With radio play in France, Germany, Belgium, Serbia, and Australia, inclusion in alt-country festivals in Boston and Richmond as well as steady shows here in Pittsburgh, and a feature in "No Depression" magazine, The Deliberate Strangers are becoming quite familiar. And no wonder - the slightest taste of their magic potion of bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues and punk leaves the listener hungry for more.
Their second CD, "Mood Music for Snake Handlers", entrances with a series of laments of love, hate, murder, suicide, drinkin', cryin', God and the devil, and bad, bad women, and sad, sad, men. The Strangers' combination of guitars, mandolin, banjo, violin, viola, dulcimer, theremin, synthesizer , and percussion draws you in like a siren song. Their unique vision of spellbinding storytelling with haunting melodies, established traditions with vivid invention, and brooding morbidity with biting humor proves irresistable once again, not only to country aficionados but to fans of rockabilly, western swing, and even goth - you're not going to find anything more chilling than some of the requiems featured here.
But while their subject matter may be macabre, The Strangers' performances are anything but deadly - their live shows are guaranteed to raise the roof off any barn, and their CD release party at Rosebud should prove no exception.
-Lissa Brennan, In Pittsburgh 1/27/99