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“The more I dove in to the work of Joe South I realized how great his work was. This particular song is a little different then what Dirty Streets would usually play, but there’s an earnestness to the lyrics that really connected with me. In that way, it felt really natural to perform.”
We’re huge fans of the band’s previous records, especially the near-perfect Blades of Grass a few years back, so we were incredibly pumped to find out the group’s got a new record coming out this summer.
The official release date for the upcoming LP Rough and Tumble (coming to limited vinyl, CD and digital & streaming platforms) is July 31st via Alive Naturalsound Records.▼ Article continues below ▼
Scan the press on soul-groove outfit Dirty Streets and you’ll see numerous references to rock, soul, and dirty-blooze touchstones like the Faces, Humble Pie, Otis Redding, CCR and more. Spin Dirty Streets’ records and you’ll hear all of those echoes, plus others—some jazz timing, some acoustic balladry. But by and large, what you’ll hear is a raw, rowdy blend of Motown, Stax and rock—the pure American blood-beat moving through the heart of Memphis groove.
Austin-born Justin Toland (guitar/vocals) found his own musical food early through his father, a classic-rock aficionado who turned Justin on to the Stones, Creedence, soul music and the Stax sound. At 17 Toland moved to Memphis and met Thomas Storz (bass), a native of the city, through mutual friends; the pair found common musical ground and began playing groove-grounded rock with a series of temporary drummers. Andrew Denham (drums), a Shreveport-born drummer and British hard-rock fan, joined up with Storz and Toland in 2007.
The trio began demoing using a basic setup: a single cassette recorder, no tracks, no real separation, just mics on the bass/drums and guitar and vocals live in the room. Without the option to isolate, tweak or sweeten after the fact, Dirty Streets became accustomed to running through a take 40 or 50 times as they worked to get it right, all the way through. By the time they began gigging live, that level of discipline had honed Dirty Streets into an instinctual, responsive outfit. Bootleg recordings of their shows in and around Memphis helped to generate buzz, and established Dirty Streets’ rep as a band whose timing was as sharp as their sound was ragged.
Albums followed—Portrait of a Man (2009), Movements (2011),
Toland gives some insight into the recording of the new album, “We had arranged to do a DittyTV Session in their Memphis studio the same way that they have been doing them for years, Set up and record a live concert of sorts with the cameras rolling. Once we got in there, the usual stiffness of being recorded and filmed gave way to a good vibe and we had a really good time. After the fact we thought it might be a good thing to listen to what we captured, and subsequently decided to put it out. It’s rare that you get to capture that natural feel in that sort of setting.”
Rough and Tumble includes eight positively explosive takes from three of the Memphis trio’s previous studio albums, and also features two meaty, revved-up covers by the great Joe South.