San Francisco’s dark country and blues-rockers Dead Country Gentlemen has played the Eugene area only once before. Guitarist and vocalist Cameron Ray says last time through, his band stayed with some friends around Pleasant Hill. “It was the highlight of my trip,” Ray recalls. “The low-lying fog in the middle of the night when it’s 20 degrees out blew my mind. Also, the silence. Coming from San Francisco, we’re not used to silence.”
This time around, DCG tour in advance of a new EP, out this summer. “We’re playing all the songs off it on this tour,” Ray says, explaining that he hopes his dark lyrics and “heavy hitting” blues rock style, with a punk edge, provide answers to people who can’t find them in books or religion. “I like to complement the octave fuzz riff-driven blues with lyrics about death, the afterlife, magic and love loss.”
In fact, a close friend of Ray’s who supported him early on as a musician, but tragically died of an overdose in 2011, inspires DGC’s name.
“He was also a musician,” Ray says, “and when I first started playing guitar at 12 years old, [he] would lend me guitars, pedals, amps and other gear, and was really supportive. Sometimes my lyrics are so dark I think people assume I’m making it up when I’m actually being so literal it seems like fiction.”
Dead Country Gentlemen play with Banana Sounds and The Dimly Lit 9 pm Monday, May 29, at Old Nick’s. $3-$5, 21-plus.