Written by Walter Pierce
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The Ind’s own Brother Dege Legg preps for a solo tour in support of his new record with a CD-release party Saturday at Blue Moon.
Every office, like every extended family, has a character. Dege Legg is ours. Part rocker, part writer, Dege is one of those always questing, often cresting, rocking and rolling spirit people who at once keep us guessing and keep us sane. And, in his latest incarnation as thawed-raw Delta blues hippie Brother Dege, he’s about to leave us here at 551 Jefferson St. for a tour in support of his new record, Folk Songs of the American Longhair. We’ll have to make do without him for about a month.
Dege has been a wrought-iron fixture on Lafayette’s independent music scene for 15 years, breaking in with Santeria in ’94, breaking out with Black Bayou Construkt a decade later, and breaking away as Brother Dege, a solo venture.
Now he’s ready to subject himself to the road burn of a tour. No biggie. “I can sleep on a rock. Eat anything. Shower in a truck stop,” he says. “It’s good to get out of town — your problems shrink in size, and you put the world in perspective. Also, I’ve got more fans outside of Louisiana. I can’t keep making records, which I think are pretty good, and have them fall in to the black hole of obscurity six months after they drop. I’m not a great ass kisser or an exceptional networker, so the best thing I can do is just kick out the jams and accept the way it’s received. There is no agenda; I’m into making art, not running for office.”
Dege toured Europe with C.C. Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis in 2006, and has threaded the tread on band vans before and since. Santeria and Black Bayou Construkt still play gigs. As Brother Dege, he will embark on his first solo tour, just a resonator guitar, an amp, and an attitude. “A Dobro is the coolest looking guitar ever — like a time-machine/death ray that makes this twangy music,” he says.
Folk Songs of the American Longhair is also a musical departure from the dark, Southern tribalism of Santeria and the art-roots of BBC. “No music has as much emotional impact with the least amount of fuss,” he says of Delta blues, which serves as the armature upon which Brother Dege drapes a black and blue, tie-died tarpaulin. “I started playing slide 12 years ago, more like a hobby than an artistic pursuit. Just kept doing it for fun. My strength is song writing. So I wrote my own slide songs; kind of like 21st century Delta blues — dark, apocalyptic, and heavy more so than the happy pappy stuff. Doing this kind of Delta blues is tricky though because white people have historically ruined a lot of the blues with mid-life crisis cheese, fedora hats and bad song writing.”
Brother Dege’s tour commences April 29 and will take him up the Appalachian Trial and along the east coast to Boston before heading west to Cleveland and Chicago and then back down through the Midwest. In the meantime, he performs at The Blue Moon Saturday, April 17, for his CD-release party.
Saturday, April 17
Blue Moon Saloon