On the evening of March 22, Pengilly's was a microclimate of jungle-humid heat, with its wood tables and chairs crowded, jostled and pushed out of the way of fans who overwhelmed the venue to hear the Dodgy Mountain Men play their vaguely morbid brand of bluegrass.
"We've played a lot of small gigs. But we were playing for a lot of people who want to get down [at Pengilly's]," said guitarist Jed Nussbaum, after the show.
Armed to the teeth with songs like "Sleep When I'm Dead," "Hell Thru a Bullet Hole" and "Ol' Calamity," DMM's themes swirl around tragedy, calamity, disaster and death set to fist-pumping melodies. The result is a stage performance primed to get people dancing and singing along.
"Part of how we build our sets is how we build that energy," said band member Clyde Netzley IV.
This is the second-to-last leg of Missoula, Mont.-based DMM's tour of the West, with shows in Portland and Seattle. Saturday, March 22, it'll play at the Salmon River Brewery in McCall before heading home to Montana, where it's poised to begin work on a second album.
DMM released its first album, Stronger Than Death, in 2012. The band hasn't set a release date for its upcoming record, but guitarist Eric Boss described it as a major step forward for the band, which in the last year lost bassist Scott Howard, replacing him with newcomer Josh Clinger.
"We're moving into a new phase," Boss said.