California five-piece Dead Winter Carpenters have a cool name and a lady fiddler, and we're fans of both of these things. They're rolling into LFK for an old-fashioned barn-burner on Monday night, Sept. 17, at the Bottleneck, along with an opener called Good Gravy (Chip: "I hope Good Gravy sprays the crowd with delicious gravy!").
Dead Winter Carpenters have a new album called Ain't It Strange and you can find all the details you need at their official site over here. You can also stream a rollicking set by the band here.
But first, enjoy our interview with the band's fiddler Jenni Charles, who regales us with a truly delightful tale involving Arkansas moonshine and horny hippie chicks.
Richard: I really like the name Dead Winter Carpenters. Tell us the origin story. I hope it involves either (a) killing a carpenter during the winter or (b) the music of The Carpenters.
Jenni: We've never told anyone the true origin of our name, but since you guys seem cool we will let you in on a little secret. Dead Winter Carpenters is a synonym for Sandpaper Mitten. If you're looking for an explanation, feel free to look it up in the urban dictionary. If you want the full experience, consult your local carpenter and I'm sure they'd be happy to give you a helping hand ;)
[At this point, we pause to look up "sandpaper mittens" and Chip laughs for two hours at Jenni's innuendos].
Chip: Let’s run with this death theme for a minute. Given the fact that the band has “dead” in its name and that one of your influences is old-time fiddle music and that one of your songs is called “I Shot Him,” I’m guessing you folks know your way around a murder ballad! So what’s your all-time favorite murder ballad?
Jenni: Favorite murder ballads in order from oldest to newest:
Long Black Veil (Danny Dill/ Marijohn Wilkin)
Down By The River (Neil Young)
Black River Killer (Blitzen Trapper)
Chip: You’ve made the rounds on the bluegrass/jammy festival circuits. Can you share a hilarious or titillating story with our readers that involves some combination of booze (ideally moonshine) and drugs (ideally ‘shrooms) and hippie chicks (ideally naked hippie chicks). If not, just an amusing tale in general from the festival circuit will do.
Jenni: One night we were drinking some homemade moonshine at a festival in Arkansas, listening to some good 'ol fashioned backwoods bluegrass and marveling at the way the singers in the band could hit every harmony equipped with cigarettes poised perfectly out of the side of their mouths. The bass player from the band was so out of his gourd from taking some sort of mind altering substances, he took off his clothes, yelled something about a panic attack and passed out on stage. He laid in the middle of the stage with his band performing around him as if nothing happened. The hippie chicks were so shocked at this, it actually turned them on. They put down their hula hoops, took off their little tank tops and smothered each other in body paint. As for the bassist, he coincidentally got up before the last song and started performing impeccably on the bass again, a cigarette between his lips. Not only that, but after the show he rallied and kept playing, gracing us with his presence in late-night open jam circles until dawn as if nothing ever happened... Moonshine is a wondrous phenomenon...
Richard: You’re celebrating the release of your new album Ain't It Strange at the Bottleneck show. Leave us with a short but powerful statement that convinces our (lazy) readers to come out and party with you good folks on a Monday evening.
Jenni: Come to the Bottleneck on Monday! You will have a guaranteed good time or I will personally kick you out of the club! If you don't come, a series of unfortunate events may occur. You may experience a panic attack from extreme FOMO. You also may become a carpenter or start dating one, which will mean you will only be able to give or receive sandpaper mittens for the rest of your life. If that isn't reason enough to come to the show, how are you going to get laid if you can't show your hyphy new moves on the dance floor? Nobody wants to get down with a couch potato. See ya at the show!