Dharma Bombs "Bird Dog Basement Tapes" CD
Listen to their new EP, Bird Dog Basement Tapes, and you might imagine a group of old string and horn players with dusty instruments and unruly facial hair. Watching them set up for a live show, you’d be forgiven for wondering if you were in the wrong place.
Instead, what you get is a group of twenty-somethings (some with facial hair, yes) led by recent VCU graduate Trey Hall playing a fusion of genres -- folk, blues, swing and more -- that predate them by generations, what Hall calls Appalachian-Dixieland.
The five-track EP, recorded with Justin Black of Crystal Pistol Records, captures the band’s evolution from a loose -- even raucous -- college band to something more practiced and sophisticated, though Hall said he wants to keep the group’s emphasis on its live shows, using any recordings to capture the live feel.
“[Black] creates the most organic environment in Richmond,” Hall said. “Recording for me is inorganic. I want to play live, not in a box. If people aren’t dancing how can we play dance music?"