When Deer Tick released Born on Flag Day last year, they proved they were one of America's best indie country-rock bands: singer John McCauley delivered sharply observed narratives of blue-collar life (sung in his nicotine-stained rasp) over wild and raw roots-rock tunes. On June 8th, the Providence, Rhode Island crew returns with their third disc, The Black Dirt Sessions — but you can hear the lead-off track "20 Miles" below. Frontman John McCauley tells RS, "I'm much more excited about our new songs than anything else we've ever done. They've got more balls and are much more rock & roll."
This spring, Deer Tick will hit the road with Dr. Dog to support the disc, capping the trek with a spot at Lollapalooza. The band has altered its lineup somewhat: guitarist Andrew Tobiassen quit the group and has been replaced by Ian O'Neil, although everyone is still on good terms. "We get drunk and party," says O'Neil. "I see him every when I'm home." Post-tour, McCauley will take a break from Deer Tick to focus on a his new group, MG&V, an indie-rock "supergroup" that also features the frontmen from Dawes and Delta Spirit. Their debut will be released later this year.