Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers might tie one on during the band’s gig Friday night at Rubber Gloves.
If not, the audience will be buzzing on the slow, smooth music the band makes under the leadership of Denton’s Daniel Folmer — even if it is occasionally is a bit behind the beat.
Danny and the Drivers just released the alt-country full-length Brown and Blue.
You can take the album a number of ways.
You could take it as a songbook written — in longhand — by a chivalrous country gentleman who is doing his best to aim his anger at the one who left him rather than at the culprit: the narrator’s recurring emotional impotence.
Brown and Blue could also be heard as poetry by a guy who is able to fixate fully on more than one object of affection, but is useless at keeping secrets.
It’s just as likely that the album continues Folmer’s adroit way of giving country music relevance to those who don’t love the form. Song by song, Brown and Blue is a refreshing take on the tear-in-my-beer country ballad. This time Folmer and his buddies demolish every particle of slide-guitar sentimentality — the kind that can take down a folk outfit — and keep just what each song calls for.
In “Without You,” the slide is as spare as an upright bass and the keyboard is restrained and imperfect. “Brakeman” finds our narrator playing the part typically occupied by a woman, with the hero of the story in an empty kitchen, singing: “I made dinner for the both of us and ate it all alone/And I won’t be your butler anymore.”
Folmer uses his signature soft tenor. Band members Justin Collins, Chris Garver, Tony Ferraro and Taylor Sims never force their way in, but fill in the brushstrokes that make Brown and Blue, the title song and the album, a needed wellspring of quiet. Quiet, but neither affected nor schmaltzy. The harmonies are as easy as the ensemble.
If you need to come down a little from the Kyle Park show at the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo, Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers are just the ticket.
Sounds like: all of your depression and anxiety plated in smooth chrome, or the act on a bill between the Hope Trust and Don Williams.
Details: Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers, Gentlemen Rogues, Ice Eater and Del Friendo play Friday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, 411 E. Sycamore St. Doors open at 9 p.m. Friday, and the headliner goes on around midnight. Cover is $7 for those younger than 21, $5 for ages 21 and older.
On the Web: http://danielfolmer.bandcamp.com
Hot tip: One of Denton’s most influential folk musicians, Chris Flemmons, will headline at Dan’s Silverleaf tonight with Tony Ferraro and Baby Lemonade. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the music starts at 9 p.m. Cover is $5. Dan’s is located at 103 Industrial St.
— Lucinda Breeding