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Deer Tick became more of a band on new album

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Monday, November 14, 2011

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John McCauley started Deer Tick as a solo project seven years ago in Rhode Island. But with its newly released fourth album, "Divine Providence," the quintet has jelled into a band.

"That was something we were conscious of when we were recording," notes keyboardist/saxophonist Robbie Crowell, who joined in the spring of 2010. "With this lineup, things got very cohesive, finally. This is the stable lineup of the band, and everyone's got a fairly strong identity on their instrument, so the time was right to capture that as best we could.

" 'The Black Dirt Sessions' (in 2010) was kind of the last album that was very much John's -- which is why it had his face on the front of it. With this one we were determined to make it more of a band effort and just capture what the band sounds like live."

And Crowell, 31, adds that on stage Deer Tick tends to be "way more of a rock band than anything else," flaunting influences such as the Replacements and Nirvana. In fact, Deer Tick has occasionally performed a full Nirvana tribute set billed as Deervana.

"A lot of people have kind of missed the boat on us," Crowell says. "We get tagged wtih the alternative country label quite often, which is not something we're terribly comfortable with. It's a rock band, but people remain to be convinced of that.

"I'm hoping that as time goes on and we make more albums this way, we'll get that message across."

Deer Tick, Guards and Dead Confederate's Thomas Hardy perform Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

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