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Deke Dickerson Courtesy photo
Deke Dickerson is one quirky rockabilly dude. How many slap-back, hot-rod cats engage their fans in haiku contests, devise three-part concept albums, or collect Dukes of Hazzard pajamas and Shrinky Dinks? Well, Dickerson does all those things, and that's what makes him so appealing. He's proudly retro, but he's not some kind of anachronistic pompadoured cartoon. He happens to like vintage sounds, but you never sense that he can't cope with the fact that the Eisenhower Era is over.

For his latest album, Deke Dickerson In 3 Dimensions, Dickerson decided to connect his various old-school passions - '50s R&B, surf guitar, country twang, garage thrash, rockabilly swing, and early rock 'n' roll - in a coherent package, fashioning a song cycle with separate sections devoted to rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, and hillbilly music. He even enlisted seminal New Orleans

Thursday, August 21
1719 Blanco
beatmaster Earl Palmer - who established the groove on Little Richard's great early sides - to join the party.

Even with his dedication to his musical roots, and his formidable work ethic - an average of 250 gigs a year - what really sets this Missouri native apart from the pack is his sense of humor. Dickerson named his imprint Major Label Records, just so he could one day tell his kids he'd had a Major Label contract. And last Halloween, the follically challenged frontman induced his bandmates to don wigs and dress as glam rockers for a San Antonio club date.

Rock 'n' roll was never just about a particular sound. It was also about a psychically liberating willingness to make yourself look ridiculous from time to time. Dickerson gets it. He knows there's no point playing hedonistic raveups if you're going to be all somber about it. •

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