The Deadly Gentlemen
Greg Liszt – Vocals and Banjo
Stash Wyslouch – Vocals and Guitar
Mike Barnett – Vocals and Fiddle
Dominick Leslie – Vocals and Mandolin
Samson Grisman – Vocals and Double Bass
Hi there! We’re the Deadly Gentlemen. What would you like to know? We started out a couple years ago as an experimental spoken word bluegrass band, but we’ve changed the game plan this time around. Now we mostly play epic folk and grasscore. Our most recent CD is called Carry Me To Home.
There are five band members: Greg Liszt, banjo and vocals; Stash Wyslouch, guitar and vocals; Mike Barnett, fiddle and vocals; Dominick Leslie, mandolin and vocals; and Sam Grisman, double bass and vocals.
Instead of having a lead singer, we use a nonstop orchestration of somewhat unconventional vocals, with everybody in the band doing everything they can. Expect a lot of three-part harmony singing, group shouting, really dense rhymes and an almost rap-like phrasing.
Most of the songs on our new CD are reinventions of traditional folk songs, but you might not notice that if you weren’t a big folk music enthusiast.
There’s a murder ballad (done acoustic death metal style), a song about moonshining, a rockabilly blues, and a rewrite of an old-time song about the police coming to get you. There are also a couple songs about the ups and downs of living the dream — you know, playing music.
Our songs have kind of a rock ‘n’ roll feel, despite the acoustic bluegrass instrumentation. The melodies tend toward the anthemic side, and the upright bass is usually pretty in-your-face. The album does have a slight sense of humor but no real jokes, per se.
And in case you were wondering, there are no bad words on the album.
Oh yeah, but the Bad Habit Blues (Track #9) does have kind of a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas vibe — I guess you could call it Gonzo folk. It’s a remake of a 100-year old song called the Cocaine Blues. For God’s sake don’t think we’re advocating that kind of behavior! Just say no.
A lot of the songs’ lyrics started out as miniature epic poems based on folk songs. That’s where the term “epic folk” comes from. The grasscore songs are the ones where everybody in the band throws caution to the wind and goes completely berserk. Kind of the punk or hardcore mentality, but applied to bluegrass.
Um…just one more thing: please don’t call it a boy band!