The Deadly Gentlemen
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The Deadly Gentlemen

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Band Rock Bluegrass





What is the state of bluegrass these days, you ask? Okay, maybe you’ve never uttered such a question in your life, but you should. Hardly anything that falls under the vast purview of modern bluegrass resembles the tie-and-jacketed formula of yore. That’s not to say traditional bluegrass is irrelevant—it’s just not, well, novel. Positioned so far out at the forefront of this ever-expanding genre that they may have outpaced it completely are the Deadly Gentlemen, who start a month-long residency at the Lizard Lounge on Tuesday, April 24.

The Deadly Gentlemen are the brainchild (brainchildren?) of Greg Liszt, onetime banjoist for Bruce Springsteen and one-fifth of Americana supergroup Crooked Still. Having been privy to the band’s earliest incarnations, I can tell you that the Gentlemen have come a long way.

What started as a homemade recording of a semi-explicit Christmas rap set to pop-y banjo chords has since evolved into a five-man outfit of prodigious ability and epic proportions.

Liszt basically plucked his lineup from the conveyer belt of talented Berklee pickers, so the band has a young, energetic, bro-y vibe (in a sweet, Judd Apatow-y kind of way). Don’t let the face-melting instrumentals mislead you, though—the Deadly Gentlemen are, at heart, a lyrically-driven band, and they manage to be extremely tasteful in their own dude-ular way.

The Gentlemen’s sound is difficult to describe, but Liszt does a pretty good job on their website. “Expect a lot of three-part harmony singing, group shouting, really dense rhymes and an almost rap-like phrasing,” he writes. “Our songs have kind of a rock ‘n’ roll feel, despite the acoustic bluegrass instrumentation. The melodies tend toward the anthemic side, and the upright bass is usually pretty in-your-face.” This is certainly true of the Gentlemen’s sophomore release, Carry Me To Home, but the upcoming Lizard Lounge shows are likely to feature a lot of new material and, undoubtedly, the band’s latest musical evolutions. Check them out on April 24, May 8, May 15, and May 22, and stay tuned for their in-the-works album and music videos. In the meantime, enjoy the footage below. - digBoston


The Bastard Masterpiece (2008, currently out of print)
Carry Me To Home (2011)



The Deadly Gentlemen’s musical stylings combine the melodies and blend of brotherly harmonies with a punk rock energy for the ages and pickin’ to boot. Their songs are connectible with a soulful edge and a subtle humor and wit.

Starting 4 years ago as Banjo Man Greg Liszt’s spoken word banjo-rap experience, The Deadly Gentlemen are constantly morphing. Through the release of the first 2 albums, Bastard Masterpiece (2008) and Carry Me to Home (2011) the band has been on an exploratory journey learning how to sing, shout and play together as a group creating music with an emphasis on the highs and lows of our day-to-day existence. With the coming of 2012, the group has switched from being a side-project to a full-time touring act taking on the music festival world this coming summer by storm with a whole new slew of original material for the soon-to-released third album.

There are five band members: Greg Liszt, banjo and vocals (Bruce Springsteen Seeger Sessions, Crooked Still); Stash Wyslouch, guitar and vocals (Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers); Mike Barnett, fiddle and vocals (David Grisman Sextet, Tony Trischka, Jesse McReynolds); Dominick Leslie, mandolin and vocals (Grant Gordy quartet, Missy Raines and the new Hip); and Sam Grisman, double bass and vocals (David Grisman Bluegrass Experience). The camaraderie between the members is infectious, functioning like a band of brothers raised on the same juice. Stash, Sam and Dom’s fierce rhythmic pounding, Mike’s epic fiddle and Greg’s precise Van Halen-esque 4-finger machine gun fire Banjo all ladled on top of deliciously connectible lyrics and melodies provide an incredible visual and auditory experience honed with collective years of playing together.

The Gents hold an energetic and dancing crowd always carrying with them a pack full of folky brotherly gumption. They’re currently working through new material and gearing up for a summer at festivals such as the Northwest String Summit (Yonder Mt. Stringband Festival), GreyFox Bluegrass Festival, and ROMP Bluegrass festival with a hunger, fire and passion for the ages.