Every musician has idols, but it's rare for them to really inhabit their hero's personas on a regular basis. There's simply too much at stake. At best, they'll be good but not as good, while at worst they'll come off as copycats. Deer Tick does't appear to care about any of that. The band routinely populates their live sets with covers, even going so far as to play a series of shows last year as Deervana - a Nirvana revival act.
It's a gutsy move, especially for a band with four solid albums worth of original material. But when listening to that material, the bands intention crystalizes. The band celebrates ramshackle Americana in all its forms already - there are hard rockers, classic pop numbers, and winsome ballads in their repetoire, all pulled together by the the distinctive gravely howl of frontman John McCauley. So why not take this celebration to its logical next step? With musical chops that drip swagger, Deer Tick sounds secure in their place as rock and roll progeny. Fortunately, they're also confident enough to play whatever they want with some measure of authority.
The band figures to prove this Wednesday night at Brooklyn Bowl, where they will play a rare set that isn't likely to feature any covers at all. The band will be playing their 2010 LP the Black Dirt Sessions in its entirely, and will also perform both selections from their extremely goofy Holy S*** It's Christmas EP.
Download "Twenty Miles," the second track from The Black Dirt Sections here. Below, check out the band's 50's pop cover of Sean Kington's "Beautiful Girl," as well as a New York Times video of their short-lived stint as Deervana.