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Blues That Defy My Soul

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Album Review

Musically, Dexter Romweber hasn't changed a great deal from his last release — the mix of rockabilly, blues, and surf remains at the core of his sound. But he seems to have distilled it into a very potent brew that works very well within the limited parameters those genres offer. He is Chris Isaak's manic brother, desperately in need of his lithium, always hovering close to the edge. His fascination with monsters comes to the fore on "Monster Blues," but overall this is a more serious (though equally warm-hearted) album than its predecessor, with a very heartfelt "I've Lost My Heart to You." He can push the edge when he wants, as on the spiky "Man Walks In," or the lo-fi acoustic closer, "Prison Called Life." When he does rock out, as on "Rockin" Dead Man" and "The 309," he's perfectly convincing. Putting new life and energy into music like this is an art form in itself. But Romweber has managed it, and he's continuing to grow with it. The trio format is exactly what he needs, with plenty of oomph to back him up, but elastic enough to give him freedom for his voice and guitar. Even if it breaks no new ground, Blues That Defy My Soul is a joy.


Born: 1966 in Batesville, IN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known as the former frontman of Flat Duo Jets, Dexter Romweber's affinity for rockabilly, surf, punk, blues, and lounge has inspired his career for the better part of two decades. While still playing in Flat Duo Jets, Romweber began his solo career with 1996's deceptively named Folk Songs, a collection of originals and a few handpicked covers. He also appeared on the 2000 Tom Waits tribute New Coat of Paint, and delivered the eight-song EP Big Beat the same year. Chased by Martians was released...
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Blues That Defy My Soul, Dexter Romweber
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