In the wake of a deadly East Nashville tornado and global pandemic, Dirt Reynolds made a record. 

Nashville rockers Dirt Reynolds released their debut album Scalawag on July 26, 2020. Scalawag combines raucous rock ’n’ roll and blistering twang with broke-but-not-broken characters to illustrate the truth and the lies the American South tells to itself and others. 

Americana Highways calls Scalawag “an earnest glimpse of life for those who are marginalized because they don’t fit the portrait of the American dream.” Disciples of Sound calls the album “a new southern revolution.” 

Dirt Reynolds founder and frontman Chris Watts recently gave up performing under his own name to avoid web searches pointing to the now infamous Colorado murderer. He appropriately met guitarist Jason Paradise at a Drive-By Truckers concert and formed the band with bassist Drew Kohl and drummer Ryan Dishen in late 2019. 

A former troublemaker raised in central Louisiana, Watts was stabbed in a bar and shot in the New Orleans Super Dome while on Hurricane Katrina duty for the Louisiana National Guard. His love of language and fascination with Louisiana politics led him to college degrees in journalism and political science. As a childhood fan of Mark Twain, he grew to love the writers who defined The South, from Eudora Welty to Harry Crews. 

“Watts and his band channel his wild life experiences into twangy alt-country that is also socially conscious during a time when we sure do need more Southerners speaking out against hate and bigotry,” says Glide Magazine

Dirt Reynolds self-released their rendition of The Georgia Satellites’s Battleship Chains as a digital single on May 28, 2020. Battleship Chains was originally recorded for Democratic for the People, a musical compilation honoring Georgia artists to raise money money for Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight Action organization. 

On May 30, 2021, Dirt Reynolds served as the house band for No More Depression: An All-Star Tribute to Uncle Tupelo and raised $50K to keep iconic Nashville venue Exit/In open and independently owned. The concert sold 1,100 tickets and took place in East Park in East Nashville.