Deadman "Take Up Your Mat and Walk"
A six piece band from Austin Texas, Deadman have hit our European cousins hard achieving the top spot in the November and December EuroAmericana charts. It’s not hard to understand as they deliver a finely honed and extremely well delivered classic Americana sound. Rooted in the seventies L.A. canyon country rock scene with occasional nods to The Band and later stalwarts such as The Jayhawks, there’s an awful lot to like here.
While the album is very much a band effort, it’s apparent that this is singer and writer Steven Collins’ baby. In this respect he reminds one of the early Ryan Adams in Whiskeytown and if he continues in this vein it wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that if he can shake off some of his more apparent influences, he could become the next big thing.
That said, he does write some extremely fine tunes. 'Oh Delilah' is the one that most bravely waves The Band flag while 'I’m Not Who You Think I Am' is like an out take from Dylan’s 'John Wesley Harding'. 'Gilead' rocks up a storm with the band really coming into its own. The guitars slink and storm while the vocals soar, shades of the commercial end of The Grateful Dead inhabit the bones of this song. The peaceful easy feeling of 'Till The Morning Comes' reminds one that the Eagles once listened to Gene Clark while 'This Old World’s Not Gonna Change' tumbles and tears in a powerful fashion. Overall a tremendous debut.