Best Bar Band Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2000 - The Dillengers
Iko-Iko/Julian Days (tie)
The Dillengers have long displayed the integrity to be standard-bearers of the South Florida roots-music scene, although they have wisely opted instead for an enclosed universe: their house gig at Elwood's Dixie Bar-B-Que in Delray Beach (301 E. Atlantic Ave., 561-272-7427). There the guitar-centric trio holds court every weekend with what the members affectionately term "a bare-fisted amalgam of blues, punk, rockabilly, pop, surf, and country." As visitors soon discover, that can include anything from George Jones to the Ramones, punctuated by goofy original tunes and stoked with hipster attitude. In the Dillengers and Elwood's, we find the perfect set and setting for all that a bar band can be, and their recent CD, Live at Elwood's, actually comes close to capturing the experience. Upon hearing it -- and guitarist Rick Rossano's superlative picking, especially his muscular yet delicate slide guitar -- the national music magazine GuitarOne named him one of America's ten best guitarists. Not bad for a lowly bar band.