Johnny and Rocket -WRFI radio Fri 11/16 7-9pm

                       The Rocket Morton Show
                                     WRFI Community Radio

Raw power from the old school, some familiar, most not, all killer no filler. Wild R&B shouters, lysergic weirdos, avant-garage, hillbillies, rockabillies, funky freaks, soul crooners, outsiders, acid blues, odds & ends served up by your host with the most Rocket Morton.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  Johnny on the radio, always unpredictable<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Live @ Grassroots – In the Cabaret Sat. 9pm One Show Only

“Country-soul rejects no useful tool in its arsenal of dark expression – in the house of Johnny Dowd, drum machines and punk guitar tear the place apart, and story puts things back together, even if there are cracks left in the walls from all the ruckus. Find Johnny in the Cabaret Hall on Saturday at 9pm.”


WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 9, 2017: Johnny Dowd performs at Hill Country Live in Washington, DC opening for Pere Ubu. (Photo by Richie Downs)


Grassroots interview 2015



The new record is coming along swimmingly. I guess if I were to put it in a genre, it would be Alt Country/Roots Rock/Americana, etc. They’re the kind of tunes I was writing 20 years ago. Mike Edmondson plays some great rock and roll guitar, and the icing on the cake is the return of Kim Sherwood Caso, singing better than ever. Still some work to do, but this may be a breakthrough album. Grammys, here I come. 


Grassroots 2016 with The Sex Robots

Wrapping up the Twinkle Tour

“on the final leg of super fun euro tour–i want to thank all the peeps who came to the shows–it was blast playing for you–also thanks to melle and suze–u were/are incredible–and to joost who kept the whole machine running–and course mike who played like a demon—special thanks to kat dalton–without her there would be no johnny tours or music career–and to to dave hinkle who keeps zolar moving co. going—and to jenifer edmondson-[ace blogger and merch salesman]”

Johnny Dowd

Check out Melle’s blog for his behind the scenes take on the Feeling Bad tour and Johnny Dowd.. You’ll have to scroll to get to the tour,because Melle is a busy,creative guy, so I suggest you read from the top and see what he and Suzanne are up to these days. Here’s some excerpts to whet your appetite:

Temporary Bandage # 29

January 25, 2018

After the uncomfortable handshake, the Americans are in the car. John and Mike. With bags so big that there might be more Americans. It just fits.
I drive a bit. John sees a truck on the way. For piano transport. He knows that moving pianos in the Netherlands is difficult. Those narrow stairs in those high houses. Pianos need to go outside the houses around the houses. Mike knows that Dutch houses sometimes have hooks where they can lift pianos.
I finally know the way again. And bring them to their temporary home. It is a nice house.
In the evening we practice in the attic of their house.
We are going through songs.

Wayfairing Stranger
Wreck on the Highway
Clementine (I think I think the best sentence in a song is)
Worried man blues
Tom Dooley (That sang my father and he taught me guitar)
And another one I now forgotten.
Singing together twinned and everything that goes wrong is much nicer than what sounds good.
On to the Altstad in Eindhoven!

A bit of a cunt photo, but my phone fell out and was not possible again.


Temporary Bandage # 34

January 30, 2018

On a sign it says that it is one of the oldest Christian settlements in Europe. It is a beautiful, London church where we play. Out of stock. On a Monday night. That’s because of johnny. Suus and me see them for the first time. Almost all my CDs have been sold afterwards. So many enthusiastic people, that I’m going to think something is wrong. It is a great experience.


Afterwards the after party in the hotel room of Johnny and Mike.


Feeling Bad tour @ Kloveniersdoelen

Zondag 11 februari staat De Kloveniersdoelen in het teken van Amerikaanse Folk met Johnny Dowd en Melle de Boer. Johnny Dowd wordt één van de laatste echte Amerikaanse folkartiesten genoemd. Hoewel het moeilijk is een label op zijn muziek te plakken, wordt hij vaak vergeleken met Tom Waits, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds en Captain Beefheart. Melle de Boer heeft de Amerikaanse countrystijl geadopteerd en er zijn eigen draai aan gegeven. Hier begon hij al mee in 1999 met zijn toenmalige band Smutfish. De Boer zal in 2018 een nieuw album uitbrengen. De muziek van beide heren staat bekend als diep emotioneel, zwartgallig en experimenteel. Het beloofd een heftig middagje te worden in Middelburg!

 – Original site

Sunday, February 11, De Kloveniersdoelen is dominated by American Folk with Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer . Johnny Dowd is known as one of the last real American folk artists. Although it is difficult to stick a label to his music, he is often compared to Tom Waits, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Captain Beefheart. Melle de Boer has adopted the American country style and has given it its own twist. Here he started in 1999 with his former band Smutfish. De Boer will release a new album in 2018. The music of both men is known as deeply emotional, bilious and experimental. It promises to be a violent afternoon in Middelburg!

