The Dirty Business is a roots duo formed in Minneapolis in 2010. “Dirty” sings, plays the guitar and takes solos on the amplified harmonica braced around his neck. Dirty has no equal when it comes to the soulful harmonica style he has made his own, to say nothing of the fact that he plays it while holding down a guitar riff at the same time. Creative amplification make the both the harmonica and guitar come off a lot larger than one would expect. One listen to the harmonica tone will answer any question about how Dirty got his name. Mr. Mueller’s tasty brushwork and years of experience behind the trap kit keeps it on pace and adds rhythmic depth on a stripped down drum set. There must be a trick, how do two people get such a big sound with just a guitar, harmonica and a kick-snare-hat?
The Dirty business has a decidedly roots / guttural / blues sound. Dirty’s influence include Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and, being a Minnesota born harmonica/guitar player, Bob Dylan of course. Mueller’s took his notes from Charlie Watts and Richie Hayward of Little Feat. Together, their sound is obviously a bit of a throwback. It’s gives it’s due to a time when blues ruled the day, before it took a trip across the pond or rode the train to Chicago, yet it holds something entirely new somehow. The austerity of a duo leaves unexpectedly deep spaces of rich tone. There is the familiarity of the roots sound, but the groove and intensity pushes it forward into a new place of both relevance and reverence. Similar to the way bands like Led Zeppelin re-visited American Roots Music a generation ago; the pair focuses on original material but also enjoys ‘giving the business’ to traditional songs such as “Shake ‘Em On Down” and making them their own as well. The Dirty Business could not be pegged as either Folk of Blues by purists, but would not disappoints fans of either genre.
Dirty has made a career on and around stages, touring around the world as a Concert Lighting Designer for artists varied as Weezer and Steve Earle. He has learned songwriting and stagecraft from true masters while discovering what it takes to pull off an amazing performance in venues from CBGB’s to the L.A. Forum. Knowing that nothing can be left to chance, The Dirty Business is its own production company, and carries all its own audio and production needs to suit intimate venues.