"Dex Romweber was and is a huge influence on my music. I owned all of his records as a teenager, and was thrilled at the fact that we were able to play together recently on tour. His attitude towards music is remarkable. His songwriting, along with his love of classic American music from the south, be it rockabilly, country or R&B, is one of the best kept secrets of the rock n roll underground." —Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather)
For a quarter century, Dex Romweber has trolled the dark corners and back shelves of the haunted thrift store of Americana ephemera and honed an extraordinarily idiomatic sound, a particular and readily identifiable DEXness for those in the know. It’s a creepy doll collection of surf, proto-rockabilly, garage, dark and vengeful blues, and nobody, but nobody, plays it like Dex.
First with the legendary Flat Duo Jets and now with his sister Sara on drums, Dex distilled the punk ethos of less-is-more to the essential guitar/drums template. Left in the wake of his lecherous and slithery Silvertone guitar were early acolytes like Jack White, Neko Case, and the Reigning Sound as well as a current crop of the indie pack like Ty Segall, No Age, Japandroids, and The Black Keys. All owe an unclaimed pawn ticket of debt to his sublime and spine-tingling sound. He is a live wire back to the murky, sometimes dangerous and always unpredictable headwaters of real rock and roll.
The Dex Romweber Duo also features Dex’s celebrated sibling Sara Romweber (Mitch Easter, Lets Active, Snatches of Pink) on drums. Don't be fooled by her slight frame or affable demeanor, she smacks the shit out her kit. How someone with wrists so tiny can make the snare CRACK like that is beyond us.
Flat Duo Jets – so often emulated, so rarely duplicated – released the first of nine albums in 1990 to rave reviews worldwide. They starred, alongside R.E.M. and The B-52s, in the 1987 cult classic film Athens, GA: Inside/Out. Their first national tour in 1990 was as opening act for The Cramps (where Bloodshot Rob first saw them) and they made a stunning impression on Late Night with David Letterman.
Dex was name-checked by Jack White in the guitar superstar documentary It Might Get Loud, and the Duo recorded a single and live album with White for his label Third Man Records in 2009. The Duo has shared the stage with dozens of rock icons including Wanda Jackson, Cat Power, Neko Case, Exene Cervenka, Detroit Cobras, Rev Peyton's Big Damn Band, Southern Culture on the Skids and The White Stripes.
In 2012, the documentary about Dex’s sometimes harrowing career Two Headed Cow was released.
The DEX ROMWEBER DUO is a potent combo that’ll get your leg twitching with the beat and your heart racing -and sometimes breaking- with the feral excitement of music. If it don’t, you might want to consider turning in your “I Heart Rock n Roll” badge. Seriously.
Guitar fans take note. Dex ain't one of those guys who needs series of effects pedals the size of a table top to destroy a room; all that noise, that beautiful beautiful noise he makes just comes his guitar, his fingers and his brain. If only 10% of guitarists played with HALF his conviction, the world would be a much better, and wilder, place.
- James Leg (Black Diamond Heavies) covers Dex's "Is That You In The Blue?" on While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records