Tonight was an outing to East Nashville's Matty's Ally, a sports bar by day and a hole in the wall live music venue by night. The scene was like a club in the country with a door guy in an official t-shirt and wristbands to prove we paid the 5 dollar cover. The stage was adorned with a huge square wooden pillar right in the middle and cheesy American DJ lights. The cheap beer and the fact that I could smoke inside made me feel right at home. This place, however bush league for Nashville, was the perfect place to see the rowdy country punks Dash Rip Rock.
We arrived just as DRR was about to start. Half of the crowd seemed to lack enthusiasm, being more interested in hitting on the few decent looking ladies, while the other half was fueled up and ready to rock. With plenty of leather jackets and rolled up sleeves, I wasn't surprised to see as much air guitar as I did, but I was surprised to see the amount of gray hairs dancing.
Dash Rip Rock were a veteran outfit from N'awlins with a real talent for writing clever catchy punk country songs. They tip toed the edge of rockabilly without the typical stand-up bass and pompadours, instead employing Telecasters and mutton chops. A few songs into the set, their stirring rendition of "Man of Constant Sorrow" kicked off a run of songs, each with a story or dedication to its namesake. Songs such as "Fall Down Go Boom", "If You See Kay", (about a former abusive girlfriend), and "I Wanna Get Drunk in a Liquor Store With You" had the feel that only a lawless battle-scarred touring punk band could conjure up. I particularly liked the drummer's version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and got a kick out of "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot" sang to the tune of "Let's Go to the Hop".
Overall, these guys were a great time, complete with high kicks in unison and actual musical talent to go along with the not-so-serious lyrical content. I could totally see this show at a small time festival after about 12 beers in the sun. They clearly still have a great time playing and know exactly how to get a crowd hopping. Aside from being great performers, they were pretty cool guys too as I chatted with them for a bit after the show. If anyone is looking for a good romp, check to see if Dash Rip Rock is coming anytime soon, find a designated driver, and check them out.