Blood, Grit, and Hoedowns: The Dead South “Chains and Stakes” Album Review

by Amos White

The Dead South are back with another masterful album of bluegrass framed Americana. On Chains and Stakes, we are shown the full gamut of The Dead South’s talents, from simple songs with cavernous and hollow picking that can shake you to the core, to songs that suffocate with intensity. Any fan of what The Dead South have done in the past should appreciate this album, as well as the creative paths these world class musicians are going down.

With equal parts fret board dexterity and powerful songwriting, this should appeal to music fans far outside of bluegrass. We are shown doomy, walking pace tracks and powerful shredding, like an unstoppable locomotive. Songs of blood, death, and dirt, give way to moments of love, loss, betrayal, and eventually the powerful closer of judgement and revenge. This 38 minute proof of The Dead South’s mastery flies by and doesn’t have a single dull moment. 

I am a fan of music that sounds genuine, but is also well crafted. A great deal of the time, I will reach for an uplifting metal album to cure my desire for powerful music, but all week I have had Chains and Stakes on my playlist between Iron Maiden and Manowar, and it fits perfectly. All off the Maiden-esque fret hopping doesn’t hurt any. There are certainly radio ready, ear friendly tunes here, but there really are no down moments, even in the mid tempo, walking paced songs. At moments the songs will have intensity that boils up to a sort of dark busking, which may not appeal to everyone, but these are my favorite moments. It really can get the adrenaline pumping in between moments of reflection. Give this one an earful, you won’t regret it. 


Cleveland, OH: TempleLive Masonic, Feb 12

Pittsburgh, PA: Stage AE, Feb 13

Silver Spring, MD: The Fillmore, Feb 14

Philadelphia, PA: Franklin Music Hall, Feb 16

Norfolk, VA: The NorVa, Feb 17

Charlotte, NC: The Fillmore, Feb 18

Atlanta, GA: The Eastern, Feb 19

Austin, TX: ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, Feb 21

Dallas, TX: The Factory, Feb 22

San Antonio, TX: Aztec Theatre, Feb 23

Houston, TX: House of Blues Houston, Feb 24

Memphis, TN: Minglewood Hall, Feb 26

Fayetteville, AR: JJ’s Live, Feb 27

Tulsa, OK: Cain’s Ballroom, Feb 28

Steamboat Springs, CO: Winter WonderGrass, Mar 1

Perth, AU: Metropolis Fremantle, Mar 20

Adelaide, AU: Hindley Street Music Hall, Mar 21

Melbourne, AU: Forum Melbourne, Mar 23

Melbourne, AU: Forum Melbourne, Mar 24

Brisbane, AU: Fortitude Music Hall, Mar 26

Tyagarah, AU: Byron Bay Bluesfest, Mar 29

Sydney, AU: Enmore Theatre, Apr 2

Sydney, AU: Enmore Theatre, Apr 3

Auckland, NZ: Powerstation, Apr 5

Wellington, NZ: San Fran, Apr 6

Wellington, NZ: San Fran, Apr 7

Hamburg, DE: Freilichtbühne im Stadtpark, May 30

Berlin, DE: Zitadelle Spandau, June 1

Leipzig, DE: Clara-Zetkin Park, June 2

Prague, CZ: Žluté Lázně, June 4

Bratislava, SK: Stars Auditorium, June 5

Budapest, HU: Budapest Park, June 6

Linz, AT: Posthof Zeitkultur Am Hafen, June 8

Stuttgart, DE: Kulturbetrieb Wagenhallen, June 9

Cologne, DE: Palladium, June 11

Wiesbaden, DE: Schlachthof, June 12

Munich, DE: Zenith, June 13

Saarbrücken, DE: Garage, June 15

Tilburg, NL: 013 Poppodium013, June 16

Brussels, BE: Ancienne Belgique, June 17

Paris, FR: Salle Pleyel, June 18

Nashville, TN: The Ryman Auditorium, July 12 + 13

Mount Carroll, IL: Rhythm Amphitheatre, July 14

Bonner, MT: Kettlehouse Amphitheatre, Aug 5

Seattle, WA: Paramount Theatre, Aug 7

Portland, OR: Edgefield, Aug 8

Boise, ID: Revolution, Aug 9

Salt Lake City, UT: Deer Valley, Aug 10

Jacksonville, OR: Britt Pavilion, Aug 12

Reno, NV: Grand Sierra Resort, Aug 13

San Francisco, CA: Warfield, Aug 15

Los Angeles, CA: The Novo, Aug 16

Las Vegas, NV: Brooklyn Bowl, Aug 17

Phoenix, AZ: Van Buren, Aug 18

Del Mar, CA: The Sound, Aug 20

Regina, SK: Conexus Arts Centre, Oct 11

Saskatoon, SK: TCU Place, Oct 12

Kansas City, MO: Midland Theatre, Oct 16

Oklahoma City, OK: Criterion, Oct 17

Mexico City, MX: Fronton Mexico, Oct 19

Columbus, OH: KEMBA Live!, Oct 21

Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Paramount, Oct 23

New Haven, CT: College Street, Oct 24

Portland, ME: State Theatre, Oct 25

Boston, MA: House of Blues, Oct 26

Indianapolis, IN: Egyptian Room at Old National Centre, Oct 28

Winnipeg, MB: Burton Cummings Theatre, Oct 30

Edmonton, AB: Flair Airlines Hangar at Edmonton Expo Centre, Nov 1

Kelowna, BC: Prospera Place, Nov 2

Vancouver, BC: Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, Nov 3

Moncton, NB: Casino New Brunswick, Dec 2

Halifax, NS: Lighthouse Arts Centre, Dec 3 + 4

Montreal, QC: MTelus, Dec 6

Toronto, ON: Massey Hall, Dec 7

Grand Rapids, MI: GLC Live at 20 Munroe, Dec 10

Detroit, MI: The Fillmore, Dec 12

Chicago, IL: Riviera, Dec 13

Maplewood, MN: Myth Live, Dec 14

Madison, WI: Sylvee, Dec 15


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