The Deer are a band that does not fit into any one box, any single term you might use to describe them. The term “folk” comes up a lot when you hear about this Austin, Texas quintet. Descriptors like “indie folk”, “transcendental Texas folk” and “psychotropic folk” are all floating around out there, but like so many handles we try to put on music, they are often slippery and ill suited to pick up what artists are laying down.
The Deer features Grace Rowland on lead vocals, keyboards, and guitar, Alan Eckert on drums, Noah Jeffries on fiddle and mandolin (an instrument for which he won the Idaho flat picking championship), Michael McLeod on guitar, (he also serves as the band’s engineer), and Jesse Dalton on bass. This episode tackles the definition of folk music, Deer-style, and features many live songs from the band, ranging from their 2018 performance on WNCW to last spring’s Albino Skunk Music Festival, as well as the new single from their forthcoming album Do No Harm. You will also hear conversations with them about how they define their sound, their love/hate relationship with South By Southwest, and their take on how Southern Gothic influences inhabit the music of their largely adopted hometown.
Songs heard in this episode:
"And Like Through The Eye Go I" live from studio B June 7, 2018
“Winter To Pry” live at Albino Skunk Music Festival 4-13-19
“Swoon” live at Albino Skunk Music Festival 4-13-19
“Army Ants” live at Albino Skunk Music Festival 4-13-19
“Move To Girls” from Do No Harm
Southern Songs and Stories is produced in partnership with grassroots radio WNCW and the Osiris podcast network, and is available on platforms everywhere. New episodes air biweekly on Bluegrass Planet Radio as well. A great way to help spread awareness of the artists featured here on Southern Songs and Stories, their music, and this series is to subscribe to the podcast and to give it a good rating and a comment where you get your podcasts. You can find us on Apple/iTunes here, on Stitcher here, and Spotify here, for example. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it. - Joe Kendrick