—very clearly—took the sound of the Rolling Stones, and claimed it for their own.
The band is pretty much unknown, so I’m writing to, hopefully, expose people to them. And it fits the theme, because the name of the band is Deadstring Brothers. Not surprisingly, there is no one in the band named Deadstring, and they aren’t brothers (for the most part). Especially the women (including, at one point, sisters).
Initially from Detroit, the Deadstring Brothers were formed in 2001 by singer/songwriter Kurt Marschke, and the band has gone through a number of different lineups over the years. And, as befits their blues-based sound, they became better known in England than here in their native land. The song, “Heavy Load,” from the band’s 2007 release Silver Mountain (which features actual brothers, Brits Spencer and Jeff Cullum), pays tribute to a London club known for playing classic rock. And yeah, it sounds like the Stones if the Stones featured both a male and female singer (which they sort of do, at least live).
So, add these guys to the list of bands worth checking out—including their most recent album, Cannery Row, which reflects the band’s move from Detroit to Nashville. Think a little more “Wild Horses,” and less “Tumbling Dice.”