The Dirt Daubers : Wake Up, Sinners

Much more than a side project, The Dirt Daubers have delivered a collection of old world rhythms as authentic to eras near forgotten by today’s radio standards as the roads one must maneuver in order to find these sounds. Their debut release, Wake Up, Sinners, is a terrific time capsule of Appalachian bluegrass, ragtime, New Orleans jazz, Celtic tempos, swing, and traditional country that quickly engrosses the listener with “real” music. This is not a highly polished, over produced album; it is the toe-tapping truth.

Comprised of the husband and wife songwriting team of J.D and Jessica Wilkes, The Dirt Daubers are rounded out by the bass slapping good times of Mark Robertson. For those familiar with the Legendary Shack Shakers, J.D. and Mark should be familiar names to you. What you won’t find on any LSS album is the old timey radio show vocal channeling of Jessica Wilkes. “Get Outta My Way” is a knock out ride of female empowerment where Jessica takes front and center to state her case; in complete agreement with her are the backdrop horns which find their way perfectly into the open room recording technique. The Daubers step right into a traditional country vibe with “Angel Along the Tracks” with J.D. giving his baritone delivery to the acoustic track. The shift between styles sounds as if it could be jarring to the album’s flow, but it is a seamless blend of songwriting and musicianship. Nestled within the original songs are few traditional numbers such as the album opener “Wayfaring Stranger” and “Say Darlin’ Say.” None of these covers have been updated, but rather they’ve been preserved through the skills of new performers.

Wake Up, Sinners is a fun and good spirited ride albeit a short one (the album clocks in at under 30 minutes). But the point of the album is not to jam out songs, it is to revisit the front porches and the backroom speakeasies where good times came in creative spurts but which found a lasting longevity in the musical hearts and folklore just the same.

Wake Up, Sinners is out now on Colonel Knowledge Records.