Whatever you do, just don’t call them a boy band. These guys are more raw, creative and talented than any 5-piece male musical group ever conceived.
Listening to The Deadly Gentlemen’s “Carry Me To Home” album makes me really want to pretend to be a guy just to hang out with them and not throw off the ‘dude’ vibe. It’s something about that atmosphere that jives so well with their out-of-time-but-in-time shout rhythms and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants melodies. You can’t find this kind of synergy in just any old group; they all feel the same saunter in their swing, the same laid-back attitude ingrained in their playing. Their tight interaction feels casual, as if they’re tossing these tunes over their shoulders while walking away from an explosion.
“You’ve got to wake up and work, But I mean that sucks, What about love, Why green back bucks? I know you need them, But if you’re lonely, bored, Give it up and come with me, Freedom is its own reward.”
– From “Slaughter Me, Baby.”
“Slaughter Me, Baby” is playful and walks with a spring in its step, the beat of the bass and banjo enhanced by the casual textures of the half singing, half sighing voices. The band itself states their “songs have kind of a rock ‘n’ roll feel, despite the acoustic bluegrass instrumentation. The melodies tend toward the anthemic side, and the upright bass is usually pretty in-your-face. The album does have a slight sense of humor but no real jokes, per se.”
When I hear them sing and play these songs together, it sounds like five brothers singing about shared experiences; they all celebrate together, they lean on each other to lament, they face each others’ conflicts as a group, and they freak out about shit the same way. Perhaps it’s this sensation of brotherhood that shines through in their “Carry Me To Home” album that strikes the “boy’s club” chord in me. I don’t just feel it, I want to be a part of it because I sense how strong it is, and how strong it’s made these guys. This band. What a rarity.
If you want to hear a band truly interwoven more than just musically, open yourself up to The Deadly Gentlemen: Greg Liszt, banjo and vocals; Stash Wyslouch, guitar and vocals; Mike Barnett, fiddle and vocals; Dominick Leslie, mandolin and vocals; and Sam Grisman, double bass and vocals.