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Boombox Blitz: Joe Stamm Band lament a wayward, savage ‘Dandelion Woman’

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Some relationships are doomed from the start. The soil is already sour, and every attempt to plant new seeds or repot our heart is grossly naive. Yet, we are so often blinded by desire and fall prey to the unseen. Classic-fried country-rock group Joe Stamm Band places their bets on a woman down the way, exposing vulnerable nerve for a moment of romance, on a brand new song called “Dandelion Woman,” a moonstruck arena ballad that hits the emotions on overdrive. Frontman Joe Stamm quickly learns, however, just how far he’s wandered from the path.

“Brought her home to mama, wearin’ my ring / Ma said, ‘That ain’t no flower, soon enough you will see,'” Stamm depicts, driving the shock of electric guitar directly to the core. He then laments over the err of his ways, “Her beauty will fade as she digs her roots into your heart / She’ll leave ya dried up, desperate alone in the dark.” Through peeling back the layers of his bad boy exterior, he uncovers a desperate plea for all of us ⏤ to guard our hearts and be ever vigilant in our own romantic endeavors. Things are not as they seem.

In the accompanying visual, Stamm and his crew play to the song’s innate cinema, leaning into middle America living and loving. The color palette is noticeably numbed by the unshakeable misery of reality that seems to tangle and frizz at the ends, splintering off and proving to be rather damaging. Even in the performance shots, there is a sense of tragedy in the way Stamm eyes the camera and works the words from his lips. “I came home today, covered in eight hours of dirt / To a man with a knife and a mind to do her dirty work,” Stamm later sings, unearthing a rather macabre fantasy, but one indebted to his lover’s authentically acidic intentions. “Bled out in this ditch, my consciousness fades / Back to the words, my mama told me that day…”

The central Illinois band, who has shared stages with Travis Tritt, Jamey Johnson and others, is rounded out by Danny Greuter (on guitar), Dave Glover (also guitar),Jon Byler Dann (bass) and Bruce Moser (drums). “Dandelion Woman” anchors a new EP of the same name, propulsive and unhinged. Stamm’s vocals are nearly always embedded in the earth’s swallow layers, weighted with striking emotion yet incapable of staying pinned to the ground.

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Jason Scott

Editor-in-Chief of the Badlands, spinning those B-Sides. Love Parks & Rec. Addicted to high-priced coffee drinks, alt-country and synth-pop, and never know when to quit. Got a cat named Jake--and she doesn't like you very much.