Long before bands like Mumford & Sons helped turn Americana into a cash crop for the music industry, the The Del-Lords pioneered the genre during the early ‘80s, mixing barroom rock & roll, blue-collar country and left-leaning folk into a new, underground sound. The guys were hard-rock veterans — Eric “Roscoe” Ambel had logged several years as Joan Jett’s guitarist, and Scott Kempner had spent nearly a decade with the Dictators — and their experience helped balance the Del-Lords’ approach, mixing twang with equal parts grit and gusto.
Three decades later, the Del-Lords are back in business. Working with new bassist Michael DuClos, they revisit their old blend of roots and rock with Elvis Club, the band’s first release since 1990. They’ve still got a sense of humor, too, even hiring illustrator Stefan Bucher to animate the video for Elvis Club’s first single, “Chicks, Man.”
Bucher, whose work can be seen at www.dailymonster.com, spends the entire video drawing a tongue-in-cheek, brutish caricature of the band. The Elvis sideburns are a nice touch, but the song itself is no joke. “‘Chicks, Man!’ is a neck-break blast of brutal heartbreak,” Kempner says, “condensing three years of (somehow legal) emotional torture and torment into four harrowing minutes of slide guitar infused blues-rock.”