Since 2012, the Dead 27s has been relentlessly making their way through the booming Charleston, SC music scene. They have opened for bands such as Toubab Krewe, Patterson Hood, Col. Bruce Hampton, Orgone, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, The Motet, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many others. They have won multiple awards, including, Rock Band of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year as well as individual awards for its performing members in the 2014 City Paper Music Awards.
The music of Trey Francis – Vocals, Wallace Mullinax – Guitar, Will Evans – Guitar, Oliver Goldstein – Bass and Daniel Crider – Drums, has been defined as “a Southern blend of rock and soul”, and that’s probably the closest description for what this band delivers on the EP, “Chase Your Devils Down”.
Anyone who claims that rock and soul ain’t what it used to be clearly hasn’t heard of these stunning musicians. This will remind you of soul and blues from the late 60’s – with rock from the early 70’s. But probably the most compelling quality of the Dead 27s is how seamlessly they stay true to the pure, old school rock and soul sounds while making their music cutting edge relevant to today’s listeners.
So just when you’re ready to give up on the state of popular music, you hear the opening guitar riffs of “Don’t Comfort Me” and when Trey Francis’ vocals drop in, your mind at once becomes flooded by memories of Tom Johnston’s Doobie Bros, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Molly Hatchett, Lynyrd Skynyrd…and the list is just endless!
But it doesn’t stop there. When the second track kicks in, you’re flipped into Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Al Green territory; this is when you quickly realize that you may be listening to something almost legendary here. And I say this with total respect to the illustrious above-mentioned names.
The Dead 27s is simply amazing, their technical quality is top notch, but that becomes almost irrelevant once you’ve gotten addicted to their hypnotic southern vibe –which happens exactly at track number 4 – or rather on “Don’t Want to Live My Life Without You”. For over four-and-a-half minutes I desperately tried to keep my feet from tapping and my lips from mimicking the falsetto choruses. Impossible. I couldn’t do it, no matter how hard I tried!
By the time I reached the mid- tempo ballad, “Last Time I Get Burned”, there was no doubt that this EP is a winner on many levels. The Southern area has produced various music legends in a variety of genres and has a rich legacy of recorded music, “Penny” and “Nobody’s Fault but Mine”, the Ep’s two closing tracks just confirms that the Dead 27s are clearly working their way onto that A-list.
The surprising factor is that the music is so good and emotionally engaging, you totally forget about the superb quality of its players – the foot stomping bass and drum rhythm section of Goldstein and Crider, the gritty twin guitars by Mullinax and Will Evans and the excellent vocals delivered by Trey Francis. I figured that was a good thing, at the end of the day good music is all about the songs. And these will truly rock your soul!