The Dirty 30s
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The Dirty 30s


Band Americana Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"The Dirty 30s"

Boasting gritty tales, whiskey-breathed swagger, three roaring guitars and lead singer Jason Riley’s Pall Mall howl, the Dirty 30s’ Eric “Roscoe” Ambel -produced debut is one hell of a rock ‘n’ roll treat. The Cape Giradeau, Mo., quintet lists “guns, knives and explosions” among its influences, so that gives you a bit of an idea where these guys are coming from. But firepower is far from the band’s sole weapon. Songs such as the young-love-gone-very-wrong ditty “Justine,” “The Bridge” and “Local Anesthesia” show the band to be capable and sensitive songwriters. Meanwhile, full of grime and balls and cheap beer, the bar ode “The Crackle,” faithfully preserves the memory of a defunct local club. The bluesy outlaw badassery of “Country Song” and the trucker-meets-hooker album-opener “Rode Hard” are also definite highlights. - Pop Culture Press

"The Dirty 30s"

If the Replacements played Southern rock, they might have sounded something like Cape Girardeau's Dirty 30's. Teaming with legendary roots producer Eric Ambel, the band struts and grinds through heavy, twangy rock that's too loud for Americana and too spontaneous for the typical indie template on its self-titled debut. To call them a bar band is no slur: They play fast and loose with free-wheeling blues-based guitar riffs, always a dependable soundtrack for drinking till last call and smoking up on the way home. - River Front Times

"From "The Crackle" to the Big Apple"

Making a record can be tough, requiring many hours by both the band members and the producer as they all strive for studio perfection. For Cape Girardeau-based band The Dirty 30s this process was made even more difficult because their producer, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, and his studio were hundreds of miles away in New York City.
The Dirty 30s, who play bluesy and folksy rock 'n' roll, were formed in 2003 after singer and guitarist Jay Riley and guitarist Brian Heuring self-recorded an album of original songs, with every instrument played by themselves. They had a hundred copies of the album pressed and gave them away.
It wasn't long before people began taking notice of their songs and soon people began wanting them to play shows. Riley and Heuring added drummer Stu Faris, guitarist Jesse Shivitz and a temporary bass player. Jeb Venable was soon added as the permanent bass player. Shivitz eventually left the group, and Matt Helderman was added on guitar.
Their first show came about after a disc jockey in St. Louis heard their CD, singer Riley said.
"Freddie Friction from KDHX in St. Louis heard our CD and said he'd 'give us a holler' when he needed a band," said Riley. "We played our first show at Frederick's Music Lounge in St. Louis."
Soon The Dirty 30s' music was tickling the ear drums of people even beyond the Midwest. Producer Eric "Roscoe" Ambel heard the band's songs and emailed them offering to be their producer and inviting them to record at his studio in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ambel, in addition to being a producer and running Cowboy Technical Services in Brooklyn, is the former guitar player for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, playing on her album "I Love Rock 'N' Roll." As a solo artist and in other bands, Ambel has become known for a "less is more" attitude that is prevalent in his country/rock and roots-punk music.
Of course, recording with a well-known producer and musician like Ambel coupled with having to go to New York City is quite a lot for any band to have to deal with.
"I was a little intimidated at first, you know," guitarist Heuring said of Ambel. "But he's so down-to-earth and he's a really nice guy. And he really liked our band, so that was cool."
To record the album, two trips of about six or seven days were made by the entire band to New York City, one in September 2004, when seven tracks were recorded, and another in April 2005, when the final four tracks were recorded, Heuring said.
Riley went back in November for three days to finish up all the mixing, he said.
Ambel's studio set-up includes a large assortment of vintage guitars and amplifiers -- even an old Mellotron -- but the equipment used to record The Dirty 30s was all state-of-the-art, Heuring said. Included in Ambel's large number of guitars was a Paul Reed Smith once owned by classic-rock icon John Fogerty.
"Sometimes I'd pick what guitar to play, and I'd be like 'Uh, I'll play that one,'" Riley said.
Ambel's wide-ranging musical experience also added a lot to the band's songs.
"He always had good ideas in the studio," Heuring said of Ambel. "He'd be like 'I'm going to throw a tambourine on here,' he'd step in and play a 12-string or whatever." Other musicians often came into the studio to visit with Ambel, and one, a piano player, even ended up playing on one of the Dirty 30s' songs, Heuring said.
The Dirty 30s have many original songs; in addition to the 11-song album they recorded in New York City they also have a nine-song album produced by Brandon Drury at Echo Studios they will be releasing in 2006.
The album took only one day to record and has songs not on the album recorded in New York City, Heuring said. "We just set up our stuff and played, and basically that's what he recorded," he said. "I don't think we really did any overdubs except for the vocals, so it's almost like a live album."
The band's songs are often about subjects familiar to citizens of Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois, from the backwoods "Swampeast" to "The Crackle", which is about the Purple Crackle. Even when the band plays out of the area these jokes are not lost on people, however. There is usually at least one person in the crowd who is familiar with the Purple Crackle, oddly enough, and the mentioning of venison in songs also raises eyebrows, Riley said.
Fans of the Dirty 30s can find them all over the Eastern half of the United States, as they have played more than once in places like New York City, Chicago, Nashville, Louisville and Springfield, Mo. The band is very popular live -- their shows in Cape Girardeau are always full -- but the band rarely practices with all members present, perhaps adding a kind of loose feel to their live playing.
"I guess if we practiced together we might be tighter or something. It doesn't really seem to affect us," Heuring said. "Me and Riley and Jeb get together and play every once in a while and sometimes we'll work out new songs and stuff like that," he added.
For th - Off! Magazine


Pure Mo Rock n Roll (2006) - Recorded by Tim Hatfield and Produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel
available at

Various demo, live performance, and acoustic streams available at


Feeling a bit camera shy


Growing up in Cape Girardeau, Dirty 30s lead singer Jason Riley listened to just about any musicians that played at the town fair, so naturally he saw old-time country musicians like Charlie Daniels. Consequently, when the bootheel-raised Dirty 30s are tagged with the alt-country label today, they tend to shrug it off. "We just play what comes natural to us," Riley says, where "natural" ranges from slow, soulful narratives of downtrodden folk to rockin' commemorations of Cape's most well-known strip joint, the Purple Crackle. Still fresh from recording sessions in New York with producer Eric Ambel (the Bottle Rockets), the Dirty 30s put on solid shows as long as the liquor's running light. And even if they tip the bottle a little heavy and let precision slip, city slickers and country boys alike will still be impressed with the band's rowdy showmanship. (Andrea Noble, River Front Times)