The Falcon and a Secret Show by the skin of their teeth

 

Whoa, just made it to these shows before NYS shutdown. None of us got sick afterwards, and we hope no one who came to the shows did, either. The rest of the house party tour got cancelled, and a couple of art shows in the making put on hold. May both these venues are up and running safely soon, because they were both most fun hangs.

The Falcon on March 6 was a major revelation. How did we not know about a venue as magnificent as this, and an owner/soundman as interesting as Tony Falco? Not only did Tony and his superhero wife (she’s a teacher) put us up, but he walked us through, yes, fixing another tour flat tire.

First off: location location location.

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The inimitable George Spafford opened for Johnny and Mike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next on March 7, skidding into MA broadside in a cloud of smoke, was what turned out to be the last show of the shortened tour. The Super Secret One that must have somehow leaked out, because not only packed house, but Brian and Kim!

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(Swag mucho appreciated, Jim!)

 

So sorry Lucky Penny and Roadmaster Stage. We missed you guys! If John comes your way someday, here’s my fav sign ever by the fans in MA-feel free to use!:

 

 

Live @ Lokaal42 – last day of Family Picnic tour!

Eindelijk bij Lokaal42 Johnny Dowd! Met zijn nieuwe album Family Picnic op zak tourt hij vanaf april 2019 door Europa en doet daarbij ook ons lokaal aan!

– Johnny Dowd –
Alternatieve countryzanger Johnny Dowd fascineert fans en critici al sinds zijn eerste album Wrong Side of Memphis in 1997 uitkwam. Met ongeveer één nieuw album per jaar blijft hij zijn eigen draai geven aan de Amerikaanse rootsmuziek. Hij maakt donkere, maar humoristische en catchy songs die doen denken aan Tom Waits, Nick Cave en Captain Beefheart.

– Family Picnic –
Op 1 maart 2019 komt het nieuwe album Family Picnic uit, waarin Dowd terugkeert naar de roots rock arena waar hij ooit mee begon. Dertig jaar lang maakt hij al albums die de trends trotseren; een unieke verzameling werk dat met kop en schouders uitsteekt boven zijn gelauwerde tijdgenoten.

– Johnny Dowd over zijn nieuwe album –
“Had to dig pretty deep for this one. Not sure how many more tunes I have in me. Tick tock. This record took an unexpected turn to the past — my past. It’s kind of like “Wrong Side of Memphis” 30 years down the road. Surprisingly little has changed for me (emotionally, that is). I’m still drawn to the same themes — unrequited love, murder, general foolishness. Waltzes and shuffles and boom chuck beats abound. Ice cream chord changes. Plus Kim Sherwood-Caso and Mike Edmondson. What’s not to like? An Americana classic, if I do say so myself.”
— Johnny Dowd

Finally at Lokaal42 Johnny Dowd! With his new album Family Picnic in his pocket, he will be touring Europe from April 2019 and also visiting us locally! – Johnny Dowd – Alternative country singer Johnny Dowd has fascinated fans and critics ever since his first album Wrong Side of Memphis was released in 1997. With about one new album a year, he continues to give his own twist to American roots music. He makes dark but humorous and catchy songs that are reminiscent of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Captain Beefheart. – Family Picnic – On March 1, 2019, the new album Family Picnic will be released, in which Dowd returns to the roots rock arena he once started. For thirty years he has been making albums that defy trends; a unique collection of work that stands head and shoulders above its acclaimed contemporaries.

