Ex-Mono Men Leader Returns With The Dt's
Once the leader of America's best mid-'90s garage rock combo, the Mono Men, Estrus
Records owner Dave Crider has been quietly woodshedding in his hometown of Bellingham,
Wash., turning himself into a modern-day soul man, leader of The Dt's. The result
of over two years of work, on stage and in the studio, is Hard Fixed,
the four-piece rhythm & blues band's debut, due out on Estrus April 6.
The Dt's one fan described them as "Etta James meets AC/DC" will hit the road for a West Coast tour in early April, following the album's release. This month they play a handful of shows in Washington State, including record-release parties on March 26 at The B-Side in Spokane and on March 27 at Hogan's Pub in Clarkston.
The Dt's, who played live for the first time two years ago, on March 16, 2002, at the Stanwood Tavern in Stanwood, Wash., are a hard-rockin' rhythm & blues
band featuring the outstanding powerhouse vocals of Diana Young-Blanchard, a
punked-out heartbreaker whose raw, soulful voice reminds us by turns of Janis
Joplin, Tina Turner and Aretha. Young-Blanchard previously sang in Madame X.
In addition to Crider on guitar, The Dt's include drummer Phil Carter (who previously
played with Crider in his last band, Watts) and, on the album, organist Patti
And how did Crider, who put the band together in November 2001, make the shift from garage rock to what he calls "hard soul"? "I don't really think of it as a radical shift as much as a natural progression," he wrote in an email. "Diana and I have both always shared common musical ground, and we had been wanting to combine our shared love of greasy hard rock and sweaty soul get-down. I think we have achieved that goal with The Dt's."
Crider and Young-Blanchard first got to know each other while attending Eisenhower High School in Yakima, Wash. "In fact I was in my first band with her," Crider wrote. "[Later] she was the voice behind the Madame X release on Estrus [Paris, Adultworld] and sang backups on several of the Mono Men releases. We've been talking about getting a band together for the past 10 years, but have both been so busy with other projects that it wasn't feasible until now."
What allowed The Dt's to form was Young-Blanchard's return to Bellingham "to finish up her teaching degree," Crider wrote. "And so finally being back in the same town made it possible to actually get the band together that we had been musing about."
Hard Fixed was recorded at Seattle's Egg Studios, with Tim Kerr producing during an intense four days of sessions (another four days were spent mixing). The result is a vital 10-song album that captures the raw energy of the band's live performances. Highlights include a radical makeover of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "The Hurt Is Over," which builds over an infectious guitar hook, before exploding into the chorus ("Baby, baby, the hurt is over!") and the swampy album opener, "Loaded Gun," which finds Young-Blanchard calling out a double-crossing lover.
The group's West Coast tour kicks off at Zen Sushi in Los Angeles on April 9, and includes shows in San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Ore., and Seattle. For the full itinerary, check out The Dt's Web site. Michael Goldberg [Tuesday, March 16, 2004]