St. Louis, Mo. Dirtbag Roots Crew, the Hobosexuals
While The Hobosexuals, a dirtbag roots outfit out of St. Louis, are putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album, Definitive Dirtbag, Vol. I, I thought it fitting to provide a sort of introduction to the band and their music over the last few years. Regarding the Hobo lineup, bandleader Ryne Watts (guitar and vocals) had this to say:
Coop and I started playing as a duo, but Andy Rehm (the Hooten Hallers) and I grew up playing music together, so he and Johnny were on board from the get-go, pretty much. The Hooten Hallers, being the whiskey drunk kickass dirtbags they are, hit the road and did it right, so now they’re spreading the gospel of hillbilly soul and rock and roll from coast to coast. The Big Muddy Records family share a lot of members: Brice Baricevic (Bob Reuters Alley Ghost) and Tom Heath (Jack Grelle & The Johnson Family) are part of our usual local quartet lineup. Bipp Russell and I bounce a lot of lyrics off one another and he is one of the best harp players you’ll meet. He’s been an influential member and wrote “She’s Got a New Life (I’ve Got a High Life),” which is the B-side of our 45. So, to answer your question in the form of a ramble, everyone of these folks are core and crucial members of the Hobosexuals; and while some of then maybe traveling the country, like hobos do, they are as much permanent members as Coop and I.
As far as the Hobosexuals’ sound, it isn’t traditional roots music but their very own dirtbag roots with elements of boozy folk-punk and outlaw country — all pinched from a pouch of blended tobacco, sprinkled into a hand-rolled cigarette and smoked at a hillbilly bar over rounds of whiskey shooters and beer chasers. It is music for the bearded masses and all-night barflies; the good ol’ boys n’ gals who live in society yet refuse to be products of it; free-thinking individuals of the world with firm political stances and ill feelings toward authority in all of its forms; working class men and women, open road ramblers pushing on from city to city, and so on. Quite simply, the Hobosexuals’ music is such that it can appeal to those whose tastes are focused on a number of specific genres. And that is not an easy thing for any band to achieve.
No Bull Honky, Just Honky Tonky — a self-released lo-fi recording of ten raw pickers, pluckers, strummers, and bangers — is the Hobosexuals’ first full-length album. There are plenty of standouts on this album, especially the opener “Pigs” (any song against cops is okay in my book). There’s a multi-vocal piece with light strumming in the background, “Stained in Wine” — a combination of old-timey Appalachian folk and countrified blues; and the closer “Whiskey at the End of the World,” an absorbing composition with narrative lyrics over a base of strumming and prominent picking and an accentuating drumbeat. The Hobosexuals’ only other release to date is a two-song 45 with “She’s a Whiskey Maker, But I Love Her Still” on the A-side and “She’s Got a New Life (I’ve Got a High Life)” on the B-side. The upcoming album, Definitive Dirtbag, Vol. I, the band’s first vinyl LP, will be released this summer on Big Muddy Records.
If you are a fan of bands like the Devil Makes Three, the Tillers, Larry & His Flask, the Harmed Brothers, Old Man Markley, and/or the Dinosaur Truckers, there is almost certainly something for you to appreciate in the Hobosexuals.