Concert Review: Dressy Bessy / The Wheelers at Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA – August 20, 2014

Published by JB, August 23, 2014.

An 11-hour drive to play a quaint downtown club in the capitol city of Iowa for the hell of it isn't exactly what the movie Field of Dreams depicted, but long-time (1996) indie poppers Dressy Bessy pulled off just that feat.  "If you build it they will come" might be the most famous quote ever used for a movie taking place in Iowa so if that's truly the case then we owe the acoustic-friendly Vaudeville Mews a couple high-fives.

Tammy Ealom, John Hill and their fellow dressy besties blew through what appeared to be no less than 367 songs in a colorful, jangly, frantic 60-minute set.  Blazing through 3-minute pop tracks from their catalog, the charismatic, guitar-whaling Ealom dominated.  Spearheading the fuzzy guitar-pop that accentuates many of their finest songs, Ealom was all over the place; dancing in the crowd, playing rock guitar, smiling, screaming and just about everything else you can do in 60 short minutes.   She left no stone unturned.   It was like watching the entire Summer Olympics in an hour.  In Iowa.  Go figure.

Musically, Dressy Bessy remains uniquely bubbly and identifiable.  They sound like no one else and no one else sounds like them.  They're energized, fuzzy, and rocking with tiny Beatles-esque melodies speeding along below the surface.  It's timeless pop but yet they still sound like lightning in a bottle nearly 18 years since they began.


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