Is That You in the Blue?, the second studio long player from the Dex Romweber Duo, plays like a fever dream of the 1950s with guitars doubling as ethereal, reverberating angels and fire-tongued devils. And you’re never quite sure if Romweber himself is an archangel or the lead demon.
Romweber is a man haunted, and his playing can feel like an exorcism in reverse. As you listen, you begin to understand the motivations of those square parents of the first rock ‘n’ roll generation who wanted to keep this devil music from their children. It’s easy to believe that Dex Romweber is not of this world, and if those leg-wiggling, pompadoured boys of early rock sounded as frenzied and deeply agitated to those parents then as Romweber sounds now, maybe locking up their sons and daughters wasn’t such a bad idea.
Listen, I don’t mean to be hyperbolic, but even among the down-dirtiest musicians you’ve ever heard, you rarely hear someone play as rawly and primitively – and when I say “primitively”, I don’t mean simple or uneduated; I mean from the very core of emotion – as the Dex Romweber Duo. Sister Sara anchors everything with her heavy beats, but you sometimes feel that even she is one good rage from becoming unhinged. And, in case it’s unclear, I mean these all as good things. This is rock ‘n’ roll as it began and should, in its essence, always be. Fun, yes. Danceable, hell yeah. But even more than that, expressing the dark, passionate, ravenous id of the soul.
Here are Dex and Sara working out their ripped up take on a song from Dex’s old band, the Flat Duo Jets, called “Jungle Drums” – which kicks off Is That You in the Blue?
Jungle Drums – Dex Romweber Duo
Is That You in the Blue? drops on July 26, and the Dex Romweber Duo will be begin touring in earnest on July 22.
7/23 Atlanta, GA @ The Star Bar
7/27 Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
7/28 Charleston, SC @ Tin Roof
7/29 Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
8/2 Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
8/3 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree Cafe
8/4 New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar
8/5 Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
8/6 Austin, TX @ The Continental Club
8/8 Phoenix, AZ @ The Rhythm Room
8/11 West Hollywood, CA @ Whiskey A Go Go
8/12 San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
8/13 Reno, NV @ St. James Infirmary
8/15 Portland, OR @ World Famous Kenton Club
8/16 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
8/19 Chicago, IL @ Glenwood Arts Festival at Heartland Café
8/20 Union City, OH @ Woodcrest Lanes
8/21 Columbus, OH @ The Tree House
8/23 Pittsburgh, PA @ 31st St Pub
8/24 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
8/25 Boston, MA @ Church of Boston
8/26 Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
8/27 New York, NY @ The National Underground
8/28 Washington, DC @ Black Cat (Backstage)
9/3 Ormond Beach, FL @ Iron Horse Saloon