Low Cut Connie are rock and roll roughnecks with the devil in the fingertips and the world at their feet. Their songs concern the finer things in life- women, the pursuit of pleasure, women- and they are currently blazing a rum-soaked trail across the U.S in support of their second album, Call Me Sylvia.
Entirely self-funded and financed, they’ve been garnering support from up on high with Dave Marsh-the legendary Rolling Stone critic- declaring them ‘one of the most important American bands to come along in years.’ Two days after I spoke to them they were also due to open for The Shins at Third Man Records, the Nashville label owned by Jack White, and a listen to their new record reveal Marsh and White to be men of impeccable taste: The album is 15 songs of sweaty bar-room boogie that draws influence from the snappiest-dressed names in the biz; Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash, The Stones and just about everyone else you can think of that’ll make you dance, cry and grab the girl in the red dress.
The band are made up of Adam Weiner and Dan Finnemore, two men who have put necks and balls on the line to run away with the circus. Weiner has played every dive bar across the East Coast and most of the ones on the West (not to mention quite a few in Europe) under his previous guise Lady Fingers. Finnemore hails from Birmingham (UK) and has been playing in a succession of the finest rock and roll scuzz bands you might have heard of but probably haven’t, including Swampmeat and Castilians.
Connie came to life during a famous balls-up at the studios of ColdRice, the Brum-based label that put out the records by Finnemore’s previous bands; but before that Weiner, New Jersey-born of Jewish descent, reveals how this summer his band-mate made the ultimate gesture that solidified their brotherhood...
Connie (Adam) - Dan officiated at my wedding ceremony in July. It was beautiful.
Dan must be Jewish as well then?
Nope. He had to learn Hebrew shit and everything; it was quite a day. Rabbi Dan did us proud.
Given the chance, which of your heroes would you have liked to have played at your Bar Mitzvah?
Screamin’ Jay would sing Hava Nagila, Jerry Lee would tend bar, and James Brown would be up on a chair doing the Hora. I’d also have Tom Waits doing circumcisions on all the non-Hebrews.
So Dan married you two this year, but what’s the story of how you met?
(Adam) - I came over to the UK on tour a couple of years ago, and played a show in Birmingham. We got stuck in an elevator at the Cold Rice studios for hours, with only ourselves and a bag of beer for company. The firemen had to cut us out.
What happened in the lift?
Well what happened inside is classified, but I can tell you when we came out we were never the same again.
Could you call it love in first lift?
Certainly, though we obviously had to put that aside when he married us.
If you are married, does that leave Dan to take care of the groupies for the two of you, or does your driver think he has the best job in the world?
The latter, we’re actually a lot more square than we’d like to admit.
That said, what’s the best drink to have at 6 in the morning?
(Dan) - A Rum Connie, something we’ve invented for the tour. It’s a mix of Cockspur Rum, ice and traditional lemonade.
The incident in the lift was a while back in the UK, where are you now?
We are in Cincinnati, Ohio, yesterday it was Chicago. Tomorrow it’s Louisville, the day after Nashville at Third Man opening for The Shins. We’re really chuffed they are diggin’ us over there.
Are you going to get over to the UK at all?
Definitely bro, we are hoping to get there by April.
And what about Dave Marsh?
Well Dave has a show on Sirius XM radio, and having him behind us is pretty incredible. He used to write for Rolling Stone, Creem and is married to Babara Carr, who is Bruce Springsteen’s manager. We’ve landed a taping on Bruce’s radio station E Street Radio, where we are going to record ourselves a show of us playing Connie tunes, then four Springsteen numbers. We’re gonna doDancing In The Dark, Johnny 99, I’m On Fire and Brilliant Disguise. It’s amazing for us because he is a huge influence.
Who else do you see as influences for Connie?
(Adam) - Take your pick from Little Richard, James Brown, Jerry Lee, Reigning Sound, Stones, Chess and Sun records, Screamin’ Jay and Springsteen.
What has been the reception like for the new album on tour?
Some of it’s been pretty crazy. We did a show the other night in Chicago- there were people from Iowa and Indiana who had driven 4-5 hours to come see us in a tiny dive bar and knew all the words to our tunes.
You were also a recommended album on Spotify this week. How has that happened if you are marketing everything yourselves and the album has only been out a couple weeks?
(Dan) - We’re not really sure, it just seems that people are slowly getting hip to us and trying to push us forward.
(Adam) - I think a lot of these critics and people have wives and girlfriends who feel strange tingles when they hear our record and they tell their men to go help those dudes out.
(Dan) - We’re keeping things lubricated for many couples.
And how are you feeling about the future?
(Adam) - At Connie we’re trying to build a big tent, for everyone from all different background, men, women, everyone. Everyone can get into our shit.
(Dan) - It’s only a small tent at the moment, but everyone in there with us is groovin’ hard. It just feel like this is what we have to do, that this is what all these years have been building up to and that people need this kinda rock n' roll in their lives. Our live shows are there to convert the non-believers.
It sounds like behind the boozehound image, you two are taking this seriously.
(Adam) - Me and Danny have one thing in common, other than being rock n roll journeymen of different stripes over the last 8-10 years. And that is we work very, very hard. It ain’t all about the party.
(Dan) - And we’re out there hustlin’ hard at the moment, to pull everyone into the tent.
You further reveal another side to yourselves on album closer Dreams Don’t Come True. It’s at odds, tonally and lyrically, with the rest of the album-it’s a lot more melancholy.
(Adam) - I guess you could call it melancholy...I think of it more as sad but hopeful...resigned maybe.
Where do dreams come true? Love? Fulfillment with work? Family?
(Adam) - That's the thing...dreams don't come true...but once you figure that out it makes it easier to get yer work done.
You can buy Call Me Sylviahere
Follow David on Twitter- @Gobshout
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