Lowdown Ways marks a quantum creative leap for DADDY LONG LEGS, the scrappy New York trio known for their stripped-down roots sound and in-your- face intensity that’s garnered them fans in their hometown and overseas, where they’ve toured with such kindred spirits as The Damned, Blackfoot Gypsies, Hurray for the Riff Raff and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. They’ve been recognized by Rolling Stone, who aptly compared them to “Chicago blues fired at the moon, played by the demented children of the Pretty Things.”
The versatility and fluency that DADDY LONG LEGS demonstrates on Lowdown Ways contrasts the raw approach that the band established on their previous three albums according to Brian Hurd, the charismatic, harmonica-blowing frontman known as DADDY LONG LEGS, and leader of the blues-bashing trio of which he shares a name. “We’d done the raw lo-fi thing for a long time, so we wanted to step out with something that was a little more produced, but still had the rawness of our earlier stuff,” Hurd says.
This expansive, new territory that the band covers on Lowdown Ways is thanks to producer Sutton (and JD McPherson bassist) Jimmy Sutton, with whom the band recorded the album at Chicago’s Hi-Style Studios, applies his technical know-how to broaden the sound of such instantly memorable tunes as “Pink Lemonade” (co-written by McPherson), “Ding Dong Dang” and “Bad Neighborhood,” which resonate with the down-and-dirty roots that have always been DADDY LONG LEGS’ inspiration. Meanwhile, the band ventures successfully into unfamiliar territory with the pub-rock-style “Winners Circle,” the bittersweet acoustic ballad “Back Door Fool” and the dramatic album-closer “Wrong Side of the River.”