Chronic Cover Songs for 420: The Dewars Swing in "All the Jive Is Gone/Reefer Man" Banger | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Chronic Cover Songs for 420: The Dewars Swing in "All the Jive Is Gone/Reefer Man" Banger

Editor's note: If you grew up in South Florida, you've lived a delightfully half-baked existence. You've definitely smoked the stickiest crippy and the worst Jamaican schwag. County Grind got all  stoned and thought, why not ask these toasty South Florida musicians to give us a taste of their favorite pot-inspired songs in preparation for 420? This Chronic Cover series introduces you to both songs about weed and local talents. For the full list, click here

We were bummed to hear that our favorite musical identical-twin brothers, Anthony and Zachary Dewar, were leaving their suburban West Palm Beach abode to the even more suburban, cutesy, bed-and-breakfast-filled Spanish colonial town of St. Augustine. This was both for the group's eclectic, off-centered Leonard Cohen-meets-Syd Barrett tunes as much as for their infamous band-filled house parties. 

The affable duo, however, has kept the 561 close to its hearts by making frequent appearances at its former stomping grounds, with one gig each at Lake Worth indie dive bar Propaganda this past February and March and a forthcoming performance at Respectable Street's weekly PBR throwdown, Flaunt, this May 10 with Atlanta exploratory rockers Carnivores. Perhaps the reality that the Dewars have left has not really sunk in.

Leave it to the random Dewar brothers to dish out the most uncanny, unforeseen cover that New Times' Chronic Cover Songs series has heard so far. Moving past the fog-filled '80s and the psychedelic '60s and '70s, the Dewars sweep us to a time when the government was using propaganda techniques to frighten Americans into believing that just one toke of a joint could actually lead a person to hopeless insanity, murder, or overt sexuality (hmmm, we still can reasonably debate the latter), the 1930s. Don't believe us? Peep this video here.

Anthony and Zachary took it upon themselves to cover not just one but two of the swing era's more pro-cannabis hits, "All the Jive Is Gone," by Andy Kirk and the Twelve Clouds of Joy, and "Reefer Man," by Cab Calloway. Quite a bold choice and a curious undertaking for two guys barley in their 20s.

The Dewar brothers bring a vaudevillian flair to their mishmash interpretation here, with a lackadaisical pace delivered over piano keys that seem time-warped straight from a dusty Prohibition-era gin mill.  

Banjo strums and steady conga strikes set the time-piece mood as the listener truly starts to lament the loss off all the jive. That's exactly the moment when "Reefer Man" kicks in and why the Dewars are truly brilliant in this work. "Have you ever met that funny reefer man?" is exactly the phrase a person entering a speakeasy, where "All the Jive Is Gone" is booming, might ask. 

Well done, Dewars. Well done. When are you boys coming back home permanently?

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Alex Rendon

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