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Deano Waco Meets The Purveyors

By Don Jacobson

Dean Schlabowske's new, Web-only, free-download album Deano Waco Meats the Purveyors is a pure example of artsy electric bluegrass and strangely disturbing gospel hollers. It also reminds us what the world is missing now that Austin's The Meat Purveyors have all but closed up the butcher shop.

Deano, of the Waco Brothers, of course, is at his best on the song "Box Store," a hillbilly gospel tune about working at a boring job and apparently having a thing for a fellow box store employee. It highlights all his best songwriting traits: Smart-ass funny, impenetrably nonsensical and broadly hinting at something a bit darker just beyond the bend:

I work in a box store
Stand aside you on most days
I love to hear to hear you talk
I just can't stand the things you say
If I could fly so high
And look down upon this place
I would blow out all the walls
And wake up feeling different each day

I work in a box store
Some things nobody needs
I love the way you look
I just hate the way you look at me
If I could fly so high
And look down upon this place
I would kill the chatter
And wake up feeling different each day

Schlabowske, Bill Anderson, Pete Stiles, Stanli Cohen and Cherilyn DiMond are joined by Waco Brothers/Dollar Store drummer Joe Canarillo on this song, which is one of more upbeat numbers on Deano Waco Meats the Purveyors, along with "Vacant Lot" (which features the line, "A preacher and a congressman trying to walk a straight line") and "Workin' For the Devil," in which Deano vows he's given up toiling for that particular employer (I wonder if it's really his boss from the box store?).

Schlabowske is a Chicago treasure what with his wine store on North Avenue and his primitive, spooky electric guitar, which on the album blends thrillingly with the virtuoso string work from Anderson and Stiles that I loved so much with the pretty-much late and lamented TMP. I'm not sure how often vocalist-bassist DiMond has appeared with her former mates since they broke up in 2006 after she got married and moved to Maine, but I'm guessing the Deano project was probably one of the few times. She and Jo contribute backing vocals on the album that really make all difference.

Oh, and I just had to include these lyrics from Deano's "More Than Fair":

I'm diving in
To the cut-out bin
Yesterday's lunch
Still on my chin

Talk about about your "gutbucket" blues.

Also, it should be noted that Bloodshot has announced it has come into possession of a batch of rare, long-out-of-print CDs of TMPs' 1999 second album, More Songs About Buildings and Cows. The label got 'em back from a foreign distributor and is now letting them go for $10 apiece.

And your time would not be wasted by downloading the free promo track of "More Man Than You'll Ever Be (& More Woman Than You'll Ever Get)." A true Purvs classic.

Right at the end of the above clip, you can catch a great shot of Deano exchanging a big ol' hug with Pete Stiles in the afterglow of a great hillbilly song, done very well. Kind of a YouTube moment, I'm thinking.


Posted on June 10, 2009

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