Live @ KOHI Kulturraum Karlshrue review

 

photo by Kat Dalton

Songs of unfulfilled longing
American nightmare: The 70-year-old songwriter Johnny Dowd in Kohi

Arrangements are rough and beautiful

No, Johnny Dowd did not drink a bit too much, Tom Severer from Kohi says, “He’s just an old man.” And that’s right Dowd was born in Fort Worth Texas in 1948. As a teenager, he volunteered the army came to Berlin for these to Vietnam in the sixties, and for two years in Berlin. “Since then, Germany and this city have been”, he mumbles, and admits that his thoughts on this period are first of his “experiences in the army, the many wars, and all the trouble. “What men have since learned, he does not know:” But most of them have most likely forgotten.
His acclaimed performance has been in the air for a few minutes, he has been smoking a cigarette out of doors and is now sitting behind the black table with hanging shoulders and saddest eyes, where band mate and brother-in-law Michael Edmondson sells CDs and poetry. Edmondson has been talking to Dowd for 33 years, starting in New York’s punk band Neon Baptist. His autographs and dedications are always provided by Dowd with a small drawing. Selzer hands him a glass of bourbon. Johnny Dowd has had to endure this world long enough to tell a lot. For a long time he worked as a furniture packer and had his own company. The first marriage is said to have lasted only two weeks.
Today he’s only doing rock n roll In the song “Dream On” dedicated to his current wife, he complains; “I did the best that I could but did not do what I should.” At first he probably just tried to spend his time in a good mood. Anyone who, after the wildest youth, only picks up a guitar at the age of 30 and starts making music, will always listen well and have seen a lot. Edmondson calls him a “real guy” “and is right. Because Dowd does not play a role in his role but the American nightmare of the eternally unfulfilled yearning. Yes, that’s Rock n Roll Blues Folk Americana. This is not songwriting but songsuffering.
Dowd creates arrangements that are so rude and beautiful that you almost stifle the fulfillment. Everywhere one hears the americanish 20th year dying out, which is dying. If you lose your sense of humor, it will be really bad, “he says,” you pack the sentence in your backpack and look forward to the next morning. “That’s life, Matthias Dreisigacker

Alternative-Country irgendwo zwischen Noise, Elektro, Punk und DiY (NY-Ithaca) Einlass 19.30h

www.johnnydowd.com/
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Dowd

Johnny Dowd trinkt gerne Whisky, ist Vietnamveteran und ehemaliger Möbelspediteur, war immerhin mal zwei Wochen verheiratet und singt, so schrieb ein Rezensent, “wie ein Serienkiller, der in einem Staubsauger gefangen ist”. Seine Songs sind skurrile Gesamtkunstwerke, zusammengebastelt aus Versatzstücken von Country, Blues und allem anderen. Dazu scheppert das Schlagzeug, Texte über unerwiderte Liebe, Mord und andere Fiesheiten stellen einem die Nackenhaare, und verzerrte Gitarren krachen, als würde es kein Morgen geben. Gibt es vielleicht auch nicht, denn wie Dowd selbst sagt: “Ich bin mir nicht sicher, wie viele Melodien ich noch in mir habe. Tick tock.” (a)

Johnny Dowd likes to drink whiskey, is a Vietnam veteran and former furniture forwarder, was married for two weeks and sings, a reviewer wrote, ” like a serial killer trapped in a vacuum cleaner. ” His songs are quirky Gesamtkunstwerke, made up of pieces of country, blues and everything else. The drums clank, lyrics about unrequited love, murder and other nasties put the hackles, and distorted guitars crack, as if there would be no tomorrow. Maybe it does not exist because, as Dowd himself says, “I’m not sure how many tunes I still have in it, tick tock.”

Live @ de Peppel with Melle de Boer (Family Picnic review by Da Music)

Exclusief in De Peppel: Johnny Dowd! Met zijn nieuwe album Family Picnic op zak tourt hij vanaf april 2019 door Europa. We zijn trots te melden dat de show in De Peppel de ENIGE is in Nederland! Mis het niet!

– Johnny Dowd –
Alternatieve countryzanger Johnny Dowd fascineert fans en critici al sinds zijn eerste album Wrong Side of Memphis in 1997 uitkwam. Met ongeveer één nieuw album per jaar blijft hij zijn eigen draai geven aan de Amerikaanse rootsmuziek. Hij maakt donkere, maar humoristische en catchy songs die doen denken aan Tom Waits, Nick Cave en Captain Beefheart.

