by: Thomas D. Mooney
Songs about trains. The Dirty River Boys have more songs mentioning trains than rivers–hence the four regions being named after four famous trains, The Sunset Limited, City of New Orleans, California Zephyr, and The Tex-Mex Express. In short, they sing and write about exactly how they describe their acoustic-driven stompers: Outlaw Folk.
You’ve been living underneath a rock the last couple of years if you haven’t been to at least one show, heard their album or EPs, or had someone suggest them. As I wrote some nine months back, “The (mostly) El Paso natives perfectly blend the stark, pure balladry of ’70s Texas songwriters such as Townes Van Zandt, ’70s Rolling Stones grit, attitude, and demeanor, the organic, raw emotion of The Ramones, and the foundation of Old Crow Medicine Show. Don’t misinterpret that assessment though; “Science of Flight” is as original, fresh, and crisp as it can possibly be. It’s those elements done the Dirty River Boys way.” I really don’t think I can say it any better way.
It was just a short month back that we did our very first New Slang Artist Song Tournament featuring Turnpike Troubadours. It just seemed natural we’d look to another up-and-coming band from Texas blazing their own path in the Texas Music scene.
How it works:
We’ve asked five Dirty River Boys “experts” and asked them to rank every DRB song that they’ve officially recorded, except the great Townes Van Zandt cover of “Lungs” and the traditional cover of “El Pescador.” Once we received those rankings, we averaged them out to come up with our official Dirty River Boys Song Bracket, which you can see below.
From that point, we created an anonymous pool of 25 voters who will vote on each match-up as the tournament goes on. The majority wins and moves on. We here at New Slang will comment on each match-up as the song tournament goes on.
Here’s a schedule for the tournament:
Tuesday: Sweet Sixteen