The Black Dirt SessionsAlbum | Deer Tick By T. Cole Rachel
Some serious dark night of the soul stuff.
Providence, Rhode Island, a sprawling New England city best known for political corruption and an art school that spawned the likes of Talking Heads and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, doesn’t necessarily seem like the kind of place a band like Deer Tick would call home. Listening to their excellent third album The Black Dirt Sessions, one might assume this band has been playing the backrooms of southern dive bars for approximately 30 years or so. Improving on the ramshackle quality of previous efforts like War Elephant and Born on Flag Day, the new album is a stripped-down affair charting some serious dark night of the soul territory: death, God, loneliness, all that fun stuff. As always, singer-songwriter John McCauley is the heart of the band, and despite his tender years (he's barely in his 20s), he proves every bit as haunting and haunted as many of his famous forebears on tracks like "Christ Jesus." Deer Tick might lack some of the finesse of folks like Will Oldham, but they are no less adept at plunging the murky depths of country-blues heartbreak.