In the My Spilt Milk podcast, Dash Rip Rock's Bill Davis remembers the band's wild days and talks about college radio, his relationship to the music industry, Faulkner and more.
When Dash Rip Rock released Hee Haw Hell in 2007, the band planned to premiere the redneck version of “Dante’s Inferno” at South by Southwest. Bill Davis, the band’s one constant since its beginning in the early 1980s approached me, writer John Swenson, and a handful of other people at The Continental Club a half-hour or so the band’s set to ask us if we’d read some of the text passages between songs. There was no rehearsal or time to prepare; we simply had to be ready when called on, then jump in. It was chaotic, generally successful, and I’m proud to say I nailed my part. The whole moment was quintessentially Dash.
Hee Haw Hell is Davis’ most high-concept effort to present a version of Dash that has matured as he has, but it’s not the only one. For more than a decade, Davis has worked to show that there’s more to the band than Jack Daniels and jokes, and when he gets it, he can catch something exactly right. 2012’s Black Liquor includes “In This World,” which is darkly funny and probably accurate when he sings, "In this world / they'll call you up to make sure you're alone."
Still, Davis admits he has done his part to keep his and the band’s reputation what it is. The fast, funny, irreverent songs are still popular, and singing them is Davis’ comfort zone. 2008's Country Girlfriend features the credible love song "The Only Star in Texas," but it also has two beer songs and a largely effective swing at coffeehouse culture with "Google This."
It this conversation, he tells road stories and we talk about comedy in music, punk rock, and lessons learned along the way.
Dash Rip Rock will play the French Quarter Festival Friday at 5:30 p.m. on the WWL Made in the Shade Stage.