– Family Picnic –
Op 1 maart 2019 komt het nieuwe album Family Picnic uit, waarin Dowd terugkeert naar de roots rock arena waar hij ooit mee begon. Dertig jaar lang maakt hij al albums die de trends trotseren; een unieke verzameling werk dat met kop en schouders uitsteekt boven zijn gelauwerde tijdgenoten.

– Johnny Dowd over zijn nieuwe album –
“Had to dig pretty deep for this one. Not sure how many more tunes I have in me. Tick tock. This record took an unexpected turn to the past — my past. It’s kind of like “Wrong Side of Memphis” 30 years down the road. Surprisingly little has changed for me (emotionally, that is). I’m still drawn to the same themes — unrequited love, murder, general foolishness. Waltzes and shuffles and boom chuck beats abound. Ice cream chord changes. Plus Kim Sherwood-Caso and Mike Edmondson. What’s not to like? An Americana classic, if I do say so myself.”
— Johnny Dowd

– Support: Melle de Boer –
Van Melle de Boer is bekend dat hij misschien wel de mooiste liedjes schrijft in Den Haag en zijn sporen lang en breed verdiend heeft met Smutfish/Smetvis en Henk & Melle.

Zaterdag 20 april speel ik in Poppodium de Peppelmet John Dowd en Michael. Ik spit in mijn oude, hervonden liedjes. Ze katapulten me naar een andere periode en daardoor snap ik mijn nu iets beter.

Saturday April 20 I play in Poppodium de Peppel with John Dowd and Michael. I dig into my old, recovered songs. They catapult me ​​to a different period and that is why I get a little better now.

Melle de Boer

Exclusive in De Peppel: Johnny Dowd! With his new album Family Picnic in his pocket, he will be touring Europe from April 2019. We are proud to announce that the show in De Peppel is the ONLY in the Netherlands! Don’t miss it – Johnny Dowd – Alternative country singer Johnny Dowd has fascinated fans and critics ever since his first album Wrong Side of Memphis was released in 1997. With about one new album a year, he continues to give his own twist to American roots music. He makes dark but humorous and catchy songs that are reminiscent of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Captain Beefheart. – Family Picnic – On March 1, 2019, the new album Family Picnic will be released, in which Dowd returns to the roots rock arena he once met began. For thirty years he has been making albums that defy trends; a unique collection of work that stands head and shoulders above his acclaimed contemporaries.- Johnny Dowd about his new album – “Had to dig pretty deep for this one. Not sure how many more tunes I have in me. Tick tock. This record took an unexpected turn to the past – my past It’s child of like “Wrong Side of Memphis” 30 years down the road Surprisingly little has changed for me (emotionally, that is) I’m still drawn to the same themes – unrequited love, murder, general foolishness. Waltzes and shuffles and tree chuck beats abound. Ice cream chord changes. Plus Kim Sherwood-Caso and Mike Edmondson. What’s not to like?

Support: Melle de Boer – Van Melle de Boer is known to have written the most beautiful songs in The Hague and has earned his spurs long and wide with Smutfish / Smetvis and Henk & Melle. Saturday April 20 I will play in Poppodium de Peppelmet John Dowd and Michael. I dig into my old, recovered songs. They catapult me ​​to another period and that’s why I get a little better now. Saturday April 20 I play at Poppodium de Peppel with John Dowd and Michael. I dig into my old, recovered songs. They catapult me ​​to a different period and that’s why I get a little better now.
-Melle de Boer

Johnny Dowd – Family Picnic

19 april 2019
Patrick Van Gestel

Mother Jinx Records

De afgelopen paar platen maakte Johnny Dowd het de neutrale luisteraar niet eenvoudig. Met elektronica in combinatie met hyperkinetische gitaren leek hij zijn duivels uit te willen drijven, gezien het in de voorafgaande zeventig jaar met drank, drugs en doodgewone rock-‘n-roll toch niet gelukt was. Of hij dan nu rust gevonden heeft? Wel… niet echt.

