Burning Down the Dirtshack by Dirty Dave Osti is at its core an old school southern rock album. While for many that conjures up images of Lynyrd Skynrd, the Allman Brothers, long haired outlaws, beer drinking, Nascar, bikers, and youthful hell raising rebellion, don’t let that old stereotype push you away. Recently artists like Metallica, Shinedown, even Kid Rock have been paying tribute to that style of music by covering classic southern rock tracks. Dirty Dave Osti delivers a complete tribute to the Southern Rock style with an album jammed with 10 original tracks and 1 Allman Brothers cover that is full of blues based guitar pyrotechnics.
From beginning to end Dave’s incendiary playing and gravelly voice fit the style of music that he delivers. His song writing truly showcases his unique style. It starts outs with the patterned aggressive riff of “Get Your Gun” and from there Dave never lets up on the gas through the next two tracks, “Re-Run” and the energetic “Dirtshack.” “Dirtshack” was a can’t miss track from the Grooveyard Best of Volume I review. There’s a reason why it made the best of album. You think things are going to calm down with the acoustic opening notes to “First Degree,” but the rhythm and tone of that song quickly change and the hard charging rock is back. “She’s A Natural” throws a couple of horns into the mix but doesn’t slow down the party at all.
Finally, at the halfway mark Dave slows things down with the contemplative ballad “Broken Man.” Things don’t stay quiet for long though as “Blues Don’t Lie” turns the distorted heavy riff machine back while Dave also displays some slide guitar skills. A little pause on the heavy riff machine for the slightly more melodic “Freedom Flight” and then Dave is back with a little Angus Young influence on “Ball and Chain.” The last original track is “Pile of Gold.” Things get really interesting on the last track though when Dave covers “Midnight Rider.” This starts off with some great acoustic work that sets the tone for the unique take on the Allman Brothers’ classic.
Anyone who is going to pass on this album because of the southern rock reference is missing out on a well-crafted and hard to turn off album of quality blues rock. Many of us fail to understand the debt that modern blues rock owes to those 70s acts. Dave clearly comprehends the connection and Burning Down the Dirtshack delivers something fresh and modern with a decided nod to influences of the past.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Midnight Rider
– Get Your Gun
– Blues Don’t Lie
The Big Hit
Review by Kevin O’Rourke