Dowd has made a career of making music full of piercingly bleak, hard fought, gnarled dreamscapes that make David Lynch’s tales seem like those of a choir boy. But just when I thought I had him figured out, Dowd delivers a blues record so beautiful that I cannot stop playing it. It is also full of demons that live on a merry-go-round with feedback and distortion taking the places of the painted ponies going up and down. Paradoxically, its’s his most accessible music in quite a while, maybe ever.
“I am guilty as sin, of what I do not know” are about the first words out of Dowd’s mouth on the album, but it’s not so much about some spurious redemption as is it an observation about the quandary we currently find ourselves in. Then, digging even deeper, he pretty well sums up the Civil War in the next track, “Vicksburg.” Lyrically, Dowd seems to have inherited Leonard Cohen’s mantle, with Kim Sherwood-Caso acting as his Julie Christensen. Nowhere is more evident than on “Dream On,” where her counterpoint is so evocative. Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride.
Red River Valley , that’s the name of the new Johnny Dowd album ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ that will be in stores on January 12th. According to the press release it is a playful album with recognizable tunes.
More info about the release can be found on ‘s mans website . Dowd is back on track with Melle De Boer at his side. That brings him eight times to the Netherlands, but Belgium this time (for the time being) left. So keep an eye on it.
The twinkle of Johnny Dowd is finished with his seventeenth (!) Solo album.
In his newsletter, the man announced that ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ became the title of the successor of ‘ Execute American Folklore ‘, which was published last year. The album appears on its own Mother Jinx label in December.
Dowd said the following about the development process: “I thought it was going to be my most important inside record, but at some point it would go on and on.”
Then there is an American tour as support act of Pere Ubu before he goes down to Europe. And that all promises to be “a little different”, but more details in that regard are not yet known.
September 25, 2017 Patrick Van Gestel
Ithaca’s finest singer-songwriter Johnny Dowd has a new record coming up. Twinkle, Twinkle is a collection of public domain songs, It is being mixed and will be released in January.
He will be on tour in the UK and The Netherlands in January and February to promote the release. He will be sharing he bill with Dutch musician Melle de Boer. They named it the Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Tour. – Original article
Been fun watching the album progress, not to mention Kat Dalton’s photos illustrating that progression. We re-present, in the original order:
Good stuff happening in Dowdsville.
“Twinkle, Twinkle” is finished. I thought it was going to be my most inside record, but at some point it leapt the fence and took on a life of its own. It will be released on my label in January.
All for now.
Johnny’s new album, ”Twinkle, Twinkle,” will be released on January 12, 2018.
From the press release by Del Day (Ark PR):
”Wonderfully playful, yet bursting with creative juices, ’Twinkle, Twinkle’ is an album only Dowd would be brave enough to make. These are tunes we all know—tunes we hum, sing-along to at parties, solid bricks in the pantheon of American song—yet you’d be forgiven for thinking that you are hearing all of them for the first time given Dowd’s startling interpretations. Against a backdrop of scathing synths and menacing beats, tracks like ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ and ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ adorn entirely different guises. ‘Trouble In Mind,’ originally recorded as a jazz song in 1924, here broods like some kind of long-forgotten Tom Waits song remixed by Burial, whilst ‘St James Infirmary Blues’ plays out as a soundtrack to Dowd’s dark and inquisitive mind.”
Above is one of the tracks for you to enjoy right now, “Red River Valley.“
The Euro tour starts on January 25. Tour schedule here.
Check out the latest Euro tour dates on the Tours page. Johnny will have his new album, ”Twinkle, Twinkle,” for sale at the shows. It will also be available at this site starting January 12, as well as digitally at all the usual outlets.
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.
Before we say goodbye to 2016, it’s time for me to announce the winners of my annual Soundoff awards, nicknamed “The Jimmies.”
I’ve been covering the Ithaca music scene since 1992, and I started doing these awards in 1994 to recognize the many talented people who make music in the area.
There were more than 40 CDs and EPs released locally in the past year, and while I didn’t get to every one of them, I did manage to listen to just about all of the ones that came out by mid-December.
As has been the case since 1994 (except for 2009, when the Jimmies were on hiatus), these award choices are entirely subjective. The winners receive absolutely nothing except a handshake and a “way to go” next time I see them around town.
The envelopes, please …
3) Johnny Dowd, “Execute American Folklore”: A strong follow-up to last year’s “That’s Your Wife on the Back of My Horse,” this album showcased Dowd’s continuing ability to blend electronic and organic musical elements to create appropriate backdrops for his distinctive vocals.