The Giblet Dribblers
Waylon Jennings called it love of the common people: a respect and adoration for folks of modest means, not to mention the immodest things they sometimes do. In spinning tales about those down-on-their-luck anti-heroes Waylon so admired, the East Bay's Giblet Dribblers take an appropriately punky approach to bluegrass and country — or “thrash country,” as they call it — which is one way of saying that they use their earnest and charming sloppiness to advantage. The Giblet Dribblers' approach isn't exactly reverent — “My brother-in-law, he stole all my porn,” goes one lament — but the band's obviously swallowed enough Hank Williams songs to know that they apply just as well in Oakland in 1999 as they did in Nashville in 1950.
Three of the band's members — guitarist/singer Adam Hancock, banjo player Traci Oklahoma, and bassist Alex Warmer — formerly played in the Kuntry Kunts, and along with drummer Shannon Koehne they've devised a repertoire of songs that either peer into gutters or pay homage to the past. A flashy take on the Bill Monroe chestnut “Salt Creek” gives way to the offhand “Too Drunk to Drive (to Work)”; the sad-sack “I'm Alright” (wherein the aforementioned pornography was purloined) is mirrored by a lovingly felt and rendered version of Fred Neil's “Everybody's Talkin' at Me.” All those songs appear on the band's first recording, a rough-hewn cassette that was recorded in a basement and sure sounds like it. But tape hiss and the occasional missed note don't do a thing to sincerity, passion, and an abiding love for Americana. They never have, and when Oklahoma shoots out a raw banjo solo and Hancock sings like he's confessing, the Giblet Dribblers seem to know that deep inside as well.
The Giblet Dribblers perform with Rube Waddell and Hammerdown Turpentine Thursday, Jan. 6, at 9:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Texas), S.F. Tickets are $6; call 621-4455.