The Dodge Brothers are renowned for playing the hell out of classic Americana. Described as “wonderful stuff” by Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris, they play an exuberant hybrid of country blues, rockabilly, jugband and skiffle. Firmly rooted in these traditions The Dodge Brothers bring to them a freshness that has feet stomping and hands clapping from California to Cropredy, from the Mississippi to the New Forest. Their songs feature vocal virtuosity and heartfelt harmonies underpinned by joyous guitars, thumping double bass and rattlin’ snare and washboard.
The Dodge Brothers features Mike Hammond (lead guitar, lead vocals, banjo), Mark Kermode (bass, harmonica, vocals), Aly Hirji (rhythm guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Alex Hammond (washboard, snare drum, percussion). Their music has an authentically American tang – lead guitarist/vocalist Mike Hammond was raised in Alabama and his youthful musical travels took him all over the southern and western USA – but with a strong British perspective from Culture Show presenter and film critic Mark Kermode.
Louisa and the Devil is their second album and features songs that render picturesque images of transport, heartbreak and homicide with tales of strong women, bad men and railroads. These fables are set to hard driving rhythms and conjure mythic images of locomotive trains, lonesome souls, love, death and redemption: a siren call to restless spirits.
The band has presented this potent musical brew on BBC2 Culture Show’s ‘busking challenge’ and they regularly feature on Simon Mayo’s Five Live Friday show. They appeared at the Royal Albert Hall at the Concert for Care alongside David Arnold, Paloma Faith and Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead. Other appearances include The Roundhouse, The Jazz Café with Rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson, sell-out gigs at London’s Borderline, support slots with indie legends The Subways, and shows for huge crowds at The Larmer Tree Festival, Rhythms of the World, Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, Looe Music Festival, The Great Estate and more. They are often joined by Billy Lunn of the Subways who also makes a guest appearance on Louisa and the Devil.
Film and cinematic landscapes come together when The Dodge Brothers join forces with premiere Silent Film pianist Neil Brand to accompany rare Silent features. Their debut was with their accompaniment to W.S. Hart’s White Oak (1921) at the Barbican. Clive Sinclair of the Times Literary Supplement said of this performance; “They are neither brothers nor from Dodge City but play like they are both.” Their accompaniment to the Louise Brooks/Wallace Beery 1927 film Beggars of Life was greeted with great acclaim. Performing this at The British Silent Cinema Festival, The Barbican & The BFI Southbank has prompted glowing reviews and the band became the first ever to accompany a silent film at Glastonbury Festival in 2014. And have played twice above the Arctic Circle to sell-out audiences in Finnish Lapland & Tromsø, Norway.
In a nod to their leftist roots and all around support for the powerless they have now added the 1927 Soviet Film The Ghost Who Never Returned and the incomparable Hell’s Hinges Western starring W.S.Hart.
On their pilgrimage to Memphis Tennessee they paid homage to the hallowed ground of Sun Studios and laid down the tracks for their third album The Sun Set. Elvis, Furry Lewis, Little Junior Parker and Joe Hill Louis looked down on them as they sought salvation in the neon haze of Memphis music history. Their journey was recorded for posterity on the BBC Radio 2 documentary “Mark Goes to Memphis”.
In 2015, Grammy award winning producer, Steve Levine, called upon the band to record & film tracks that The Quarrymen played to demonstrate how Americana helped to mould them into The Beatles. These were shown as part of Liverpool Music Festival show presented by Janice Long and including Dave McCabe, Chris Difford of Squeeze, The Farm, Ian Prowse & more.
David Holmes (DJ, musician & Hollywood movie composer) invited the band to play when he DJ’d at a post-screening party in October; The Dodge Brothers have supported Jools Holland as well as guesting on his BBC Radio 2 Show.
The Dodge Brothers are set to return with a brand new album in 2018.
These guys play with dust in their Levis and the road their hearts.