Twee gelijkgestemde zielen bundelen hun krachten in de ‘Going down the road feeling bad’-tournee! Beeldend kunstenaar/muzikant Melle de Boer is frontman van de band Smutfish – hun debuutalbum Lawnmower Mind (2003), vol melancholisch existentialisme, geldt als grondlegger van de Nederlandse ‘country noir’. De Amerikaanse singer-songwriter Johnny Dowd put voor zijn alt.country uit dezelfde donkere bron als De Boer – niet voor niets wordt hij vergeleken met Nick Cave, Tom Waits en Captain Beefheart. Dowd komt in december 2017 met een nieuw album vol interpretaties van Amerikaanse folk klassiekers. De traditionele liedjes worden precies zoals ze horen te klinken gebracht door Dowd en De Boer gebracht: vol met ziel, actualiteit en elektriciteit. Verwacht geen slaperige singer-songwriteravond, maar een concert vol contrasten!
Two like-minded souls join forces in the ‘Going down the road feeling bath’ tour!Visual artist / musician Melle de Boer is frontman of the band Smutfish – their debut album Lawnmower Mind (2003), full of melancholic existentialism, is the founder of the Dutch ‘country noir’.The American singer-songwriter Johnny Dowd draws for his alt.country from the same dark source as De Boer – not for nothing he is compared to Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart.Dowd arrives in December 2017 with a new album full of interpretations of American folk classics.The traditional songs are brought exactly as they should be brought by Dowd and De Boer: full of soul, current and electricity.Do not expect a sleepy singer-songwriter’s evening, but a concert full of contrasts!
One of Ithaca’s true legends, Johnny Dowd settled in town in the ‘70s and never looked back, creating a body of work, varied, progressive and sharp. His music ranges from open and free alternative country, to post punk, to wild experimental density. His newest album “Execute American Folklore” is bold and individualistic, with jaunts into electronic alt-rock, funk rage and avant-garde folk rock.
It’s hard to believe that Dowd has 20 albums under his belt, not including his contributions to many others, including my personal favorite: a one-of-a kind revisionist/reimagination tribute to Townes Van Zandt, There’s a Hole in Heaven Where Some Sin Slips Through. I was fortunate to catch Dowd twice in July, where he played songs from his 21st album, Execute American Folklore. I have described him before as William S. Burroughs with a guitar, with a pre/post punk mentality, mixed with alt-country. Live, he’s a tightrope walker. But on record, the firebrand is controlled, smooth to the emotional touch as he glides — first on high, then back down to a semblance of Earth.
Dowd’s half-spoken, half-sung lyrics are like poetry set against more of an electronic backdrop that some of his other work, with a groove, a definite groove. You can also dance to it. A nice example is the segue from “Sexual Revolution” (“You’re either part of the problem or part of the pollution” with an under layer of a tortured “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” Wynette-style). That moves into the electronica of “Mr. Muggles,” punctuated with horns and the operatic vocal of Anna Coogan, where Coogan plays Klaus Nomi to Dowd’s Bowie. Then again into “Rumba in the Park” with a Caribbean, rockabilly feel with a distant fuzzy guitar where you have found yourself in a Jim Jarmusch movie. I don’t think Dowd has ever been more literate than on this album, with his vocals distinctly mixed so you can bask into the Beat-like delivery and imagery. (Dowd is also included in ND’s fall issue, “Speak Up!”)