The Mod Cabin is proud to sponsor the 2014 Dawg Daze of Summer Festival happening July 10-12th 2014 at Ol’ MacDonald’s Farm in Savannah Missouri. Dawg Daze of Summer is Missouri’s premier bluegrass and roots Americana music festival. Its the best place to see classic blue grass and roots bands like Split Lip Rayfield, Mountain Sprout, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and more!
It’s also a great place to discover talented bands that have flown a bit under the radar like the Dirty River Ramblers. Hailing from Omaha Nebraska, the Dirty River Ramblers are blue grass fusion pioneers and purveyors of what they like to call beard grass music. We recently had a chance to talk with the Dirty River Ramblers and ask them some questions.
TMC How did the Dirty River Ramblers get started?
Josh K. – Justin, Chris, and I, were in a local bluegrass band, and it wasn’t working out to play the music we wanted to play, or to play the places we wanted to play. We started our own group, just the three of us, with larger horizons in mind, and as a platform to explore our own songwriting. Adding Mace and Josh to the group has only made it better, since they’re both great songwriters and players, and on board for this adventure.
TMC How would you describe your music?
Justin – This is just what I personally would say: it’s hard to describe. It’s slowly and continually changing into something more than bluegrass. We all add our own seasoning to the stew. Bluegrass founded but with touches of lots of other genres continually coming through.
Mace – A Beardgrass Sandwich…one slice traditional, one slice newgrass, with plenty of Jam in the middle, served up just the way you like it!
Josh K. – No boundaries, I think is what we’re after. We’ve all got diverse roots that inspire us when we write, but that doesn’t dictate what our music becomes when it comes together.
TMC You hail from Omaha, can you tell us a little about the music scene there
Josh K. – The music scene in Omaha is very lively. There are a lot of great songwriters and musicians here, and if you take some time to scratch the surface, you’ll find that there’s a lot of musical diversity here, too. Lots of rock, metal, punk, pop, singer/songwriter, hip-hop, funk, country, blues, folk, and even a little bluegrass. There’s a lot of live music happening every night here.
Justin Lots of talent here. You can find anything you want. I went through all kinds of musical phases when I was a kid. The bluegrass scene is still kind of underground here, but it’s there, along with the Peruvian pan flute band.
TMC You guys will be playing in at the Dawg Daze of Summer Festival in July with bands like Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Split Lip Rayfield; are you excited about that? What was the audition like?
Justin – I’m awful excited! The line up is incredible. I can’t wait for the jams that will happen! The audition was a blast, but it’s always a blast makin’ music with these fellers.
Josh K. – It’s great having a festival of that caliber happening within a couple hours of us. It’ll be fun seeing, and hopefully meeting, all the acts that will be there. I honestly didn’t know the Ozark Mountain Daredevils were even around anymore, so that’ll be neat to see them. Used to listen to my mom’s record of them when I was a little kid. The one with them in the flying car.
Chris – Dawg Daze of Summer Festival will be a great venue to frequent as a band. I viewed the audition as a competition between all the bands from all the cities auditioning, as you are being judged and there is a score regardless if there is someone in the lane next to you during the race, you still gotta beat the time, get that judgement value and I think we did pretty good.
TMC You guys sport some pretty awesome beards, was that a conscious decision on the band’s part or did it just happen that way?
Justin – I don’t understand the question. We are men… Or we’re just to damned poor to get haircuts or buy razors, or whatever it’s just us, no beard planning. We just enjoy our beards
Mace – Just happened that way.
Josh C. – As the least bearded member of the band I’m just trying to catch up.
Josh K. – I don’t have the chin for muttonchops.
Chris- We were attracted to each other through the music, the wonder beards are just a bonus. I don’t have a choice, I’ll bleed from cutting always cutting a bump on my chin.
TMC Beards seem to be entwined with the entire bluegrass-fusion/outlaw country music scene. Why do you think that is?
Justin – I have no idea. I just grow mine and play music
Mace – Because the music and the people can be known as exactly that rebels, and the beard is definitely a rebel trait.
Josh C. – Beards fit the character of the music. They’re a little rough around the edges and can be somewhat intimidating but there is also something warm and familiar about them.
Chris- Outlaws like Uncle Jesse and ZZ top.
TMC At The Mod Cabin we are big believers in the Beardlife, that means different things to different people. What does that mean to you?
Josh K. – Beardlife, or life with a beard, to me, means less time spent with razor burn. It’s not so much a fashion statement as it is a way of life, because like it or not, we’ve got beards. We have an informal contest about who’s got the largest beard, which Mace is currently winning, but summer heat sometimes requires a little trimming because they haven’t perfected portable cooling units for men with large beards, yet.
Chris- If someone wants to judge my character by facial hair, like choosing not to do business with me or whatever…. it’s their loss.
TMC What’s in the future for the Dirty River Ramblers?
Mace – Record our second album, record an album with Lisa Mackey, tour the country relentlessly.
Josh K. – Grand Ol’ Opry, Bluegrass Underground, Carnegie Hall…
Justin – Grammy for best Beardgrass band.
Chris- Red Rocks, CO and maybe my hometown…… ya know, you are never a celebrity in your own home town, tough crowd?
Tickets for the Dawg Daze of Summer Festival may be purchased here.