Arresting Music From The Deadly Gentlemen

10 September 2013

You have the right to remain silent during the following video:

That of course would be The Deadly Gentlemen performing their original song “Police” at a sound check at The Lizard Lounge, an exemplary watering hole and listening room in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Another name for this clip might have been “What I Did On My Summer Vacation.” We shot this piece waaaaaay back, but it took many moons for us to do the footage justice. For those interested in such things, this project combines three separate takes of the song, each take covered by three cameras. Do the math and you’ll arrive at the fact that we were juggling nine video tracks throughout. To say that arriving the right recipe from so many ingredients took a lot of work is an understatement.

While we were locked in our editing dungeon, time did not stand still for The Deadly Gentlemen. They were signed by Rounder Records and released a new album, Roll Me, Tumble Me. The group has been touring heavily as well. They have a bunch of gigs coming right up, including FreshGrass, the fast-growing festival at Mass MoCA up in the Berkshires.

“Police” is actually one of The Dead Gents’ older songs. It can be found on the group’s first album, the excellent Carry Me To Home. To my ears, the earlier Deadly Gentlemen compositions tend to be more percussive, more punk in spirit than the more recent tunes. One of the many strengths of this band is the fact that they can shift gears between rocking numbers like “Police” and lusher songs like “Faded Star,” the tune featured in a previous post.

There is a tenuous connection between the fiddle extravaganza in our previous post and this entry: Brittany Haas— ringleader of the house concert featured last time— is the fiddler in Crooked Still, the groundbreaking group that was banjo picker Greg Liszt’s home base before he started The Deadly Gentlemen. As you can see and hear, both Haas and Liszt are running on all cylinders.

Thanks to Megan Lovallo, Jamie Lansdowne, Joe Stewart and of course The Deadly Gentlemen for their help with this project.

Yer Pal— Curly

ERRATUM: An observant reader pointed out that “Police” is based on an old-time tune called “Policeman.” You can check out a fairly orthodox rendition of “Policeman” here. There are some salient differences between The Dead Gents’ tune and earlier versions. You’ll note that, in days of yore, the cops merely sat on a log and no shots were fired.

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