Maar hij brengt het wel weer op een iets meer toegankelijke manier. ‘Family Picnic’ is eigenlijk gewoon een … euh, picknick, vergeleken met pakweg ‘Execute American Folklore‘. Maar verwacht je niet aan wonderen. Johnny Dowd is nog altijd voor honderd procent Johnny Dowd. Dat wil zeggen: prachtige eenvoud, maffe teksten en die uit honderden herkenbare drawl, die hem typeert.

En dan zijn er uiteraard die mistroostige teksten, die hij steevast declameert. In de opener Hoodoo kan hij zich nog net inhouden. Daar laat hij zijn gitaar de vrije loop en krijgt de vibrafoon voorrang. Maar dan is er de wals, die het sarcastische The Man Of Your Dreams is, en de prachtige blueskraker Vicksburg, waarin hij de Amerikaanse burgeroorlog op de korrel neemt op zijn eigen unieke manier: dood en verderf, maden en vliegen bevolken een nummer over deze en bij uitbreiding alle oorlogen.

Als je nu denkt dat de elektronica helemaal verdwenen is, heb je het ook mis. Dat was al aan de opener te merken, maar ook aan een song als Shameless. Je vraagt je enkel af of Dowd dit nu doet omdat hij hiermee de volledige controle heeft (en dus geen drummer en bassist nodig heeft). Maar het doet er eigenlijk al lang niet meer toe: dit is gewoon de stijl die Johnny Dowd hanteert en zich helemaal eigen heeft gemaakt. Like it or not. Hij weet die elektronica ook perfect te integreren in zijn gitaarspel. Getuige een nummer als Stuttering Wind.

“I sing songs of lust and depravity / that’s the only kind of songs come out of me” zingt hij in het überironische Thomas Dorsey, waarin hij zijn bewondering voor de desbetreffende gospelzanger de vrije loop laat en dan smeekt: “I wish that satan would let me go”. Maar wat ons betreft mag Dowd gewoon blijven wie hij is: een getikte rockzanger met meer dan één hoek af, die zijn blik op dit leven – Family Picnic, ziet u? – met u deelt.

Het heeft iets kinderlijk eerlijks, dat nieuwe album van Johnny Dowd. En tegelijkertijd ademt het ouderwetse kwaliteit uit, maar dan wel op Dowds eigenzinnige manier.

  – Original article

The last couple of albums Johnny Dowd did not make it easy for the neutral listener. With electronics in combination with hyperkinetic guitars, he seemed to want to cast out his devils, since he had not succeeded in the previous seventy years with alcohol, drugs and normal rock and roll. Whether he has found peace now? Well … not really.

But he does bring it back in a slightly more accessible way. ‘Family Picnic’ is actually just a… er, picnic, compared to, say, ‘ Execute American Folklore ‘. But don’t expect miracles. Johnny Dowd is still one hundred percent Johnny Dowd. That means: beautiful simplicity, silly texts and those from hundreds of recognizable drawl, which typifies him.

And then of course there are those dreary texts, which he invariably declares. In the opener Hoodoo he can just restrain himself. There he lets his guitar run free and the vibraphone is given priority. But then there is the waltz, which is the sarcastic The Man Of Your Dreams , and the beautiful blues cracker Vicksburg , in which he takes the American civil war in his own unique way: death and destruction, maggots and flies populate a song about this and by extension all wars.

If you now think that the electronics have completely disappeared, you are also wrong. You could tell that from the opener, but also from a song like Shameless . You only wonder if Dowd does this now because he has full control (and therefore does not need a drummer and bass player). But it doesn’t really matter for a long time: this is just the style that Johnny Dowd uses and has completely mastered. Like it or not. He also knows how to integrate that electronics perfectly into his guitar playing. Witness a song like Stuttering Wind .

“I sing songs of lust and depravity / that’s the only child or songs come out of me” he sings in überironic Thomas Dorsey , in which he lets his admiration for the gospel singer in question run wild and then begs: “I wish that satan would let me go “. But as far as we are concerned, Dowd can just continue to be who he is: a crazy rock singer with more than one angle, who looks at this life – Family Picnic, you see? – share with you.

