Archives for category: Deadfingers

The Dirty Streets – Secret Stages 2012 – Rogue Tavern

Secret Stages 2012 on May 11th & 12th, took over where the first Birmingham Indie Festival left off last year, with plenty of homegrown SXSW style Buzz, this time around with a fully fledged website instead of a hard to find blog.

Black Tusk – Secret Stages 2012 – Das Haus

From Nashville’s Natural Child to Memphis’ River City Tanlines to Chattanooga’s own take on the MGMT formula, Machines Are People Too, SS 2012 had everything from vintage postcard sounds of Frank Fairfield to the Motorhead meats Black Sabbath at a Southern Bar B Que sounds of Black Tusk, most groups were part of the Southeast circuit with all points in between, with several Artists travelling from far reaches of the kingdom.

Break it down

Even a coffee house was throwing down Rappers, DJ’s and Breakdancers next door to Das Haus as an add plus to the list of venues.

Hail The Titans – Das Haus, Photo- Thomas Diasio

Speaking of Das Haus, with the metal machine noise Lou Reed in a Sonic Youth Blender rock of Hail The Titans, Death Surf Punk of Kill Baby Killand the aforementioned Black Tusk taking care of business with an alpine view backdrop and the dense smell of Brats, Kraut and German Beer lingering in all four corners, this was the edge of the Abyss, where as some of the safer acts played at Rogue Tavern.

Machines Are People Too – Rogue / Photo – Thomas Diasio

Rogue, the biggest club of all featured Machines Are People Too getting everybody on their feet dancing then a few minutes later, The Dirty Streets, were throwing down Social Distortion meets Government Mule.

Baby Baby @ Easy Street

There was something for everybody and all ages. Baby Baby, with double the drumming pleasure, played at all ages Easy Street cranking out loud post punk. This wasn’t a bar, just a big empty hall, loud music and a table for buying Cd’s and other swag.

Third Man Rolling Records Store @ Secret Stages 2012

The second day had to contend with constant soft rain that left the vendors and the Third Man Rolling Record Store out in the cold, whereas last year, the main outdoor stage was the place to congregate, this year, everybody was scurrying for indoor digs with a few dancing in the rain at the foot of the main stage listening to blues and jazz.

Lydia Loveless @ Metro / photo- Thomas Diasio

Metro kind of became the Americana beacon with Bloodshot Records’ Lydia Loveless  and Taylor Hollingsworth’s new duo with newlywed wife, Kate Taylor, playing songs off their southern roots Fat Possum Records, Deadfingersrelease.

Deadfingers @ Metro

The greatest benefit was this was truly a pub crawl in the Loft District, which has seen a lot of changes over the last 5-10 years. It covered four square blocks where no taxis were needed to get around.  

Machine Are People Too @ Rogue / photo – Thomas Diasio

Chuck Leishman, who originally had the idea for the pub crawl, who called together the roundtable that developed Secret Stages stated, “We wanted to have a festival that all these bands that play the circuit could have a platform, a place to get their music heard in one weekend. It would be great if every regional area had a festival like this.”

Ben Lamb w/ Lydia Loveless @ Metro / photo – Thomas Diasio

This truly was what SXSW felt like maybe twenty years ago. There were some local corporate and media support and even a few bands on some Indie labels, but, this was a place where many bands were able to be heard by a diverse crowd.

Hail The Titans @ Das Haus / Photo – Thomas Diasio

Birmingham has seen some success over the last few years, with bands like The Great Book of John and Wild Sweet Orange.  

Black Tusk @ Das Haus

It would have been anybody’s guess that Birmingham would host the best Indie Festival in the Southeast with over 100 bands and comedians during two days in May.

Vintage Gibson backline @ Metro

Birmingham is just about the same distance between Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Mississippi and Northern Florida making it an easy 2-4 hour trip from just about anywhere in the region.

The number of venues has more than doubled in Birmingham in the last ten years.

A little secret Elvis imagery (Taking Care Of Black Tusk) @ Das Haus

The time was right, the place right and the vibe was right. Shine a light on Birmingham.  

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

If you are looking for the soul of what used to be SXSW, it is Secret Stages in Birmingham, Alabama which is scheduled next weekend.

Last year, Secret Stages, was an upstart, almost secret festival, that saw a reunion show of Model Citizen, featuring Matt Patton (The Dexateens, The Drive-By Truckers, Paul “Wine” Jones, Universal Joint) and other actual real live rock and roll from the southeast.

This year, they have a better website and an artist list that rivals anything Indie anywhere, you got to be there.

Check out the site at:

Artrist Line-up:  http://www.secretstages.net/?page_id=633

Main page: http://www.secretstages.net/

Here are a couple of featured Artists:

Deadfingers

Dead Fingers – Taylor and Kate

Taylor Hollingsworth ( The Spider Eaters) and Kate Taylor (sister, Mariah Taylor on Conor’s label, brother Macey Taylor, Bassist supreme with The Spider Eaters, The Mystic Valley Band) singing together is a match made in heaven, (or maybe hell, if the devil has anything to do with this, which would not be surprising). You might know Taylor from previous solo albums or bands but most likely from Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. He was the guitar player who also wrote and sang “Snake Hill” and “Air Mattress” on the album Outer South as well as the first Coner Oburst made in Mexico album. If you’ve seen Maria Taylor play then you have most likely seen Kate in her band either playing keys, drums, or bass, and most importantly, harmonizing the soft beautiful back ground melodies.

Taylor Hollingsworht with Conner Oburs – Mystic Valley Band, 2nd Stage, Coachella 2009, Kate’s brother, Macey on Bass.

Nowadays, Kate and Taylor have joined hand in hand and formed a band. Ladies and Gentlemen, Dead Fingers, might just be what you’ve been waiting for! In a time when guy-girl duo’s are becoming quite popular, this one is not just some gimmick, however perfect the timing and package may be. You would almost think Kate was married to her manager, or record label exec., who was having them act like they were romantic just to sell tickets and albums. But in fact, this Alabama duo are recently married and the two just recorded their first self titled full length with Bruce Watson (RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Iggy and the Stooges, AA Bondy), was released on Big Legal Mess/ Fat Possum Records early 2012. While showing a wide range of styles, ranging from duet styled songs like those of John Prine and Iris DeMent, X, or Lee Hazelwood and Ann Margaret, to straight up great classic rock bands like the Stones, Beatles, or even Traveling Wilburys, this band should find a nice home with fans of more current duo’s like She and Him, Jenny and Johnny, or Civil Wars.

See youy there!

Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com