CD Reviews for 09/13/11 – Lydia Loveless, Dex Romweber Duo

Compact Capsules
by Dan Ferguson

It’s been a busy summer with lots of travel and stuff and with Fall approaching, time to get back into the Compact Capsules groove. Here’s a few that have hit the sweet spot over the last few months.

Lydia Loveless
Indestructible Machine
Bloodshot Records BS188

We begin with the newest arrival of the batch, an irresistible album of old school insurgent country called Indestructible Machine from 21-year-old tough tart from Ohio, Lydia Loveless. Her debut for resilient indie Bloodshot Records who coined the “insurgent” moniker and who would probably just as soon like to retire it, Indestructible Machine is an album with all the drive and punk rock swagger, with a couple of shots of hard country to boot, of some of the best of the early days of Bloodshot when bands like the Waco Brothers and Old 97s were setting the pace. Diminutive in size, Ms. Loveless belts it out with a take-no-prisoners conviction on the nine tracks encompassing the album. The songs, all originals and heart songs to the hilt, hit hard and read like someone whose lived a lot of life in her 21 years. Ask me to pick a new artist who has jolted me more the last few years and I’ll tell you it’s this gal. And if the tune “More Like Them” doesn’t give you goose bumps it’s so darn catchy and good, then I advise you to stay the hell away from rock and roll. Highly recommended. Visit

Lydia Loveless plays at TT the Bears in Cambridge on Thrusday, October 6.


Dex Romweber Duo
Is That You In the Blue?
Bloodshot Records BS186

Dexter Romweber appreciation goes all the way back to his early days as part of the marauding twosome, Flat Duo Jets. Just guitar and drums, the FDJs played it fast and primitive. Romweber’s playing, in particular, inspired acts from Cat Power to The White Stripes. When they finally called it quits, Romweber hooked up with his drums-playing sister Sara of Let’s Active fame to form the Dex Romweber duo. Is That You In the Blue? is the third release from the brother-sister duo and continues the expansion of Romweber’s sound into something finely seasoned, but still possessing the brashness of those freewheeling surf/rockabilly/garage days of the FDJs. Romweber’s forte has always been his choice in covers and Is That You In the Blue? continues that eclecticism drawing from the likes of Chicago blues harpist Billy Boy Arnold (“Nowhere”), contemporary pop noir guitarist Django Haskins, Brazilian composer Ary Barrasco (the song “Brazil” featuring Romweber in full bravado), and deep catalogue rockabilly from such early trailblazers as Myron Lee (“Homicide”), Shari K. Sheeley (“Think of Me”) and Benny Joy (“I Remember Darling”). Party starter alert!

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)