 – Translation by Google


Johnny Dowd en Melle de Boer spelen op zondag 11 februari 2018 een concert in de Kloveniersdoelen. Amerikaanse traditionals: Johnny en Melle zullen ze bijna onherkenbaar brengen. Niet oubollig, maar zoals ze nu moeten klinken, actueel, vol orpziel, elektriciteit en noodzakelijkheid. Tickets: €12,-

Als twee mensen lang genoeg graven komen ze elkaar uiteindelijk tegen. Johnny Dowd en Melle de Boer graven al jaren tunnels in de menselijke ziel. Als Orpheusen dalen ze af in de onderwereld en nemen met gevaar voor eigen leven de mooiste dingen mee naar boven. Nu komen die tunnels samen.

Johnny Dowd

Johny Dowd wordt al tijden een van de laatst overgebleven échte folk-originals genoemd. ‘Dowd is misschien niet naar de vorm, maar wel naar de geest een late volgeling van de vooroorlogse blueszangers’ NRC 2001. Johnny Dowd (geboren 29 maart 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas) is een Amerikaanse alt country musicus uit Ithaca, New York. Typisch voor zijn stijl zijn experimentele, luidruchtige pauzes in zijn liedjes en sterke gotische (in de zin van duistere en sombere) elementen in de liedjes en in de muziek. Er is ook een sterke onderstroom van zwarte humor en het absurde in zijn werk. Als singer-songwriter wordt zijn muziek vergeleken met de muziek van Tom Waits, Nick Cave en Captain Beefheart.

Melle de Boer

Vanaf 2001 is Melle bezig met het duiden van zijn ‘Amerikaanse’ muziek. Zijn band Smutfish, opgericht in 1999, heeft sinds het debuutalbum ‘Lawnmower Mind’ een omvangrijk oeuvre opgebouwd en bij verschillende platenmaatschappijen 5 cd’s opgenomen. Door optredens op onder andere Noorderslag, SXSW in Austin, Texas, de Popkomm in Berlijn en het Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg, heeft de band veel getourd door Nederland en Europa. Ook noemenswaardig is de tour met Daniel Johnston in 2007 en 2008. In 2015 vond de release van het album “Trouble” plaats bij het toonaangevende Nederlandse label Excelsior Recordings. Melle brengt begin 2018 een nieuw solo-album uit.

Kaarten: € 12,- (te koop in boekhandel de Drvkkery en online via

 – Original site

Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer will perform a concert in the Kloveniersdoelen on Sunday 11 February 2018. American traditionals: Johnny and Melle will bring them almost unrecognizable. Not quaint, but as they should sound now, current, full of soul, electricity and necessity. Tickets: € 12, –

When two people dig long enough, they eventually meet each other. Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer have been digging tunnels in the human soul for years. As Orpheusen they descend into the underworld and with danger to their own lives bring out the most beautiful things. Now those tunnels come together.

Johnny Dowd

Johny Dowd has been known as one of the last remaining real folk-originals. ‘Dowd may not be in the form, but in spirit a late follower of the pre-war blues singers’ NRC 2001. Johnny Dowd (born March 29, 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas) is an American alto country musician from Ithaca, New York. Typical for his style are experimental, noisy pauses in his songs and strong gothic (in the sense of dark and sombre) elements in the songs and in music. There is also a strong undercurrent of black humor and the absurdity in his work. As a singer-songwriter his music is compared with the music of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Captain Beefheart.

Melle de Boer

Since 2001 Melle has been busy interpreting his ‘American’ music. His band Smutfish, founded in 1999, has built up an extensive body of work since the debut album ‘Lawnmower Mind’ and recorded 5 CDs at various record companies. Through performances at, among others, Noorderslag, SXSW in Austin, Texas, the Popkomm in Berlin and the Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg, the band has toured a lot through the Netherlands and Europe. Also noteworthy is the tour with Daniel Johnston in 2007 and 2008. In 2015 the release of the album “Trouble” took place at the leading Dutch label Excelsior Recordings. Melle will release a new solo album in early 2018.

 – Translation by Google


Johnny Dowd en Melle de Boer vormen een winnende combinatie

Als Melle de Boer en Johnny Dowd het podium van de kleine zaal betreden, hebben ze pas twee keer eerder samengespeeld op hun Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Tour. Ze vormen samen een gelegenheidscombinatie, maar wel een winnende. Uiteraard is de dwarse Amerikaan Dowd het hoofdprogramma en De Boer zijn support, maar aan het einde van de show gaan ze samen enkele traditionals zingen zoals Dowd die onlangs uitbracht op zijn album Twinkle, Twinkle. Verwacht het onverwachte, we kennen die Dowd zo langzamerhand wel. Niets zal zijn zoals het lijkt op papier.

Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer are a winning combination

When Melle de Boer and Johnny Dowd entered the stage of the small hall  January 27, they have only played together twice before on their Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Tour. Together they form an occasional combination, but a winning one. Obviously, Dowd, the cross-country American, is the main program and De Boer is supporting, but at the end of the show they are going to sing some traditional songs like Dowd recently released on his album Twinkle, Twinkle. Expect the unexpected, we know that Dowd slowly. Nothing will be as it appears on paper.

Striking duo with double bill
When Sugar Mountain Melle de Boer speaks for some additional explanation, he has just finished his first joint show with Johnny Dowd. That took place in Altstadt in Eindhoven ‘Rock City’. “That was great,” he still enjoys. “It was the first time there for me.” What do we have to imagine at these duo shows? The combination of ‘Melle the easy’ and ‘Johnny the difficult’ alone is remarkable enough. And then we are not talking about their music, but rather about their reputations on the human level. How do those two come together, apart from the fact that Melle designed the artwork for Johnny’s previous album Execute American Folklore?

Experimental folk turned inside out
Before we let Melle answer that question, we go back to Monday, December 4, when colleague singer-songwriter Jim White performed at the same location. In one of his stories that evening, he said that his career and that of Johnny Dowd, whom he admired, always went more or less parallel. They both made their debut about the end of the nineties with a similarly turned-out experimental folk repertoire. When, in that period, after his own show at SXSW in Austin, Texas, he hurried to Dowd’s show and afterwards agreed to address him, he got the wind from the front. ‘Oh you’re that dude who is imitating me?’ He spoke viciously. At least it does not matter that Dowd is a difficult person. Or not?

Not difficult, but a strong appearance
Melle says that image laughing at: “No, he is not a difficult man to work with. But of course he has a very strong appearance. “The joint part of the show with squeaky and creaking electronic performances of well-known folk songs has not been studied before. “I’m not really into the rehearsal space, honestly,” Melle admits from whom the idea for this double bill comes. Let us tell you now how this went, and where the guts came from to ask the question. Melle stays very calm. “I just asked him if we could play together. He then replied: “That would be more fun than a barrel or monkeys.” I had to let those words work on me. Then I understood that that is his expression to say that it was good.”

For daredevils
Prepare yourself for the craziest. Some of those traditionals have been put in an absolutely unrecognizable jacket. It forms almost food for a fun pop quiz. In reality it is about modern interpretations of someone who understands the folk idiom better than anyone else. Melle de Boer happily assists Johnny Dowd on his quest for the ultimate renditions. That requires ears that can take a beating. But that is not asking too much? Not for purists. For daredevils!

Text by: Robbert Tilli

 – translation by Google on the Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Tour

Zielsverwanten met een donkere boodschap

Ze zingen allebei over de rafelranden van de samenleving: Melle de Boer en Johnny Dowd. Twee americana-artiesten van twee generaties en verschilende geboortegrond trekken samen op. Vanavond in het Paard in Den Haag.

Machiel Coehorst 

Johnny Dowd komt uit Ithaca, een slaperig universiteitsstadje in de staat New York. Hij had daar een transportbedrijfje en musiceerde wat in zijn vrije tijd. Totdat hij ontdekt werd door een platenbaas en op zijn 50ste zijn debuut maakte als singer-songwriter en vertolker van rauwe popcountry. Melle de Boer komt uit Delft/Den Haag, maakte furore met zijn bands Smutfish en John Dear Mowing Club en heeft net als Dowd een voorliefde voor de country noir. Ter ere van hun nieuwe albums maken de beide muzikanten een gezamenlijke tour en vanavond doen zij het Paard aan.

Ondanks het leeftijdsverschil (Melle de Boer is 45 jaar, Johnny Dowd bijna 70) worden de twee muzikanten gezien als zielsverwanten. De Boer kan zich vinden in die typering. ,,Ja, er zijn zeker raakvlakken tussen Johnny en mij. De muziek komt bij ons allebei uit dezelfde bron: De twijfel over alles, en de onderhuidse dingen die niet vaak worden uitgesproken.”

Het moge duidelijk zijn: voor een vrolijk avondje uit ben je bij de twee aan het verkeerde adres. Melle de Boer en Johnny Dowd hebben meer affiniteit met de donkere kanten van het leven. ,,We zoeken allebei de rafelranden op van de maatschappij. Onze teksten gaan over onderwerpen als eenzaamheid, het verschil tussen rijk en arm en de manier waarop mensen met elkaar omgaan.” Maar er is niet louter donkerte te vinden in hun muziek. ,,We proberen de donkere kant te verlichten,” zegt De Boer poëtisch. ,,Het publiek zingt ook volop mee met de Amerikaanse liedjes en er wordt ook veel gelachen.”


