In the landmark 1964 court case, Jacobellis v. Ohio, U.S. Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart famously identified obscenity by uttering the since repeated line, “I know it when I see it.”
The same is becoming clear in the murky world of country music. But instead of calling on just their sight, listeners are depending on their ears to separate a conveyor belt full of costumed country charlatans from musicians credibly producing work emblematic of its genre’s forebears and tradition.
Thankfully, Nick Dittmeier & the Sawdusters fall under the latter distinction. The Louisville, Kentucky quartet—set to play at 8 p.m. March 24 inside Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.)—is the genuine article, void of fashionable trucker hats, Fireball-infused singles or tunes skewing closer to the catalog of Kelly Clarkson than Waylon Jennings. In their place are a locomotive instrumental pace and Dittmeier’s raw lyrics, representative of coal miners, lovestruck drifters and drug users.
These characters line the tracks of the band's latest album, last year’s “Midwest Heart/Southern Blues.” Full of the type of barroom rockers and bottle-tappers off its first two EPs, the work is ideal for fans that yearn for the original dusty-floor vibe of working class country—and will certainly find an applicable host inside the environs of Buffalo’s favorite roadhouse.
Tickets are $5 at the door.