The Dungarees breathe new life into down-home country music
The Dungarees have always managed to keep their drive, despite the ups and downs of 10 years together.
“There are definitely challenges, but I think the biggest one is just keeping perspective and staying positive,” said vocalist and bassist James Murdoch.
“If you’d talked about the things we’re achieving today 10 years ago, we would have lost our minds.”
Drawing inspiration from Dwight Yoakam, The Dungarees have gone on to tour with him, as well as with other big names in country music, such as Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton.
Their second EP, Twenty Something, aims to bring listeners a more mature sound than their previous work.
The title track is an introspective look at a long life, while “Broken Down” manages to explore a failing relationship and be undeniably catchy at the same time.
“For the longest time, we had a mantra of ‘no slow songs,’” said Murdoch.
“All we wanted to do was rock out and play shows, play four sets a night and have people sweating on the dance floor.
“And that’s fun. But it doesn’t really give you any contrast. You start to lose yourself and you lose people because you need to give them something more dynamic.”
Although they bring a modern sound to the genre, Murdoch was adamant that The Dungarees are not a pop-country band. Listeners will find no mention of tailgate parties, lifted trucks, and ice-cold beers with the boys.
“I’m not judging that, it’s just not what we do,” laughed Murdoch.
“I’d like to think that, within the genre, we are giving people another look at what country can sound like, outside of what commercial country sounds like.”
The Real Award
Despite being nominated for and winning several ACMA and CCMA awards, including Album of the Year and Single of the Year, the band is most proud of receiving the Community Spirit award for their charitable work.
Every year, they play a 24-hour Gigathon to raise money for the Patient Financial Assistance Program. So far, the band has raised close to $60,000.
“We literally play for 24 straight hours,” said Murdoch.
The program helps Albertan cancer patients cover day-to-day costs such as childcare and groceries. This lets them put their time and energy into healing.
The Dungarees performed at the Oak Tree Tavern in Calgary on Feb. 13, playing what Murdoch called a “stripped-down acoustic session.”