Tuesday, September 23 2014
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About Us
A mosaic of sound. The soundtrack to mental collapse. A celebration of noise. This is what the band Dirtfoot is.

They are not jazz, rock, punk, bluegrass, blues, gospel, soul, R&B, country or hip-hop. (Definitely, definitely not hip-hop).

They are here in Shreveport, which is very, very strange.

Strange because they are good enough to succeed somewhere else. At least the people who have heard them think so. Strange in that something so strange could come from a city that seems unlikely soil from which such absolute strangeness could grow. But it did.

But first the tornado came through town.

Kitchen chopped in half

That's how it all began. Seven years ago when a tornado blew through Shreveport, Matt was standing on his porch, shortly after a tree decided to test the landlord's homeowner's policy. J walked up and initiated the conversation, after spotting Matt immediately following the disaster. Amidst cracked countertops and scattered shingles, conversation ensued and the two musicians became friends.

It's more than a bit ironic that a powerful, hard-to-predict weather system in some sense marks the creation of Dirtfoot. Their music can be as dizzying as a twister, volatile and uproarious.

They improvise their way through the songs as only some musicians can. They feel each other. Some call it experimental music. It is, in that they are each experimenting with each others sounds, feeling their way through, like a blind man through a new room. And in that way, every song is fresh and original, as unique as a snowflake, or a tornado.

There is some structure. It's not musical anarchy. Like the black and white pictures in a new coloring book, Dirtfoot's repetoire consists of solid outlines. If you knew their songs, you could request them. But when it comes time to color those pictures in, all bets are off as to what you'll get. It could be neat, dark magic markers or finger painting in the psyche ward rec room.

It is their lack of restraint, their raw musical impulsiveness that can be so arresting to the people who have heard them play. They stomp their feet. Matt makes primal noises and intentionally mumbles his lyrics. They let otherwise well-rehearsed songs meander off the beaten path, or right off an auditory cliff, its finale laughably lost, the structure sacrificed for the sheer playfulness of it all.

The members of Dirtfoot seem to all secretly delight in how different they are, in how something so oddball and outlandish can still be appreciated, if not entirely understood.

Though all of their instruments are acoustic, their energy and ingenuity will make you swear they are using something else. Featuring instruments ranging from an acoustic guitar, banjo, upright bass, pots n' pans, drums, bells, saxophone, and beancan shakers, this band has a truly engaging and eclectic sound! It is like a good gumbo- you have some growling vocals, upright bass and percussion that makes a good, dark, dirty Louisiana roux mixed with some meaty rhythms, combined with fresh offerings from the guitar and banjo that are like okra and tomatoes picked from your backyard garden, and topped with the hot n' sexy spice of the saxophone and jazz style drums and a little something magical and indescribable, and you have Dirtfoot-a delicious, spicy, dirty band that will make you stomp your feet, shake your ass and yell like a lunatic on a full moon night.
Band Members
Matt Hazelton - Vocals, Guitar
J Bratlie - Vocals, Banjo
Scotty Gerardy - Vocals, Saxaphone
Eric Gardner - Upright Bass
Lane Bayliss - Drums
Daniel Briethaupt - Percussion
Favorite Bands
Some of the obvious would be Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley. Lots of people say we remind them of Squirrel Nut Zippers and Tom Waits had a love child, with a dose of Jim Morrison for good flavor.
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