Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The places that the Rum Drum Ramblers take us with their music are into the backwoods where the majority of the folks go fishing or hunting for their dinner. They head out with the pole, sit along the banks for a few hours and return when they've got enough for everyone. If that takes a few more beers or plugs from the corn liquor bottle, so be it. Dinner is a priority, so it's alright. They head home with the vittles on the string, back to debone, gut, clean and throw them into a homemade batter, so that they can sit down to more of the 'shine, in a home that smells richly of the fermented wood smoke that the place is heated with. It's a place where you'd expect a fresh apple piece as a dessert offering and plenty of kids running around, catching frogs and spinning out on their dirt bikes - covered at the end of the day with dust and sticky sweat. They take us to a revival of olden times, only with the trappings of modern existence. There are women in these stories with tattoos on their chests and there are all kinds of entanglements involving jealous men and women. There are the knock-em-down blowouts between these red-blooded individuals and there's a sense that all of these interactions are going to remain interesting and crazy for quite some time. Lead singer Doormat Wilson has a classic voice for the playful kind of woe that has always been entertaining to hear - that ragtime-y breeziness that comes along with a wink and a nudge. There's some of that pining for the woman who's the pain in that man's ass, but everyone is well aware that the other side of the story reflects the same sort of stubbornness and an equal pain in the assedness. These are the hard-headed Olympics and there are many medalists. This group from St. Louis, Missouri, and good friends and bandmates of Pokey LaFarge, takes us into that muddy river water that runs through the veins of two people who feel as if they're drowning in their own shit situations and under each other's own heavy paws. They're being repressed and they're feeling the hot, burning sun cooking down on them. They're free, but stifled and a little bit unsatisfied, though still well-fed and taking the right amount of suds down their gullets every night on the porch. They've got those rosy cheeks, a bit of depression and still some lively, tapping feet knocking against the wooden ground.