Ramblin’ Deano


10 new folk tunes from Dean Schlabowske of the  Waco Brothers. Click on the “FREE DOWNLOAD” tab above.

Buy me a beer. Please consider throwing a few bones in the “DONATE” tip jar.

About the project…

Inspired by the the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s, I wanted to write a set of acoustic songs that stuck to very simple chord progressions and melodies but that did not overtly reflect any specific genre of Americana. I wanted the lyrics to be straightforward- creative but without much attempt at poetry. The subjects are mostly political but I hope that they’re injected with enough humor to avoid sounding preachy.

The recording was done on a desktop computer with one cheap mic. Most of the music that inspired these songs was recorded with the equivalent technology of the time. Maybe, if this project has some minor success, I’ll record the next one with a great engineer, using a $10,000 microphone!

Lastly, the business model is to give the recording away but hope, if you like it, you’ll throw in whatever tip you can afford. The idea being to bypass the business side of the music business altogether- to be a singer not a salesman. 

It’s quite regular …

… that the Waco Brothers play Schubas in Chicago at the end of the year.

so come out on December 29th and join them.

Fantastic show ahead

Receiver video

February 2016

02/26/2016 Berwyn     IL     US     FitzGerald’s
02/27/2016 Milwaukee     WI     US     Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall
02/28/2016 Madison     WI     US     Kiki’s House of Righteous Music
02/28/2016 Madison     WI     US     Kiki’s House of Righteous Music
03/16/2016 Austin     TX     US     Continental Club Bloodshot SXSW Showcase
03/17/2016 Austin     TX     US     Gingerman
03/18/2016 Austin     TX     US     Yard Dog Gallery Bloodshot Party
03/20/2016 Austin     TX     US     Full Moon Barn Dance
04/11/2016 Chicago     IL     US     Yak-Zies Cubs opening day WXRT Show
04/14/2016 Arlington     VA     US     IOTA DC
04/15/2016 Rehoboth Beach     DE     US     Dogfish Head
04/17/2016 Peace Dale     RI     US     Roots Hoot House
04/18/2016 Boston     MA     US     Atwood’s Tavern

Going Down in History


    We Know It
    Building Our Own Prison
    All or Nothing
    Had Enough
    Lucky Fool
    Going Down in History
    Devil’s Day
    Orphan Song

Bloodshot says:

The Waco Brothers have been standing at the corner of punk urgency and Three-Chords-And-The-Truth country for 20 years now. They started at a time when it was deemed patently absurd to mix the two types of music, but the Wacos knew the score; they are different sides of the same coin, the personal wrapped in the political. And instead of travelling calculated creative boulevards during their career, the Waco Brothers have explored dark alleys and winding gravel paths through nine releases, all with the headlights off and the pedal to the metal, worrying (or not worrying) about end results later. With a body of work known for the indelicate and raucous, this may be their most deliberate and punchy yet—no one’s more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose. The title can be read two different ways, after all.

With a devil-may-care attitude towards polish and finesse, Going Down in History captures the thrill ride rush of the Waco Brothers’ live shows. Through the improvisational and fluid approach they adopted at Chicago’s Kingsize Sound Labs with longtime collaborator Mike Hagler at the knobs, the songs took on a muscularity and cohesiveness of an album unlike any previous Wacos recordings. Their pioneering Cash-meets-Clash jet engine mash up is still there, to be sure, but the Wacos have turned their well-scuffed boot heels towards their roots as never before. They have gone back to the future, down in history to celebrate and transform that which came before them.

Going Down in History pulses with the energy and excitement of first wave garage punk and ‘70s glam that first captivated singer/guitarist Jon Langford (Mekons, Skull Orchard, Pine Valley Cosmonauts). “We Know It” and “Building Our Own Prison” are distorted T. Rex via Bo Diddley-beat punk that will get you grooving towards the end times. “Receiver,” a gritty pub crawl from Wire to Dead Weather, and the short-circuiting grind of “Devil’s Day” harken back to singer/guitarist Deano’s time in the Chicago noise rock scene with his band Wreck. The raspy, push and pull tension of the title track, with its hard-learned life credo “you gotta walk before you can fall down on your face” might make it the Patron Song of Lost Causes. At the heart of the record is the Small Faces’ “All or Nothing,” a liberating, sing-to-the-skies rock and roll masterpiece, brimming with jagged guitars, booming drums and rousing organ. Ian McLagan, The Faces’ keyboardist (who died in 2014), was both hero and friend to the Wacos, and the song is permanently dedicated to him. Wrapping up the album is a cover of Texas songwriting ace Jon Dee Graham’s “Orphan Song,” cementing the Wacos’ cosmic link between Chicago and Austin.

