Got the blues? Check out Jack White's pals, the Dex Romweber Duo
Dex Romweber’s enjoying a killer comeback.
As the frontman for Flat Duo Jets, he pioneered the guitar/drums assault favored by acts such as The Black Keys and The White Stripes. But the Jets disbanded in 1999 and Romweber went quiet for a while.
Then the documentary Two Headed Cow came out last year. In it, Jack White is seen backstage saying, "Dex was and is a huge influence on my music, his attitude towards music is remarkable. His songwriting, along with his love of classic American music from the south, be it rockabilly, country or R&B, is one of the best kept secrets of the rock ‘n’ roll underground."People started taking notice of Dex Romweber again. He had found an ace drummer in sister Sara Romweber, who honed her chops playing with Mitch Easter and Let’s Active, and was back blasting away in clubs to a growing cult following. The sibling duo inked a deal with venerable indie label Bloodshot Records ( Ryan Adams, Alejandro Escovedo). Their debut, Ruins of Berlin, came out in February and features cameos by Neko Case, Chan Marshall (a.k.a. Cat Power) and X’s Exene Cervenka. Publications like Spin, All Music Guide and Under the Radar all gave the record glowing reviews.
In late April, Dex Romweber Duo cut two sides with Jack White for a vinyl-only 7" single released this summer on the superstar’s Nashville-based Third Man Records. White produced and played on both tracks. The trio recorded the Romweber original The Wind Did Move and covered Geeshie Wiley’s Last Kind Word Blues. Romweber sounded genuinely moved to be invited to stay at White’s place, record with him and be cited as an influence.
"It feels good," Romweber told this reporter shortly after leaving the White compound. "I can go to my grave and at least know I accomplished something. Nothing gigantic. But still, it’s something. It’s touching."
Incidentally, Dex Romweber Duo Mojo Gurus and Izzy Cox — as well as Have Gun, Will Travel and Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Louvin, are all managed by St. Pete resident Brett Steele, president of Steele Management. (Click here for more news about the Charlie Louvin signing.)
Dex Romweber Duo with Mojo Gurus and Izzy Cox, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, October 10, Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg, (727) 576-1091, $8.
-- Wade Tatangelo, tbt*. Photo by Camellia Morton.