Johnny Dowd Live @ Quinns

Quinn’s favorite troubadour is back! Fresh off the release of his exploration into American music’s public domain! His new record Twinkle, Twinkle will take you places with classic pieces of the American song book like “Sweet Clementine” and “House of the Rising Sun” that you once thought not possible. Give it a good look at http://johnnydowd.com/

“Imagine if Hank Williams had mutated into Captain Beefheart, acquiring a bunch of primitive electronic equipment along the way, and you’ll get some idea of where Johnny Dowd is at on Execute American Folklore. . . . Gloriously deviant.“

— Andy Gill, The Independent (London)

(The following is from a previous Facebook post for a Quinn’s gig Johnny was forced to cancel, but it bears repeating!-Editors)

Johnny Fucking Dowd at Quinns :

“The clock says noon, but is it midnight? The world without me? That’d be alright” -Johnny

It doesn’t matter what time it is when you hear Johnny Dowd, it’s always too late. The man’s music eclipses everything produced today in the Indie-mainstream. Wry and thought provoking (White Dolemite). Depraved and funky (3/29/48). Playful yet dark and hollow (A World Without Me). Every emotion inspired by these tunes exists balanced on a razors edge. The beauty can only be fully realized when everything falls apart to reveal the nebulous ambivalence of the webs Johnny weaves. The man’s an instituion and we’re all just lucky enough to be late to the party.

http://www.johnnydowd.com/

 

Oor and The Independent review Twinkle Twinkle

The older, the crazier? Next year he turns 70, but since he discovered the use of synths, electronics and beats alongside his guitar, a whole new world seems to have opened for the New York singer/guitar player.He lets himself go, wonderfully off-key and against the grain, with songs from among others Jane Taylor (etc)

‘As if Hank Williams is transformed into Captain Beefheart who bought himself a bunch of primitive electronics’ the Independent wrote. We agree. Soon he will be touring with Melle de Boer. Nice couple!

 – Translation by Tamara Veldman via Facebook

 

SoundBlab reviews Twinkle Twinkle

JOHNNY DOWD – TWINKLE TWINKLE

New Album

Johnny Dowd first caught my ear in 1999 with, Pictures From Life’s Other Side.Wherein he demonically skewered a maudlin Hank Williams ditty. As for the rest, it was the musical equivalent of Sam Shepherd’s, Buried Child. To this day, it remains one of my favorite albums. On Other Side’s ‘God Created Woman’ there’s the ominous line, “Meet me in the parking lot, up on level three. There’s something I gotta show you. There’s something you just gotta see.” Dowd’s latest, Twinkle Twinkle might just be that something.

His last album, Execute American Folklore, pretty much was a statement of intent. Twinkle Twinkle, takes its cue from there and then proceeds to wreak unholy carnage on what have become the standards of American Folklore. By the time he’s done, you won’t recognize them. They’re beyond redemption. Like Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask ReplicaTwinkle Twinkle is an ornery, willfully perverse work of Art.

“The coo coo is a pretty bird,” Clarence Ashley once crooned on a scratchy bit of shellac sometime in early 20th Century. Well, Dowd’s version is just plain cuckoo. Here this well-worn standard sounds like it joined up with Devo after a 5th of Jim Beam. This bird is so mean, it will rip your heart out like a buzzard if you so much as tip toe around it. And you not only won’t recognize this ‘St. James Infirmary’, you’ll need directions home after sliding all over the guts spilled on the floor.  In Dowd’s hands, Son House’s ‘John The Revelator’ reads more like a Dear John letter to Nietzsche’s lost, dead God. ‘Tom Dooley’ gets a make- over with a pair of brass knuckles. And God help you if you’re caught snoozing in this ‘House of The Rising Sun’. If that weren’t enough, Dowd has cut the most unsettling and terrifying version of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ you’ll ever hear. Mozart must be laughing in his grave.

In terms of Dowd’s song choices, nothing on this album is arbitrary. Titles like, ‘Trouble In Mind’ and ‘Going Down The Road Feeling Bad’ have resonance in regards to what’s currently going on in the ol’ Red White and Blue. Forgive me for getting political here, but in its entirety Twinkle Twinkle can be viewed as a biting commentary on the America so many bigots like to “God bless” all the time. This album is undeniably a crooked middle finger to our political culture and times. It doesn’t take a stable genius to see that. What Dowd has laid down here, is no accident. If one’s followed Dowd’s career, he’s been moving in this direction for years. In fact, he’s always dealt these cards out. But with Twinkle Twinkle he goes for the jugular with all the gusto and surgical precision of Jack the Ripper. In fact, this little opus could have just as easily be entitled, Jack The Ripper Sings American Folk Songs. 

In any event, Twinkle Twinkle is the perfect soundtrack to the madness under the surface of our affable myths of melting pots, baseball, apple pie and fireworks on the 4th of July. Here Dowd is ripping the band aid off and staring that ugly beast right in the face. And doing it with brains, heart and moral outrage. Not to mention one hell of a twisted sense of humor.

Woody Guthrie wrote, “This Machine Kill Fascists” on his guitar for a damn good reason. Despite Pete Seeger and the Civil Rights movement, a lot of these songs were watered down by the white bread likes of the Kingston Trio. Glossed over as coffee house clap a-longs for entitled college students. Then later, came O Brother Where Art Thou and the shallow hipster Alt Country/Americana revival. By comparison, Twinkle Twinkle isn’t easy or pretty listening. But it sure has balls. Not to mention, vision. If you despised what the likes of Kingston Trio did to American Folk Music, you’ll take pure delight in this. Revenge is sweet.

 – Original article

 

Feeling Bad Tour @ Cloud Nine

 

 

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!

 

Facebook event

– Original site

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!

Feeling Bad Tour @ Worm Feb. 9

 

Johnny Dowd (US) + Melle de Boer

 

 

Language is a subject of constant debate in The Avantgardistic State. What is it best used for, and how? Here we have two exponents who take this linguistic to-and-fro down a country path [sic]. Expect a combination of Dutch and American grassroots music at its most fundamental.

Melle de Boer
Melle de Boer, known for his act Smutfish and his love of the American folk tradition addresses the idea that Dutch acts need to sing in English to be “successful”. Through his love of the American song tradition. De Boer will be joined by Suzanne Ypma.

Johnny Dowd
Johnny Dowd is an American alt country musician from Ithaca, New York. Expect songs full of experimental, noisy breaks with a strong int of the American Gothic and black humour. Many have compared his music to that of Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart. Dowd will be joined by guitarist Mike Edmondson.

 – Original site

Going down the road feeling bad | Johnny Dowd & Melle de Boer

Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer travel through the Netherlands as a double bill. Their Going Down the Road Feeling Bad tour marks the occasion of the release of their new albums. Dowd and The Boer play their own songs and, in the collaborative part of the show, perform their joint, unconventional take on American traditional music.

Artist and musician Melle de Boer is known as the lead singer of his band Smutfish. Their 2003 debut record Lawnmower Mind is widely regarded as the founding album of Dutch ‘country noir’. American musician Johnny Dowd lives and breathes American blues, folk and country music, reinterpreting their traditions in his own experimental and darkly humorous way. Dowd and De Boer both have a knack for the eclectic. Don’t expect a sleepy singer songwriter night: their songs are beautiful, urgent, chaotic, loud, noisy, soothing, and above all, unforgettable.