Armed with electrified instruments and a full drum kit, The Dirt Drifters’ (Matt and Ryan Fleener, Jeff Middleton, Jeremy Little, and Nick Diamond) excelled in this environment. Their tales of blue collar struggle, like “Always A Reason” and “Something Better,” sounded large and vibrant, a potent mixture of country grit and heartland rock ‘n’ roll. Singer/guitarist Matt Fleener charmed the crowd with his sly humor, even inadvertently taking an “outlaw” stance when he recalled how his grandmother’s two favorite albums were Willie Nelson’s Stardust and Red Headed Stranger. “What the hell happened to us?” he joked before launching into the blistering “I’ll Shut Up Now,” which features a brief interpolation of Willie’s “On The Road Again.” The album version from This Is My Blood actually features a cameo by Willie.
As for 3rd & Lindsley, the southside musical venue been remodeled and (seemingly) expanded. Performers no longer have to share the cramped stage in the corner, as they now have a large stage on the wall opposite the entrance that should make many of the Broadway honky-tonks jealous.
Produced by Justin Niebank, This Is My Blood features 11 tracks, 10 of which were written or co-written by members of The Dirt Drifters.