Features, Dexateens, Those Darlins | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Features, Dexateens, Those Darlins 

When: Wed., May 20, 9 p.m. 2009
Price: $12
The Dexateens have put out five albums in their 11 years as a band, but the brand-new Singlewide (Skybucket/Cornelius Chapel) is the first I’ve heard of this country-rock combo from Tuscaloosa, Alabama—and it’s more than good enough to get me on board. Core members John Smith and Elliott McPherson play guitar, sing, and write the homespun melodies, and together with Nashville studio whiz Mark Nevers, who produced the record, they evoke an impressive range of rootsy sounds—the twangy, bittersweet vocal harmonies sometimes remind me of the Jayhawks, “Down Low” has a touch of psychobilly wildness, and “The Ballad of Souls Departed,” with its ghostly backdrop of feedback, suggests a less shambolic Califone. Rather than take inspiration from other alt-country acts, like so many latecomers to the field do, the Dexateens seem to look all the way back to hillbilly proto-rock, and it makes them a refreshing listen. The Features headline and Those Darlins open. —Peter Margasak

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