We proberen de donkere kant te verlichten

Melle de Boer

Het duo heeft net een tour door Engeland achter de rug. Voor De Boer was het een openbaring: ,,Ze kijken daar heel anders tegen muziek aan dan hier. In Nederland moet het vooral leuk en gezellig zijn. In Engeland luisteren ze echt naar de liedjes. Van ouds af aan bestaat er natuurlijk ook de traditie om samen naar muziek te luisteren, en er niet doorheen te kletsen.” Wel was hij enigszins nerveus bij aanvang van zijn eerste tour door Engeland: ,,Ik twijfelde over mijn Engels en wist niet of ik de teksten wel goed zou uitspreken. En dan sta je in zo’n volle zaal …” Maar de respons was bijzonder goed. ,,Ik heb zelden zoveel enthousiaste reacties ontvangen en er zijn meer cd’s verkocht dan ooit.”

Een voordeel was dat De Boer zijn Engelstalige teksten niet hoefde uit te leggen, zoals hij in Nederland gewoon is te doen. Zo projecteerde hij tijdens een optreden ooit zelfgemaakte tekeningen (De Boer is ook kunstenaar) op de achtergrond (‘Bij iedere zin een nieuwe tekening’). Een uitleg van zijn teksten was in Engeland niet nodig, toch? ,,Nou ja, ik was daar op een ongemakkelijke manier wel al mee begonnen, totdat ik besefte dat dat niet nodig was, ha ha.”

Even terug naar zijn samenwerking met Johnny Dowd. Wat spreekt De Boer het meest aan in de man die bekendstaat om zijn nogal eigenzinnige, soms ronduit ondoorgrondelijke muziek? ,,Zijn liedjes zijn soms best lastig ja. Het mooie aan hem vind ik dat hij nooit probeert te behagen.” De muziek van Johnny Dowd is niet alleen lastig te doorgronden, maar ook behoorlijk zwartgallig. ,,Toch is hij een opgewekte man hoor, ondanks al die heftige liedjes. Het was heel gezellig in de tourbus!”

 – Original article

Soulmates with a dark message
They both sing about the fringes of society: Melle de Boer and Johnny Dowd. Two americana artists of two generations and different birth grounds join together. Tonight in the Horse in The Hague.

Machiel Coehorst 08-02-18, 16:04

Johnny Dowd is from Ithaca, a sleepy university town in the state of New York. He had a transport company there and made music in his free time. Until he was discovered by a record manager and made his debut at the age of 50 as a singer-songwriter and interpreter of raw pop country. Melle de Boer is from Delft / The Hague, made a furore with his bands Smutfish and John Dear Mowing Club and, like Dowd, has a predilection for the country noir. In honor of their new albums the two musicians make a joint tour and tonight they do the Horse.

Despite the age difference (Melle de Boer is 45 years, Johnny Dowd almost 70) the two musicians are seen as soul mates. De Boer can agree with this typing. “Yes, there are certainly similarities between Johnny and me. The music comes to us both from the same source: The doubt about everything, and the subcutaneous things that are not often spoken. ”

It should be clear: for a cheerful night out you are at the wrong address. Melle de Boer and Johnny Dowd have more affinity with the dark sides of life. ,, We both seek out the frail edges of society. Our texts deal with topics such as loneliness, the difference between rich and poor and the way in which people interact with each other. “” But there is no mere darkness in their music. ,, We try to lighten the dark side, ” De Boer says poetically. ,, The audience is also singing along with the American songs and there is also a lot of laughter. ”

We try to illuminate the dark side, Melle de Boer
The duo has just finished a tour through England. For De Boer it was a revelation: “They look at music very differently than here. In the Netherlands it must be fun and cozy. In England they really listen to the songs. From time immemorial there is of course also the tradition to listen to music together, and not to chat through it. ” He was a bit nervous at the start of his first tour through England: ‘I doubted my English and did not know whether I would pronounce the lyrics correctly. And then you’re in such a crowded room … “” But the response was very good. ,, I have rarely received so many enthusiastic reactions and more CDs have been sold than ever. ”

One advantage was that De Boer did not have to explain his English-language texts, as he is used to doing in the Netherlands. For instance, during a performance he once projected self-made drawings (De Boer is also an artist) in the background (‘With every sentence a new drawing’). An explanation of his texts was not necessary in England, right? ,, Well, I had already started in an uncomfortable way, until I realized that it was not necessary, ha ha. ”

Back to his collaboration with Johnny Dowd. What appeals to De Boer most in the man who is known for his rather quirky, sometimes utterly inscrutable music? ,, His songs are sometimes quite difficult yes. The beauty of him is that he never tries to please. “” The music of Johnny Dowd is not only difficult to fathom, but also very ungraceful. “Still, he is a cheerful man, despite all those heavy songs. It was very nice in the tour bus! ”

 – Translation by Google