In the heart of Chicago lives a band that's diverse they have a rotating cast. The Dirty Rooks pulls together booze rock with horns and honky-tonk piano to put on a truly energetic show.
The Dirty Rooks talked to us about their music and life in Chicago.
What’s the story behind the band name Dirty Rooks? How did you pick this name?
We were originally called Moustache. After booking multiple shows only to find out that the venues thought they were booking a different Chicago band—and that other band, Mustache, was bigger than us (not in popularity but in stature)—we decided to change the name. Two days we sat around a table, going through a variety of exercises to come up with something cool, pitching names to each other, checking online to see if they were already taken, and then nearly gave up. Someone muttered “The Rooks” under their breath but, since we figured that had to be taken as well, we came up with an adjective to throw in front of it. All the typical legendary rock n roll stuff.
Who are your musical influences?
Pretty much who you’d expect them to be. The Rolling Stones, The Faces, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, and a handful of other blues-rock artists.
How would you describe your performance to someone who has never seen it?
Have you seen that video where that car is on fire and a bunch of bystanders gather around the car and they lift it off that motorcycle guy and there’s another guy in a suit just standing there watching and then this super hero gal runs over and grabs the guy’s leg and pulls him out from underneath the burning car? In that scene, we’re the fire. Or... have you ever seen a movie of an old western barroom brawl? We’re the soundtrack to an old western barroom brawl.
Did you always know that you wanted to be in a band?
Each of us determined at individual stages in our lives that we would like to learn how to play an instrument and then perhaps join a band.
Do you remember the first song you performed as a band? What was it?
I’m sure it was some cover. Probably “Honky Tonk Women” or something like that.
How would you describe your music in 10 words or less?
What types of themes does your music cover? Does any one theme recur more regularly than others?
Probably the idea that people need others to give their life meaning. Lyrically, we are the anti-Rush. Also, we have a number of songs about drinking.
What’s the secret to balancing your music with other obligations like a day job or family?
Having cool people in our life that accept that music is very important to us.