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Ear to the Ground: Listen to King Dude, and Not Just Because They Have The Most Awesome Name Ever

Denver B.Comment

portrait by michael shindler

King Dude.

King Dude.

KING DUDE.

What can I say about

T.J. Cowgill

that hasn't already been said? He toured with Ghost, which is just insane and unexpected (and it was incredible.) I guess you could call it Dark Americana, although there is a lot more rock 'n' roll going on than anything else.  His work is also reminiscent of Death in June, which you should also check out if you haven't. It's like if 16 Horsepower and Nick Cave had a love child and they picked the best band name ever. He also runs the clothing line 

ACTUAL PAIN

. Which has amazing shirts like

 this 

and 

this

.

Be warned, the lyrics are extremely grim and the songs are often unexpectedly upbeat, which is a strange juxtaposition. Although originally a frontman for death metal band Book of Black Earth, this is a very different departure from that which focuses more on folk narratives (think "Knoxville Girl"  by the Louvin Brothers, only about 2000x darker and more sinister.)The stories told can be serious and infused with a somewhat post-apocalyptic type of vibe to them, but the music is a peculiar mix of folk, country, and blues. There is a certain nostalgia and dread hidden in the lyrics of the Seattle musician, and it is not for the faint of heart. Cowgill seems to give off an aura of mystique, respective of religious belief and the lack of belief. Even if it isn't your thing, you have to give credit to him for keeping the dark folk narrative alive and well. It's a forgotten gem of old Americana that is often overlooked-- our morbidity as a society has always shocked and awed, even way back when.

To hear more from

King Dude

, click 

here

 or like him on Facebook

 here

 to be in the loop for upcoming tour dates and albums and such. His most recent album,

Fear

, was released last month through

Not Just Religious Music

, so be sure to pick up a copy if you haven't done so by now.

-denver

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