It has something childishly honest about it, that new album from Johnny Dowd. And at the same time it exudes old-fashioned quality, but in Dowd’s wayward way.

– translation by Google

Live @ Het IJle Land review by Enola.BE,HCTF reviews Family Picnic

Johnny Dowd :: Friday April 19, 2019, The Ijle Land, Ghent

20 Apr 2019

 Those who want to see them at work these days should go to the Netherlands or England, but yesterday there was another chance to see Johnny Dowd, the eternal maverick of roots music, live. Together with companion Mike Edmondson, the veteran worked his way through a bunch of blown up songs that remind you once again why you will rarely come across him in a traditional festival in the traditional media. More than ever, Dowd makes its own, unique mark on the songs that he offends.

The wild days, when he played a lot of shreds with a bottle of whiskey on the guitar amp in the AB Club, which has since passed. Today, Dowd drinks water on stage, although that in particular suggests nothing about the normality of his songs or their performances. The recently released Family Picnic was a slightly more digestible album after a handful of blown solo projects, but it remains an awkward combination of mangled blues, angular waltzes, mischief verses, broken family chronicles, run-up keyboard triads and plastic beats. It forces the music of Dowd to a continuous balance exercise, where tradition and artificial mutilation fight for dominance and it can eventually go in all directions.

It also means that songs are sometimes used as a starter that can be used to eat anything, rather than finished packets that have to be deposited in predetermined form at the feet of a listener. Just like his hilariously dry stories and jokes (sometimes the line between the two is paper thin), songs can derail or even crash into a concrete wall. Appropriate actually, since Dowd taps into many barrels of the American song tradition, including that of the “teen tragedy song” (“Teen Angel”). It does take charm and resourcefulness to get away with it, but let that be no problem right now. Such a Dowd cannot simply be upset.

The set was largely built around Family Picnic , the songs of which were performed in slightly rawer and austere versions. Here and there you missed the extra coloring or singing of Kim Sherwood-Caso (“Walking The Floor”, etc), but Dowd did have Mike Edmondson, who played solo and rhythm guitar, provided bass lines, but sometimes also provided the show could steal; with a solo performance of Sinatra’s pocket drama “It Was A Very Good Year”, for example, or the cheerful “Butterman Dance,” in which the audience was also involved. Here and there, Edmondson also turned out to be a skilled stringsman, just like Dowd, who regularly squeezed a nasty blues or funk of the strings.

But an ordinary concert, that will never happen. Dowd simply has too much fun wringing the songs and pushing things in the direction of Dadaistic performance, which will scare the blues of “Vicksburg” and “Back End Of Spring” purists. Bo Diddley (a medley with “Hey, Bo Diddley” and “Who Do You Love”), country legend Conway Twitty (“I love the bright lights of Ghent City, and I want to be a star like Conway Twitty”), the inevitable inspiration Thomas Dorsey, “Jesus Loves Me”, hip hop van den Action(“White Dolemite”) and a piece of sardonic jazz fumbling (“the same mistake over and over again”). But just like with the most recent album, despite all the relativizing craziness and disruption, you can feel that there is also a craftsman who knows his craft under that layer of absurdities.

That was most obvious in “Dream On”, dedicated to his wife. “What was it about me, you found so hard to understand?” He wondered. And for a moment it seemed as if the question was directed to the public. Did they manage to look beyond that mask? Are they aware of how liberating that mess with conventions works? Perhaps Dowd is a modern Tijl Uilenspiegel, a folk hero who has to make a point, to be found between outbursts of chaos, imperfections and frightening detours. Keep looking. Crazy Johnny Dowd, it remains a figure to cherish, an outsider worthy of the title.

