The Dead South. The name alone brings some pretty strong ideas of what you might be in for when you take a listen to this Regina based folk band. Tales of women, drinking and hell, exactly what you'd expect from some rough and tough southern men, except these guys are from Saskatchewan. Don't let that make you think any less of The Dead South though, they've got a killer set of songs, and a live show to boot that makes most seem boring and stand still.
For such a rather untraditional four piece, there's no bass or percussion for the most part, The Dead South have created an incredibly full and large sound. A lot of this comes from the very talented vocal work of lead man Nate Hilts. Capturing a bit of the southern charm made famous by the likes of Johhny Cash, Hilts puts on a performance that becomes the defining sound of The Dead South. Combined with the constant and consistent banjo picking from Colton Crawford, The Dead South put together a southern folk sound unique to the bleak southern prairies.
The album itself is a sampling of some of the bands original material. The thing that always sticks out with The Dead South, is the level of musicianship that the band displays. Because of the simplicity of the band, every note, every strum, every pick, every lyric is clear and stands out. There isn't any loud drums to hide behind, and it means that each member must be on top of their game to get the best out of each song, and with The Dead South, they've pulled it off beautifully. The addition of the cello from Danny Kenyon adds a wealth of rich low end, which would have been sorely missed if it wasn't there. The final key to the sound of The Dead South comes from Scott Pringle. Pringle adds everything from backup guitar and backup vocals, to mandolin, each part accenting Hilts' guitar and vocals.
The Dead South have been rising in popularity and success over the past year, and this EP release confirms that it was for a good reason. Expect to hear even more of the band as they begin touring and playing large venues and festivals in the coming year. We here at RageRegina look forward to watching the success of The Dead South grow.