Dead Man String Band has dropped the shield of his mask and can now see what he was always meant to accomplish musically, professionally, and personally.
"Brent Spence Bridge" was filmed at Fifth & Vine LIVE at Fountain Square, an important show for Dead Man String Band. Check out the video and read on to find out more about why he wrote a song about a bridge, and more importantly - the evolution of Dead Man String Band in the past year.
What prompted you to write a song about the Brent Spence bridge?
Had to be done? Being from this city I, like all of us, deal with the ridiculous traffic and headaches that bridge causes for absolutely no reason. All the times it could have been fixed, or replaced only to be scooted off the table to move the money elsewhere... ahem.... Mitch McConnell. I also think it's been labeled one of the top potential architectural disasters waiting to happen in America if I'm not mistaken, SO THAT'S ALWAYS FUN. The comedic part about this whole thing is that I wrote the first verse, chorus, and outro BEFORE the bridge went through its next stage of being a total pain. Long short of the story is when those trucks exploded on the bridge the second verse wrote itself and the song was finished. It gets pretty tongue in cheek and colorful in places so I don't expect it to be played by families across the tristate anytime soon, but it does get quite the reaction every time I play it here.
So much. For one, I have always wanted to have a show there. For years I've seen friends grace the stage there and have selfishly coveted it if I'm being honest.
The bigger reason was that it was the first show since this whole 2020 fiasco where I got to show everyone what I had been working on, what I wanted this band to be, and who I wanted to be ultimately. To be truthful I have wanted to take the music in this direction for a very long time, and it was severely overdue.
How has Dead Man String Band evolved in the past year?
Well not to sound completely self centered or narcissistic it kind of boils down to how I've evolved as a person. For years I had fallen victim to my indulgence and didn't write much of any songs, and any I did write really weren't that great. I was boozed up every night, not wanting to play, and just go out and drink. I was living off the per diems of a clout I didn't really have, with an over inflated ego, and probably liver as well.
It took a lot of life lessons to finally hit the nail home for me, but in the end I quietly reclused myself and started doing the work I had neglected for a long long time. July 10th was one year sober for me. No booze, no nothing. Learning to cope with myself, and to love myself for a change. With that, the music itself changed and gave me the courage to finally remove that smelly mask and just be me. It doesn't mean I won't bring it back on occasion. There are some things planned I can't really talk about but it'll be more for a fun entertaining night, and not something I wish to do all the time again. That character and that music lives in a dark space in my heart and while I acknowledge it I don't wish to live within it anymore.
As for the band itself it is now an actual band, which is weird to say. The lineup as it currently stands (because I keep going bigger and bigger lately) is Eric Osbourne on fiddle and John Castetter on bass, with me doing the guitar, banjo, and a smaller version of my foot drumming.
An evolution aspect some might not like because I was known for years as a one man band, but the most important thing now is that this one man is happier than he's ever been and that's the only validation I really need from it.
Catch Dead Man String Band next at The Southgate House Revival on Friday, September 3rd with Rachel Brooke!