Written by Traci Rogers
Nov 03, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Old souls they are, Texas sages perhaps. . .Dallas’ Deadman band filled Houston’s Mucky Duck last Thursday night with their compelling songs about the human conditions:   desire, disappointment, and healing.

After a well-received tour in Scandanavia, the six member band returned to Texas with no sign of fatigue. The camaraderie between leadman Steve Collins, acoustic guitarist Kevin McCollough, lead guitarist Jason Hildebrand, bassist Lonnie Trevino, B3 organist Matt Mollica, and drummer Kyle Schneider proves most conducive to the tight harmonies and fluid melodies. They never seem to tire of their own music or each other. Their passion for the music remains fresh! Try crossing their harmony with CSNY, the Eagles and America with the southern sounds of CCR, Allman Brothers and The Band. The resulting composite is Deadman, but with a pinch of spiritual seasoning. Their synergy is genuine and pure, less the evangelical, forceful dogma.

Between tunes Thursday night, Collins explained the various themes woven within each album. The universal subject approached on their latest released North American album Deadman:   Live at the Saxon Pub is healing, or the art of healing. The messages, mixed with country, blues and gospel sounds, prove chilling and makes one wonder if the goose bumps she feels is of The Divine or simply musical euphoria. Like that first cup of Saturday morning coffee, Matt Mollica’s keyboarding tastes warm and full bodied. Reminiscent of an alter call, the B3 organist’s talent might easily compel a Deadman congregant to “Take Up Your Mat and Walk,” surrendering any ill will.

In “Where the Music’s Not Forgotten,” one may think of a gentle diatribe, if there is such an oxymoron. The idea of the song seems to address the frustration of many serious music lovers.   As one guest DJ profoundly said on KPFT’s Laurapalooza broadcast last Friday, “ Great music has been castrated and placed in a box by some corporate suit [in private, mass media radio] who knows little about music in the first place, so he requires his DJs to play the same 25 [popular anthem] songs repeatedly.” Clearly Deadman’s art is created outside of the box.

Deadman baptized the Thursday night audience. Once “I [Laid] Down in the River,” I left The Duck feeling lighter and breathing deeper, having experienced an epiphany: If the Americana Music Association were to award a Chaplains of Music honor, Deadman would be its recipient. After all, these sages love

Mankind. . .[even] in these times of trouble. . .”

We can anticipate the North American release of their latest material in the near future. The audience heard a preview of it, so here’s a hint for you via a riddle: Think of The Grievous Angel building nests out of twelve strings. Deadman fans will find it worth the wait!