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Monday, May 20th, 2024

Country Night Market & Hootenanny with Dylan Earl

with Kym Register + Meltdown Rodeo

Time: 8:00PM

Admission: $15

Doors: 7:00PM

The charming DYLAN EARL is here all the way from Arkansas alongside The Triangle’s very own country babes KYM REGISTER + MELTDOWN RODEO to honk the tonk while a whole mess of marketeers sell their wares, including Cabalchemy, Maker’s! Care, Scorchers Handmade, Cat Katya Tongue, Bunny Roadkill, Vonne Makes Art, and Crimson Harvest.  It’s gonna be a grand ol’ time!

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I’m from where I woke up this morning. I write the songs that come to mind and struggle with the ones that don’t. I find humor in misconceptions and solace in laughter, love in the street and fire in the eyes of the marginalized. I prefer facts over alternate facts. I’m here to shoot you straight, although sometimes I fire from the hip. 

I was born a Cajun in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the end of the 1980s. When I was a boy, I was naturalized by the Natural State, then became a man. I plan to die in Arkansas. I dream of the raven riding thermals along the cliffs of the Ouachita. I’m blessed by the monks of Subiaco and silent with it’s hills. Sometimes my boots are tugged by the Calcasieu mud. A cold beer goes further than you think; “don’t give me two unless you’ve got 12 more” my buddy always says. I used to ride the levee at night and shoot at the moon. I used to run with the boys in Logan County, that’s also in Arkansas. I used to hold my breath in church until I saw stars just to see if Jesus would come down off that cross and save me. I used to hide from my brother, now I just hide from the cops. The sound of a dog drinking water is my favorite sound. I’ve never written all the songs I wish I had, but I’ve got 3 albums you can find on me or the internet. I used to be in a band called Keyless Gentry…we did one show. I spent all my 20s sweating on guitars, I hope to do it all my 30s. I spend most of my time behind a wheel, getting to you. 

Growing up, my mom played all her country tapes in our ’89 econoline. I love those songs almost as much as our memories. 

It was my mother 
Who first took me to the country 
I’m indebted to her 
Not only in Love 
But also in Time 

Say no to fascism” -DEARL

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“Sometimes the process of mining for melody in words eviscerates the raconteur, gutting them like a tornado through a trailer park. Sometimes, “the truth” is a revival of shit rather forgotten, igniting a coward’s desire to look away. With “Meltdown Rodeo,” Kym Register foregoes such consolatory diversions for visceral scrutiny and unbroken stares. The result is a body of tunes that forages the American south, dislodging its ducked bullets from pearly white sand. 

According to Register, “Scottsboro,” the album’s opener, was years in the making. It recounts the little known history of “The Scottsboro Boys,” nine Black men falsely accused of raping a pair of white women in hyperpyrexic 1930’s Alabama. One accuser eventually admitted the allegations were bullshit, but, for Black men in the Jim Crow south (as it is now), any assumptions of guilt are soon proven a permanent brand. Register wails against America’s foremost refrains –jury and peers and whole truths– in lyrics hefty with reconciliation and metaphor. “A blind eye, A blind eye is all justice knows/ Of the truth of what happened in Scottsboro/ Come on now, this story’s not that old.” Contrary to Register’s demand for account, the American south knows no shame. 

Balancing the album is Register’s odes to white, working class reckoners– Ella May, Maureen, Soni Wolf– that encases their unsung acts of defiance in mid-tempo rhapsodies. The aptly-titled “Blue,” is a diagnosis of Joni Mitchell’s unchecked iconoclasm. Little known fact: the cover of Joni Mitchells’ 1977 album, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter featured Mitchell in a blaxploitation era pimp suit, afro wig, and Blackface. “Blue”’s gutsy call-out challenges the conditions that still allows Mitchell amnesty, even after she traded her counterculture folk for jive turkey racism. 

Register’s literary acumen leads to exalting lesser known white, southern, and queer freedom fighters and allowing leftist liberation struggles the air of legend generally reserved for America’s Wild West fetishes. Even in compositions that most closely resemble love songs (like “Water to Wine,” “Some Boy,” and “Traveler’s Cross”) Register never grabs the artificially-colored bouquet or strums an acoustic verse to woo a corseted lover. Register prefers thorny things growing amidst the piss weeds, the fist-high, belligerent ballad that heralds love as the heartbeat of change. 

Register is also contributing a queer lens to the southern rock ethos. By way of supporting cast, Sinclair Palmer (bass), Joe Westerlund (drums), and Matt Phillips categorically deliver. Check out the title track for a perfect example of the band’s ability to travel between gritty responsiveness and tendern reflection at Register’s lyrical instruction. 

Whether grappling with the constrictions of gender expressions on dating apps (“How Do You See Me”), evoking the semi-autobiographical loneliness of Dorothy Allison’s Carolina bastards (“Maureen”), or daring white folks to “get right with their history of compliance in racial capitalism” (“Loamlands”), Register affirms that songwriting, at its best, is a gross but necessary confrontation.

Ultimately Register and Meltdown Rodeo (both the newly named band and album) have achieved in eleven songs something the south has only half-heartedly attempted – undoing generational curses by retiring “bless your heart” lip service. 

Damn if we can’t all benefit from a little melting down.” – shirlette ammons


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More Upcoming Shows:

Monday, May 20th

Country Night Market & Hootenanny with Dylan Earl

with Kym Register + Meltdown Rodeo

Tuesday, May 21st

Josue Estrada Band

with Zones, Weeping Willow

Thursday, May 23rd

Floral Print

with Scare Quotes, Exercise, Qwilt

Friday, May 24th


with Chessa Rich & Her Band, thefacesblur DJ Set