A rock band without a drummer, a bluegrass band without a fiddler. To the gentlemen of The Dead South, a self-styled 4-piece string band from Regina, Saskatchewan, it’s about how, not what, you play. The Dead South’s combination of cello, mandolin, guitar and banjo has all the hallmarks of a group tuned to bygone times, but with their signature sleight of hand, The Dead South find distinctly modern bathos in this old time rigging.
The band has announced their third album, Sugar & Joy, coming October 11, 2019 via Six Shooter Records. In “Diamond Ring,” poor William, whoever he is, done got robbed by a would-be groom trying to impress his betrothed. Money doesn’t buy love, but it does buy the ring. In The Dead South’s world, characters do what they must, even when twisted logic leads them astray. From the opening galloping strum to the lower register cello and deep backing vocals, the song’s moody mania captures The Dead South’s stock-in-trade, stories of desperation and bad decisions told in fast-paced, brightly-laced bursts.