Reviews PierceEdens(JonSantiago)292

Published on February 8th, 2013 | by Jon Santiago


Review: Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work Beat Back the Rain

Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work
The Royal American, Feb. 7

Gritty, soulful, and flat-out fun, Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work are the kind of band we love. A band that plays so hard they break strings. A working stiff’s outfit that seems to know all about a long day, an even longer week and a big Saturday night on the town. Put it this way: if this band were providing the music for your annual company picnic, you wouldn’t be dragging yourself to it; you’d want to go.

On Thursday night (Feb. 7), while the night sky opened up with one of those epic, instant flood-makers, the Royal American looked like a bright oasis of sanity. But it sounded like a hells-a-poppin’ roadhouse.


Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work at the Royal American (photo by JonSantiago)

The Asheville-based quartet’s sound is eclectic, energetic, distinctively rootsy. Call it Kangol cap rockabilly. Fact is, the first time you hear them you might think maybe you heard these guys play in some Brooklyn joint and then were thrilled to discover them bouncing around in your own backyard.

They’ve got range, too. They can hit some bad-ass greasy slide guitar tunes, reel in a Jerry Jeff Walker-style, wasted-on-sangria-wine country song and crank it up to 11 for the kind of dancing-hot rock and roll for which Carl Perkins or early Elvis would have been happy to toss around their pompadours.

Touring on their self-titled album, singer/songwriter/guitarist Pierce Edens and his Dirty Work crew — Matt Smith on Telecaster, Dane Rand on drums, and stand-up bassist Jesse James (“Yeah,” says Edens, “That’s his real name.”) — are just passing through the Lowcountry for the weekend. But their appearance at the Charleston Bluegrass Festival last year earned them a dedicated spot in a lot of locals hearts. The band is tight enough to deliver their music handsomely and still give the crowd plenty of raucous energy for their money, all topped off with Edens’ singing style: whiskey-voiced with a beer back.

So, face it. You’ve had a tough week and you want to put it behind you. You need a soundtrack for that. Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work has you covered.

Visit for more.


Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work at the Royal American (photo by JonSantiago)



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About the Author

Jon Santiago

is a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer based in Charleston, S.C. Every now and then, he hauls his guitar out to an open mic night and plays some original songs in public. He has been warned about this.

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