Interview by Kim Holloway
Early music experience: Keith Sanders (KS) – My dad is a musician, so I started pretty early. I started playing trumpet at the age of seven and it all kind of snowballed from there. I hooked up with Shane about four years ago. We started playing, and the rest is history. Shane King (SK) – I started playing the drums in the 9th grade for my buddy’s blues band. I learned how to play guitar from their lead singer, Matthew Banks. After high school, I started playing seriously, sometime around 2007. I met up with Keith in Morehead and we’ve been playing together ever since.
You both shuffle back and forth with vocals. Who’s the stronger singer? SK – Keith. I have a good voice; I just tear it up trying to get it out. KS – Recently, I started working with Shane on vocals. He has a totally different sound. That way, we have more of a variety of music. When he sings a song, I tell him to focus on hitting every note. I make sure his pitch is on top, and after that, he finds his own sound.
Meeting up in Cleveland, Mississippi, how did your duo make its way to Oxford? KS – Shane and I have been friends for, shoot. I don’t know how many years. One day, we decided we didn’t want to get stuck in Cleveland. My brother lived here too. It took us all of an hour to decide we were moving to Oxford. SK – We got tired of the Delta. My brother, Scott, and good friend, David Lewis, both lived here, as well as some more delta hooligans.
There’s a good crowd that follows Dry Rub downstairs to the basement of the Rib Cage. How’d you start playing there? KS – Well, we both work at the Rib Cage. Buck wasn’t looking for entertainment really, but we told him we’d play. Customers started telling him they liked us and that we were a “good time band.” They were mostly our friends. Then, he kept hiring us.
What contemporary bands would you compare Dry Rub to for those who’ve never seen your show? Slightly Stoopid meets Mofro with a little bit of John Prine and Bill Withers.
During your shows, you play a couple of covers. What’s your favorite crowd pleaser? KS – We don’t just play covers, but when we do, we play them our way. SK – I like to play cover songs that you wouldn’t normally hear at a bar. We do not play “Mustang Sally” or “Brown Eyed Girl.” You’ve got the wrong band. I like to cover Corey Brennan. The cover songs just help bring the crowd in, and then we always throw in some originals.
What’s been your favorite and least favorite gig in Oxford? KS – I played at Parrish’s one night. Two guys got in a fight. One of them told the other, “If you’ve got one ounce of Aryan blood in your body, you’ll meet me outside.” It was funny. My least favorite was one night at Irie. I was playing with a 102 degree fever, and then later found out, I had been playing all night with a ruptured appendix. SK – My favorite was at the Rib Cage shrimp boil. Adrian Dickey played with us. We played all night, probably close to seven hours. And least favorite, downstairs of the Cage, hammered. I couldn’t remember the words or get my hands to do what my mind was thinking.
Ya’ll are scheduled to play at Irie on Wednesday nights. How’d you get from the Cage to there? KS – I was out with friends singing karaoke. The owner heard I also played guitar. He gave us one Wednesday to show him what we were worth. We drew a solid crowd and had a lot of fun. So, he kept booking us for Wednesdays.
What’s your favorite encore song? KS – One night we wrote a rendition telling
people not to go home, but to get the hell out of here. It’s nothing like the original. SK – I like playing “The War” by Lucero.