For a brief time on a recent Thursday, the Phillip Fox Band transformed the usually refined environs of Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar into a seedy roadhouse dive.

For a brief time on a recent Thursday, the Phillip Fox Band transformed the usually refined environs of Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar into a seedy roadhouse dive.

The quartet, helmed by singer/guitarist Phillip Fox, an impressively bearded fellow who appeared onstage decked out in a leather vest, cowboy hat and with the sleeves of his plaid button-up rolled to his elbows exposing some nice forearm ink, threw down a rambling, country-rock sound so rowdy it had me occasionally glancing over my shoulder to see if Patrick Swayze’s Dalton might be manning the door.

“We’re going to go a little hillbilly on this one,” the singer said, introducing a ramshackle cover of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” “The rest of you just drink your mead [and] you won’t get hurt, I promise.”

The band’s two-hour set veered between hard-luck originals (“Been Working Hard,” a lunch-pail anthem where drinks were hoisted not in celebration, but in relief) and covers that further highlighted the crew’s blue-collar, classic-rock loving roots (The Eagles, The Black Crowes, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Mountain, etc.). At times, the over-reliance on covers detracted from the performance, though all the selections could have been culled from the same radio station’s playlist and were comfortably within the group’s wheelhouse.

More interesting were the original tunes pulled from Motor City Blood and the forthcoming Heartland, which is scheduled for an early September release. On “Motor City Blood,” Detroit native Fox touched on the tough times that have befallen his hometown (“You were a beauty at one time”) while flashing a steely resolve hardened by too many brutal Midwestern winters. He also displayed a softer side on a soulful new tune, delivering his words in a voice as sweet and wooly as cotton candy.

Many of the songs were enriched by the crew’s pliable, three-part vocal harmonies, and the entire set appeared engineered to foster momentum, with the players gradually shifting from mellower tunes to barnstorming numbers awash in country-fried guitar licks. It’s an effect that should be heightened during a planned record release show this fall, which Fox said will incorporate a massive, 11-piece band.