The Deliberate Strangers


They make their home in Pittsburgh, PA. The band released the CD “Hog Wild and Pig Bitin’ Mad” on Payday Records in January 1997. The insurgent country magazine/Bible, No Depression featured an article on the group in the May/June ’97 issue, sparking interest on both sides of the Atlantic.

 In January 1999, The Deliberate Strangers released “Mood Music For Snake Handlers”. The disc moved the band away from their Bluegrass beginnings by adding drums, electric guitars, and theremin and analog electronics. “Mood Music” earned the #4 slot in In Pittsburgh’s best local releases for 1999, and “Dead Man’s Hand” from the disc rose to #6 on’s alt-country chart in December of ’99. It received generous airplay in the US, Europe, and Australia, as well as national and local critical acclaim. noted, “These guys will get to do the soundtrack when David Lynch remakes Shane.”

The band fell under the “alt-country” banner, performing at national “twang” gatherings such as Hell Country in Boston, The Richmond (VA) Barndance, Twangburgh in Pittsburgh, PA and St. Louis, MO’s Twangfest. Tom and Stephanie, as partners in Practically Penniless Productions, put on the annual Haunted Hoedown in Pittsburgh. The band has shared the stage with traditionalist icons, such as Hazel Dickens and Jimmy Martin, as well as contemporary iconoclasts, such as Robbie Fulks and 16 Horsepower.

The Deliberate Strangers have recently completed their third CD, “Ghostland Next Exit” on Rattler Records. The new material still resides in The Strangers’ desolate and disparate thematic landscape, but now draws on a vast musical panorama from jazzy blues and Morricone-esque twang to the band’s previous punk incarnations. The band members themselves are constantly surprised by their music’s constant mutation, which seems to have taken on a life of its own. With these latest recordings, the band succeeded in capturing those changes as they happened.


The Deliberate Strangers are:

Stephanie Vargo – vocals, bass

Tom Moran – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, banjo

Erin Hutter – vocals, violin, viola, theremin

Jon Manning – vocals, acoustic guitar, drums, percussion



Rattler Records

1622 Denniston St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15217