The Dirty Guv'nahs is an American roots rock band from Knoxville, Tennessee. Known for its enthusiastic live shows, the band has continually been named the Best Band in Knoxville by readers of the alternative newspaper, Metro Pulse. Having gained a regional following in the Southeast, the band has made multiple appearances at Bonnaroo. Their fourth album, Hearts on Fire, was released on March 11, 2014.
The Dirty Guv'nahs' songs are represented by Downtown Music Publishing and have been featured on ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN, and the NFL Network.
The six-piece band formed as a joke, when bassist Justin Hoskins volunteered his non-existent band to open a local concert. Hoskins had less than one week to put a band together and learn material for the show. The initial members all had a mutual friend nicknamed "The Guv'nah." Beginning performances in April 2006, the band's reputation grew within its native Knoxville. The band released its self-titled first album on August 11, 2009.
The band recorded its follow-up at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York. The album, Youth Is In Our Blood was released in 2010 and featured the singles "We'll Be The Light," "Wide Awake," and "Baby We Were Young." The album drew comparisons to southern rock band The Black Crowes and propelled the band to slots opening for the Zac Brown Band, Taj Mahal, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, as well as appearances at Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, and South by Southwest. The band continued a relationship with Helm until his death, playing multiple "Midnight Rambles" at his home in Woodstock and often guesting with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer on his classic song The Weight.
The band financed the recording of its third album through a Kickstarter campaign in which it asked fans to pledge $20,000 to cover the initial cost. The funding was acquired within three days, months ahead of the expected deadline. The band then announced on its Facebook page the release of Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies. The lead single, "3000 Miles" was added to AAA playlists on July 16, 2012. The tour for this album included shows with Wilco, The Black Crowes, and Needtobreathe.
The band's latest album, Hearts on Fire, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart in March 2014.
Citing a desire to spend more time with family, on May 12th, 2015, The Dirty Guv'nahs announced they would have a farewell tour, hitting some of their favorite venues through the fall of 2015. The tour quickly sold out and more shows were added. They plan to end the band where it all started, in Knoxville, Tennessee, on September 25, 2015.
The band's name is a tribute to a common friend who convinced the band to sign up for their first gig as an opening act at a local benefit concert in the band's hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.
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