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Tuesday, 28 May 2013 11:40

Charting the Music: Deadstring Brothers, 'Cannery Row'

Charting the Music: Deadstring Brothers, 'Cannery Row'
Written by Julie Greene
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Deadstring Brothers' newest release invites listeners into the rustic slice of life of "Cannery Row."

The album mixes pedal steel and piano-driven honky tonk with the steady drum beats of rock 'n' roll and is complemented with narratives that will immerse listeners in songwriter Kurt Marschke's country-blues visions.

88.1 KDHX chart position: #5 Americana, #10 CMJ Top 30 and #5 Adult Album Alternative for May 21, 2013.

Record label, release date and producer: Bloodshot Records released "Cannery Row" on April 9, 2013; the album was produced by Kurt Marschke.

Can be heard on: Music at Work with Curt Faigle, Feel Like Going Home with Roy Kasten and Sound Salvation with Steve Pick

RIYL: Whiskeytown, especially in the vocal harmonies, but with a bit more twang.

Hometown: Originally Detroit and now Nashville, Tenn.

Standout Tracks: "Like a California Wildfire" is the first single released by the band; it's a daydream song about longing to move to California with one's significant other. As soon as the pedal steel kicks in, it'll take listeners back to a time when they wished for roughly the exact same thing. "It's Morning Irene" is another standout, a feel good song complete with impressive picking that celebrates Southern, young love.

About the band: Deadstring Brothers began in Detroit when frontman Kurt Marschke assembled a group of musician friends in 2001. The band garnered local success and released its first self-titled album in 2003. Marschke and his crew signed with Bloodshot Records in 2005 and have since then released all of their albums through that label. In 2010, Marschke moved from Detroit to Nashville. This move enabled the band to rely more on its country influences, which can be heard throughout "Cannery Row."

Did you know?: Although "Cannery Row" is the title of a John Steinbeck novel and a street name in California, the album title actually comes from the street that Marschke lives on in Nashville. In an interview with Donkey Jaw, Marschke denied any intentional connection between the album title and the book or the California street.

Notable lyrics: Deadstring Brothers are often compared to the Rolling Stones in the early '70s. Marschke acknowledges this comparison in the song "Long Lonely Ride" with the lines "They say I sound just like the Stones so I'm givin' 'em this song. Let it ride, let it ride, let it ride." These lyrics, along with addressing his critics, add some comic relief to a song primarily about moving on from a relationship.

Play it while: Relaxing on the front porch of your family's cabin with a sweet tea in hand.

About the album art: The album cover is a photograph of an abandoned train dock directly beneath Marschke's Nashville home on Cannery Row. The light sepia photo adds a sense of nostalgia, which coincides with the album's tone.

KDHX coverage: Deadstring Brothers stopped by the KDHX studios on August 9, 2012 and played a few songs from their previous albums. They also played a show at Plush on February 1, 2013, which was reviewed by Mike Gualdoni. Their song "Like a California Wildfire" from "Cannery Row" was also featured as KDHX's "Song of the Day" for April 9, 2013.

What the critics say: "This album is an evocation of warm memory, burrowing deep into your brain matter to reprise moments that meant something in your life and allowing you to relive them. It tugs at your heart strings, but not in the traditional way. It does it from the inside out -- with a familiarity of feeling that is customized to your personal ear and experience…. This is one of the most aesthetically-pleasing albums that you will listen to all year." Trigger, Saving Country Music

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