Music

Brother Dege Gets Into the Deep Self and the Deep South With "Country Come to Town" (premiere)

Jedd Beaudoin
Photo: Brian Rich / Courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media

Louisiana treasure Brother Dege offers a taste of upcoming effort, Farmer's Almanac, with a tale of what happens when you trade the dirt road for the paved one.

There's cause for celebration when Brother Dege issues new music and "Country Come to Town" is no exception. The song, taken from the new release, Farmer's Almanac (out June 1 via Psyouthern Records) slithers and slides, pushes its way under our skin like southern humidity, leaves our feet tapping in a hypnotic rhythm informed by the march of history and the heaviness of heritage. The melodic and rhythmic elements, both a burden and gift visited upon the artist and the listener, haunting us and reminding us of music's most primal urges and its ability to unleash those primitive instincts. This isn't music you think about as much as you absorb, music that becomes as integral to your deep self as your blood and skin.

Brother Dege confirms that there is something unsettling, a sense of urgency and change afoot in the lyrics. "The song is about that odd, insecure feeling you get when one grows up in the country or a small town and must eventually do battle, in some form or another, on the killing floor of the big city."

Grammy-nominated (Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained) Brother Dege Legg 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 slaughterhouse of the Deep South.

Brother Dege has been called one of Louisiana's best-kept secrets. A writer who won the Louisiana Press Award in 2004, he is also a Grammy-nominated musician for via Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. Having worked as an embedded journalist and homeless shelter employee, he has earned his share of critical acclaim, in particular with the 2010 release, Folk Songs of the American Long Hair, the very record that brought Brother Dege to Tarantino's attention.

Before that he spent a decade with the southern tribal rock band, Santeria, which cut four albums and weathered storms that would have killed some bands in their infancy. Writers, it seems, cannot avoid mentioning two things when scribbling about Brother Dege: Drugs and the southern artistic lineage from which the musician springs. Faulkner here, Robert Johnson and Son House there, throw in some Breece D'J Pancake, Flannery O' Connor and maybe even some James Dickey and the psychedelic gumbo deepens. There is indeed a hallucinatory quality to Brother Dege's music, and even the name conjures something mysterious, dreamlike, an image or memory that lives on the other side of the keyhole to the doors of perception.

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