With an improbable longevity, an impeccable rock and roll resume, and a go-for-broke live personae that can distract from the sharpness of their subject matters, it can be easy to take the Wacos for granted. But what was true at the beginning of the siege remains so today: in these fraught times, no one’s out there writing and performing with the political and personal so intertwined. Like a strange, colorful and possibly poisonous toad that lies dormant in the mud of an Amazonian rain forest, only to emerge when it seems like it’s necessary, the Waco Brothers are back, and, perhaps, we need them now more than ever.

Cabaret Showtime


    Tiger By The Tail
    Ooh Las Vegas!
    Girl at the End of the Bar
    You Got Me Running
    Wanted Man
    Johnson to Jones
    Folsom Prison Blues
    Interstellar Overdrive
    20th Century Boy
    Merry Xmas to Me

Bloodshot says:

A recurring feature of Waco Brothers long and emotional live performances is CABARET SHOWTIME… this is the point in the set where the fraternal five, reduced to mere shells of themselves by all the kicking and creative bile, resort to a medley of mutilated cover versions in an effort to take the crowd higher baby!

Oft performed, never recorded…here’s a raw-kus collection from the ample arsenal of the Wacos.

The Wacos bring their wall of bluster sound to songs by such country music stalwarts as Buck Owens, Johnny Cash Gram Parsons and T. Rex.

In addition to studio performances, there is a live 3 song “suite” capturing the Brothers in their element—on a stage in front of a pack of like-minded maniacs.  Features their frequent show-ending exultant version of “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Closing out the album is a Waco original just for you this holiday season: the oddball low-fi pirate dirge “Merry Christmas to Me.”

Limited and numbered edition of 500 screened by Jon Langford hisself with  with environmentally groovy water soluble ink.

Don’t take it out on a rainy night or use as a coaster!!!

Sept. 2015

09/12/2015     Carbondale     IL     US     The Hangar 9

w/ Paul Burch     09/13/2015     Tour Dates     Nashville     TN     US     The Basement

March/April 2015

Waco Brothers    03/18/2015, Austin TX Continental Club, Official Bloodshot SXSW Showcase
Scott H. Biram, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Luke Winslow-King, Banditos, Bobby Bare Jr., Waco Brothers:
03/18/2015, Special Events, Austin TX Bloodshot 2015 SXSW Showcase @ Continental Club at 8PM (Very limited public spots available at the door; otherwise, SXSW badge or wristband required)
Waco Brothers    03/20/2015, Austin TX, Yard Dog Gallery, 20th Annual Yard Dog Party
Waco Brothers, Bobby Bare Jr., Banditos, Luke Winslow-King, Rosie Flores, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
w/ Water Liars, special guest TBA, 03/20/2015, Austin TX Bloodshot SXSW Day Party @ Yard Dog Art Gallery at Noon (Open to the public - no badge or wristband required)
Waco Brothers    04/03/2015, Kenosha WI Brat Stop
Waco Brothers    04/05/2015 Chicago IL Yak-Zies WXRT Cubs opening dat broadcast


Turf Fest IN TORONTO jULY 4-6
WACO BROTHERS - Fri July 4 - South Stage   -  Set Time - 7:20pm
WACO BROTHERS with SALLY TIMMS – Sat July 5 - South Stage - Set Time - 8:40pm
JL SKULL ORCHARD & BURLINGTONs – Sun July 6 - East Stage -
Set Time - 12:45pm
WACO BROTHERS – Sunday July 6 - The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern -
Set Time - 12:20am


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