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Brother Dege | The Early Morn

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The Early Morn

by Brother Dege

Southern gothic, Delta Blues, psych-folk journey through the Deep South layered with other worldly slide guitars.
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
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1. The Early Morn
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Album Notes
Brother Dege & Tom Portman play a special live version of "The Early Morn" in Kinvara, Ireland for the Bearfoot Sessions during a stop on the 2019 European Brother Dege & the Brotherhood tour.

ALBUM: from the album FARMER'S ALMANAC (Psyouthern Records)

Brother Dege translates his vision of the Deep South with otherworldly slide guitars, poignant lyricism, and an evocative style of rural psychedelia that recalls Ry Cooder’s most slide-drenched soundtracks (Paris, Texas, Southern Comfort). The key to Farmer’s Almanac is Brother Dege’s use of Dobro & resonator guitars in inventive, non-traditional ways: doubled unison drones, ambient soundscapes, ethereal echos, no wave noise, heavy metal-like acoustic riffing as well as harnessing the paranoia and desperation of the old Delta Blues. All of the above are in plentiful supply throughout the album’s 11 tracks. In addition, the epic songcraft and raw, earthy tones present in the songs, illustrate an often neglected, darker-hued side of Americana music that is often overlooked in favor of harmony-based folk. Between the album’s two waltzing bookends (“The Bitters Pt. I & II), lies the world of Farmer’s Almanac. From foot-stomping barn-burners to Robert Johnson-on-Thorazine ruminative brooders, the album surges from song to song with moonlit, ambient segues and mercurial meditations that disarm the listener before charging back into a swirl of dueling slide, Dobro-rattling crescendos. If you are a fan of ambitious, great American epics and alt-roots music, Farmer’s Almanac is the album you’ve been looking for.

Grammy-nominated Brother Dege Legg (Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained) is one of the best-kept secrets in Louisiana; a musician, writer (Louisiana Press Award 2004, 2008), outsider artist, and heir to a long line of enigmatic characters birthed in the slaughterhouse of the Deep South. It’s a been a wild ride for this boy. Like the mad love child of Son House and William Faulkner, Legg has burned a colorful trail through the Promised Land, working odd jobs (dishwasher, day laborer, cabdriver, embedded journalist, homeless shelter case worker), hitchhiking, studying philosophy, writing, and following the creative muse through many dark corners of the Deep South.

Growing up, there were few promising opportunities for a young man of Legg’s stripe in Cajun country and things eventually got difficult and strange: chronic bouts of depression, drug use, small town drama, and arrests soon became routine. During one gloomy episode - deflated, broke, and strung out - Legg climbed the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge, determined to dive into the next life, but after a last minute change of heart, humbly climbed back down and vowed to find a better way to exist. He immediately drove himself to rehab in a stolen Camaro and rededicated himself to creative pursuits, namely songwriting. He formed the southern tribal rock band, Santeria who had a 10-year run of chaos and bedeviled kookiness (1994-2004). After four albums, they disbanded in an anarchic heap of bad luck, poverty, exhaustion, and voodoo curses they suspected were cast on the band to hasten their demise.

Legg spent the next year living in low-rent motels and trailer parks, writing new songs that tapped into the haunting style of the Delta Blues greats. With an odd ease, the songs poured out, spitting new life into the genre, not by hackneyed imitation, but by infusing original Delta-slide songs with his own experience of growing up in the Deep South—young, white, alienated, and lost. Legg’s Robert Johnson-on-Thorazine-style slide work paired with his droning-rural psychedelia brought the backwoods sounds of Louisiana (hurricanes, cows, cicadas) to life while remaining firmly rooted in the troubled and death-obsessed masters. This batch of songs became the first Brother Dege release, the now critically-acclaimed Folk Songs of the American Longhair (2010) - a record that Quentin Tarantino later referred to as “a greatest hits album” of new Delta blues.

Home-recorded in Lomax-like austerity, the album delivered postmodern tales of desperate southerners, apocalyptic prophecies, midnight angels, hippie drifters, burning barns, and the endless ghosts that haunt the history the Deep South. Quietly self-released with no distribution, no representation, and absolutely no hype, Folk Song of the American Longhair quickly earned 4-star reviews (UNCUT) and gained the attention of numerous tastemakers in film and TV, scoring sync placements on Discovery Channel’s After the Catch, Nat Geo’s Hard Riders, women’s cycling documentary Half the Road, Netflix’s The Afflicted, and most notably hand-picked by Quentin Tarantino for inclusion in the movie and soundtrack to Django Unchained.

Brother Dege quickly expanded his cinematic vision of the South with two follow-up albums: How to Kill a Horse (2013) and Scorched Earth Policy (2015). Teaming with otherworldly slide guitars, country psych, barn burning bangers, the tradition continues with his latest release Farmer’s Almanac, a sprawling, southern concept album that further explores the unique mysteries of small towns.



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