• [Channel's] Joe Ely's careening Texas country blues with a thunderous bang and steams along like a hybrid car carrying the Blasters and Aerosmith to a roadhouse gig...Even when Dollar Store slows down, there's an intensity that hangs in the air as though they're just idling at a light and ready to hit the gas on green.

    — Country Standard Time
  • At first listen, Dollar Store may sound like your garden variety no-frills rock band. But listen again. The frills are there, just dressed down in workingman’s clothing and ap­proached with workmanlike precision..and Schlabowske has a knack for writing songs that imbed themselves in your brain and quickly sound like familiar old friends.

    — The Scene
  • Dollar Store stir up a rootsy bar-band boogie that occasionally drifts into downtrodden common-man balladry; if the Jayhawks and Wilco stayed up real late getting ripped on cheap wine and bashing out Gram Parsons songs, it would sound something like this.

    — Splendid
  • Barrels out into the intersection of Chuck Berry Avenue and Hank Williams Road, picking up what Jason and the Scorchers started a couple of decades back and running with it. Dollar Store may be going toe-to-toe with some serious stuff, but their collective rock therapy involves blowing the doors off and throwing a continuous party, which they do damn near as well as Waco Brothers themselves. And that is saying something.

    — Tucson Weekly
Hometown: 
Chicago, IL

This is the type of tight, loud, economical rock band that, in a landscape littered with American Idols, NEEDS to be heard more often.  It's everyday kinda stuff, but that's cuz it happens every day.

Fronted by Dean "Deano" Schlabowske, The Sundance Kid to Jon Langford's Butch Cassidy in the Waco Brothers, the genesis of Dollar Store can be found in those misty, distant days of an early-to-mid 90's beset by the likes of 2nd rate grunge like Stone Temple Pilots.

Milwaukee transplant Deano was fronting the Steve Albini-produced Wreck, who were sharing the stage with the Jesus Lizard, Tar, Naked Raygun and other like-minded aggros in the vaunted Chicago noise guitar scene, and working at the legendary Wax Trax label by day. A long time affection for art-punk rabble rousers The Mekons led Deano to approach Jon Langford to produce the final Wreck record (Wreckord?). The two hit it off and giddily formed a band whose intentions consisted of playing Hank and Buck tunes through Marshalls for free beer; thus the Waco Brothers were born. Since then, Deano's songwriting has yielded many a Waco's classic, and provided a pointed and piercing, down and out guy counterpoint to Langford's agitprop bluster.

Dollar Store picks the sonic tine in the fork between the Wacos and Wreck, with the gusto of early denim and flannel bands like Soul Asylum and Husker Du and a songwriting eye akin to a Wisconsin Billy Joe Shaver.  Live, Dollar Store can whip up the same sort of intensity as the Wacos and Wreck. Deano's guitar and lead vocals are energetically joined by Alan Doughty (Jesus Jones, Waco Brothers) on bass, Joe Camarillo (Waco Brothers) on drums, and Tex Schmidt (German rockabilly stars--and contributors to the compilation Down to the Promised Land-- The Roughnecks) on guitar.

They WILL drink your beer, if they don't knock it over first.

Since the demise of Dollar Store, Deano can now be found filling his plentiful Waco downtime with another project:

Ramblin' Deano and Ice Cold Singles is the result of ten-plus years of musical collaboration between Dean and Bill Anderson, Pete Stiles and Jo Walston of the Meat Purveyors. The songwriting comes from the same rootsy heart as Deano's work with the Wacos and Dollar Store, but certainly nods towards the bluegrass and blues forms that Bill, Pete and Jo mined so successfully with TMP. The band is anchored by Cisco Gilliland (of Eliza Gilkyson's band) on drums, Cindy Toth (of the Reivers) on bass and Tamineh Gueramy (who's played with everyone!) providing the fiddle filigree. More personal than political, more melodic than ragged, the songs are populated with lovable losers trying to make it home from the bar in one piece, both physically and psychically.

Compilation Tracks: 
Recommended if You Like: 
Wreck
Waco Brothers
Archers of Loaf
Soul Asylum
The Blasters
Gram Parsons

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