Dex Romweber’s Raucous Rockabilly

On his new album, Romweber ranges from demented surf music to his signature raucous rockabilly.

Dex Romweber

Courtesy of Bloodshot Records

For nearly three decades, the irrepressible Dex Romweber has been an intrepid explorer of American song styles, whether recording under his own name, or as the leader of Flat Duo Jets (which influenced Jack White’s White Stripes, among others). Titled after his North Carolina hometown, the engaging Carrboro showcases our hero’s versatility in playful instrumentals and songs that give full play to his big, booming voice. With typical vigor, Romweber ranges from demented surf music (“Nightide”) and his signature raucous rockabilly (“Knock Knock (Who’s That Knockin’ on My Coffin Lid Door?)”) to a touching performance of one sentimental standard (Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile”) and the reinvention of another as spooky kitsch (“My Funny Valentine”). The constant in this colorful kaleidoscope of sounds is his genuine enthusiasm, regardless of setting—one listen to Carrboro and you’ll be hooked for sure.