About Dirty Streets
Memphis hard rock revivalists the Dirty Streets like big guitar riffs, equally big amplifiers and drums, and tunes full of swaggering boogie rhythms in the manner of their '60s and '70s heroes. Powerfully influenced by classic rock and vintage blues-rock, the Dirty Streets write and play in a manner that honors the artists who paved the way for their music, but with enough originality and passion to establish an approach of their own. The group's first widely distributed album, 2013's Blades of Grass, was an effective introduction to their retro-boogie worldview, while 2020's Rough and Tumble gave a clearer picture of the intensity of their live show.
The Dirty Streets were formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 2006. Guitarist Justin Toland was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and his tastes in music were shaped by his father, who dug vintage rock & roll and frequently spun the Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and classic Southern soul on the family stereo. When he was 17 years old, Toland left Austin to relocate to Memphis in hopes of starting a band. He had friends in town, one of whom introduced him to Thomas Storz, a bassist who shared Toland's love of classic boogie rock. The two started jamming together and brought in a number of different drummers before they clicked with Andrew Denham, who was originally from Shreveport, Louisiana and an advocate of British hard rock.
By 2007, the trio was practicing frequently and demo'ing material on a boom box in their practice space as they refined their technique. By 2009, after plenty of live work, their chops and confidence were strong enough that they cut a self-released album, Portrait of a Man, primarily recorded live with minimal guitar overdubs. A second self-produced album, Movements, followed in 2011 before they were approached by Alive Naturalsound Records, who offered to bring out their next LP. The band accepted the offer, and 2013's Blades of Grass was their first release with significant national distribution. The Dirty Streets spent plenty of time on the road supporting the LP, and were back in 2015 with another full-length for Alive, White Horse. The Dirty Streets opted to bring out their next album 2018's Distractions, by themselves but returned to Alive for 2020's Rough and Tumble, recorded live during a performance taped for television broadcast. ~ Mark Deming