fullLafayette, LA

Mp3: “Too Old to Die Young”

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Dege Legg is a ghost.

His bones rattle like tin cans tied to the tail of an alley cat and he haunts all the darkest parts of your mind, the parts that moan and wail in the middle of the night when the moon bleeds. As a ghost, he s one of America s best kept songwriting (and writing) secrets. He s lived a few lifetimes in the spooky, isolated backwoods of Louisiana where he cultivates his genius on words and music under endless starry skies as the distant static of radio transmitters buzz like mosquitoes skimming the surface of the swamp.

He’s also an inspiration for endless rock n roll rhetoric, and the gonzo nonsense I spin here takes on a dignified, romantic air when I’m talking about Dege (pronounced Deej in case you’re having trouble). I’ve always admired Dege’s accomplishments as a writer (he s a prolific blogger, author of the novel, Battle Hymn of the Good Ole Hillbilly Zatan Boys, and writer/music and calendar editor for The Independent Weekly) and as the main man behind psyouthern rock bands Santeria and Black Bayou Construktion, he’s created some incredible, moving, and magical rock n blues records. In fact, Santeria’s 2003 record, House of the Dying Sun, is a masterpiece and shines like a beautiful, rare gem in America s rock n roll history. I truly believe that.

And now the tradition continues as Dege Legg, as BROTHER DEGE, sheds his skin to let his soul shine on his latest solo album, Folk Songs of the American Longhair. The album is an iconic, bare bones Delta blues record, just Dege and a Dobro, and the steel on every song echoes like falling tears in a mausoleum. It’s a chilling portrait of death and redemption, an ode to the long road, and each and every slide draws you down into the earth s waiting dirt.

- Broken Beard