To the hog-butchers of the world, “fatback” is a particularly versatile part of the pig: it can be deep-fried and served as pork rinds, cured into specialty bacon, or rendered to create lard. Not bad for an unappetizing-sounding piece of flesh. Like its namesake, St. Louis quintet Fattback is a particularly versatile rock & roll band, capable of playing blues guitar riffs, deep funk grooves, and Southern rock’s swaggering leads without losing its singular, salty flavor.
Formed in 2005 by five neighborhood friends, Fattback cut its teeth the old-fashioned way: playing countless shows in and around St. Louis and touring the Midwest and Northeast states, all the while honing their vision of party-starting music that was both long on musical chops and full of fever-dream lyrics.
Canary, Fattback’s 2009 album, proves that those years of gigging have paid off in full. From the Memphis organ-soul stew of “Hey Pretty Lady (Take a Look at My Legs)” to the unstoppable, road trip-from-hell travelogue of “Tow That Line,” it’s apparent that Fattback has found a way to translate its kinetic live show into a fiery studio album.
As a band known for its tightness on stage, it’s no surprise that Fattback is much more than the sum of its parts. Vocal duties are shared among guitarist Dave Hagerty, drummer John Joern, and keyboardist Grady Briedenbach, each delivering confident, memorable performances with varying amounts of grit and gristle. Guitarist Sean Dalmeyer adds his own voice through his guitar, using distorted slide guitar or fat, propulsive chords depending on the mood, and bassist Mike Apperson is tasked with stitching the whole mess together, which he does with a growling, melodic grace. The band members’ background in bluegrass, reggae and alt-country bands adds to the range of influences, and the communal vibrations between band mates assure that each track is a seamless unit that never drops the beat or loses the groove.
You can strain your brain trying to describe Fattback. It’s soul music for souls sustained by a diet of beef jerky, Stag beer and Willie Nelson records. It’s pop music by ’80s kids who think that Huey Lewis was a bigger talent than Michael Jackson. It’s rock & roll by a band that isn’t sure if it wants you to dance your ass off or laugh your ass off. For Fattback, it’s all these things and a few things we probably missed.
Praise for Canary (2009)
“On Canary, the band`s barroom blues and punked-up honky-tonk riffs combine with nonsensical lyrics and hearty, greasy vocals to create a nonstop tour of unhinged rock & roll.”—Christian Schaeffer, The Riverfront Times, July 29, 2009. http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2009-07-29/music/homespun-fattback-canary-self-released/
“What Fattback has done is harness soul and emotion in a harder rock model and made that soul accessible through a variety of genres. After hearing this recording I am already waiting for the next one. Canary was definitely worth the wait.” – “Brotha” Dan Kinney, KDHX (88.1 FM) Blog, July 14, 2009. http://kdhx.org/blog/2009/07/14/fattbacks-new-release-is-phat/
Bands We Like Sharing the Stage With:
The Detroit Cobras
The Dirty 30`s
Left Lane Cruiser
The Death Ships
Gentleman Auction House
Black Diamond Heavies
The Insidious Rays
Pearls and Brass
And many more…
Selected Venues Played :
Mississippi Nights/ St. Louis, MO
Cicero’s/ St. Louis, MO
Off Broadway/ St. Louis, MO
The Way Out Club/ St. Louis, MO
The Brighton Bar/ Brighton, NJ
The Funhouse/ Bethlehem, PA
The Jackpot Saloon/ Lawrence, KS
The Hole in The Wall/Austin, TX
Davey’s Uptown Rambler/ Kansas City, MO
The Blue Fugue/ Columbia, MO
And many more…
Last updated: 03/12/2009
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