Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

The Dirty Lungs bring modern sounds to a southern scene


Not every great southern band sounds southern all the time. That’s the theory behind Birmingham-based group The Dirty Lungs. While the band thrives in the southern landscape and does sparingly utilize that classic twang in their music, these three dudes take their listeners back to the garage for a rock ’n’ roll sound that sets them apart from the typical stereotypes of southern music.

The band, which was founded in 2006, is composed of lead singer and guitarist Carson Mitchell, drummer Ra-Jaan Parmely and bassist Justin Ward. They’re a staple act in Birmingham, and they’ve been around long enough to grow and change as the local music scene followed suit. Even after 10 years, this one-of-a-kind group is still on the move and still cranking out jams for audiences all over the South. Tuscaloosa will be treated to several of their shows in the coming months.

“I think of it as a modern take on ’60s garage and psychedelic music,” said Mitchell of the band’s sound. “As well as some early ’70s influence as well, more like progressive rock influence.”

Over the years the band has grown and evolved. While the original goal was to sound like a ’60s garage band, they’ve moved to more melody-driven songs that include more modern, progressive and garage surf sounds.

“It took a while to find the right tone, but now that we have it it comes naturally,” Mitchell said. “It’s been a long revolution but it’s always been the goal to sound like what we sound like now.”

That revolution has brought new inspirations, new songs, new shows and new fans. Mitchell said he enjoys playing their new music and hearing it back.

“We close with a song called ‘Wet,’ [which is] funny with tongue and cheek lyrics,” Mitchell said. “It’s a hyper sexualized version of a relationship, and the guy sounds more confident than he is. That’s fun to play because it’s really raw, and it’s a long swirly kind of jam. We close with it so it’s kind of a final note, so I think it’s fun.”

The band draws inspiration from many different artists and groups across different decades and genres. They bring all of these inspirations together to create a sound that is their own.

“There’s a lot of groups we all agree on from the Beatles to the Stones to Pink Floyd,” Mitchell said. “We all have an ear for melody so we all like heightened rock music and we try to be something like that, truly unique and tuneful.”

After so many years playing the scene in Alabama, The Dirty Lungs have had their fair share of shows in Tuscaloosa. Mitchell and Parmely are big fans of the Crimson Tide, and Tuscaloosa audiences are big fans of their music.

“It’s a great college town,” Mitchell said. “We love it. It’s a great crowd. We always have a blast in T-Town.”

You can catch The Dirty Lungs at Druid City Brewing Company on Oct. 29, at Egan’s on Nov. 1 and at Green Bar on Nov. 11. 

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