The Dickel Brothers

The Dickel Brothers, Vol. 1

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The Dickel Brothers bring a punk energy and ethos to the old-time string band idiom on this, their debut. (Fittingly, the Portland, OR, band is on Empty Records, a punk label.) And the group falls firmly into that strain of No Depression groups comprised of would-be punkers who picked up on early 20th century American music. (The bluegrass of the Meat Purveyors and incendiary gospel of Slim Cessna's Auto Club provide other examples.) The album is comprised largely of '20s and '30s traditional numbers popularized by predecessors such as the Monroe Brothers, the Skillet Lickers, and the Arthur Smith Trio, as well as a few originals. These are primarily ragged but reverent treatments that, while certainly loose and fun, seem to be rendered in the proper spirit -- that is, devoid of shtick.

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