 

Johnny Dowd

Johnny Dowd geeft al dertig jaar zijn eigen draai aan de Amerikaanse rootsmuziek. Al kan je hem niet op een genre vastpinnen want Dowd springt als een steenbok over en rond alles heen. Zonder zich van trends of hypes een fluit aan te trekken. Een unieke muzikale geest met songs die donker maar evengoed humoristisch zijn. Opgebouwd uit materiaal aangesleept uit de container waar ook Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart of Hank Williams wel eens langskwamen. En waar gitaren broederlijk naast aftandse drumcomputers staan. Johnny Dowd heeft net een nieuwe plaat uit en toert ermee door Europa. Komt dat zien!

Concert

Johnny Dowd has been giving American roots music his own twist for thirty years. Although you cannot pin it down to a genre because Dowd jumps like a capricorn over and around everything. Without worrying about trends or hypes. A unique musical spirit with songs that are dark but also humorous. Constructed from material towed from the container where also Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart or Hank Williams sometimes visited. And where guitars stand fraternally alongside decaying drum computers. Johnny Dowd has just released a new album and is touring Europe with it. Come and see! 

Dit is wat Johnny zelf weet te zeggen over zijn nieuwe album:
“I had to dig pretty deep for this one. Not sure how many more tunes I have in me. Tick tock. This record took an unexpected turn to the past — my past. It’s kind of like Wrong Side of Memphis 30 years down the road. Surprisingly little has changed for me (emotionally, that is). I’m still drawn to the same themes — unrequited love, murder, general foolishness. Waltzes and shuffles and boom chuck beats abound. Ice cream chord changes. Plus Kim Sherwood -Caso – and Mike Edmondson. What’s not to like? An Americana classic, if I do say so myself.”

“On these 14 new songs, Dowd, like America, has reverted to his dark, twisted country roots. In Dowd’s case, it’s a good thing.” — MOJO (4 stars)

Johnny Dowd: Gent added to European tour

  • By Hans Werksman February 28th, 201

photo by Kat Dalton

Johnny Dowd has just announced a show in Gent on April 19 as part of his European tour to promote his new album Family Picnic: “At seventy Dowd shows no signs of aging gracefully. He is without peers in his field, but his friends and fans are willing to put up with whatever he comes up with. Luckily enough, putting out a shit album is beyond his grasp. Family Picnic caters to the converted and there is nothing wrong with that. He is a critical favourite, an incurable maverick, who is just too weird for the MOR Americana crowd to appreciate”.

Johnny Dowd goes back to the distorted country sound of his debut Wrong Side Of Memphis on his new album Family Picnic. Mind you, he doesn’t go full circle, because he never follows a consistent path with his unique blend of Americana and banged up electronics, telling tales about murder, booze and revelry against all odds. Longtime collaborator Kim Sherwood-Caso returns to the fold to add backing vocals, nearly a decade after his Wake Up The Snakes albumMichael Edmondson rides shotgun on guitar. Johnny Dowd: vocals, guitar, beats, keyboards

Family Picnic rambles and rocks, like a machine on the verge of breaking down, with Dowd’s ragged delivery seemingly barely keeping it together. But first impressions can be deceptive. Dowd knows exactly what he is doing and what will work and what will fuck things up in a good way. Take the singalong quality of Conway Twitty, a live favourite for years is presented in what appears to be a one-take wonder format – it’s that spontaneous. The title track is a depiction of family get together told in a husky spoken word way, during which he points at all the six-packs that people brought in were consumed as thing started falling apart. Back End of Spring is abrasive and foreboding, almost like a piece of musique concrète. Stuck-up Christians will frown at Thomas Dorsey, a twisted but heartfelt tribute to the father of black gospel music.

Michael Edmondson: guitar, marimba
Kim Sherwood-Caso: backing vocals

Family Picnic is released on Mother Jinx Records. CD’s are available thru his website (and the merch table at his shows).

Tracks:

  1. Hoodoo
  2. The Man of Your Dreams
  3. Vicksburg
  4. Shameless
  5. Walking the Floor
  6. Stuttering Wind
  7. Family Picnic
  8. Dream On
  9. Four Gray Walls
  10. Conway Twitty
  11. Let’s Have a Party
  12. Little Jimmy
  13. Back End of Spring
  14. Thomas Dorsey

 – Original Article