Often I find that most new artists mining the tropes of "traditional" or "Americana" music—and they are legion—leave me cold and disinterested. Too often it sounds like a batch of wanky college kids turning an ironic wink-and-nudge at a historic art form, sans reverence. The Dirt Daubers are a notable exception. This eponymous debut is the most fun I've had with a new release in some time.
The band is comprised of Kentuckians Colonel JD Wilkes (The Legendary Shack Shakers), his wife Jessica and "Slow" Layne Hendrickson. Over the course of 10 tracks, none of which cracks the three-minute barrier, their eclectic mix of what ultimately strips down as "hillbilly" music sounds utterly authentic.
These musicians understand traditional music isn't about virtuosity; at no point did I feel like I was listening to the Joe Satriani of the fiddle, for example. Instead I felt a perfectly captured vibe of what I like best about Americana: short songs that tell stories about simple life, with rousing sing-a-longs, played on instruments that can be easily toted to the front porch on a particularly humid summer night. All that's missing are the cicadas, the kudzu and the aroma of tobacky.
The Dirt Daubers play the Palace Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 9 PM with Scott H. Biram. $10.