Reflections from the Ether

I’m a huge fan, me. If you’ve heard of Dowd but not heard his music, don’t be fooled by well meaning but empty-headed music writers who use inaccurate phrases like “Americana” and “Tom Waits” to describe his music. He sounds NOTHING like Waits, and any folk and country influences disappeared years ago. He is making extremely inventive and idiosyncratic ROCK music that musicians half or even one-third his age (he’s in his late 60s) would envy. To me, his best album–and also his most recent–is That’s Your Wife On The Back Of My Horse. No Regrets is fine as well. Of his earlier albums, I would start with The Pawnbroker’s Wife. The Mekons, a band he has opened for a number of times, are huge fans. Jon and Sally guest on a song of Johnny’s called “Drunk” (one of his very last country-tinged songs) on Johnny’s Cruel Words album.

Dowd’s website is

I pledged at the $100.00 level to receive as premiums Execute American Folklore, 2 live CDs of Neon Baptist (Johnny’s first band), and a Zolar Moving Company t-shirt (the company Johnny co-owns for a day job). But Johnny will appreciate any pledge, even if you’re short on cash and can only afford something below the premium levels.
(DJR is referring to John’s indiegogo campaign now closed.-Editor)

I would appreciate hearing from any Dowd fans on here re: your favorite JD tunes, gigs you’ve seen, etc. And to all of you cynics: I’m neither related to Johnny nor do I have any financial interest in any success he may have. I’m just a fan.

bad moon rising
Sonic Youth Gossip 2016/06/14
The fan site



Editors note:
Awesome and insightful,DJR. We hope you are cool with us reposting here.

Happy in Holland



Mark Lotterman toured with Johnny last year, and his latest project Holland is an amazing melange of music,art,philosophy,science and poetry.





Following an opening at TAC in Eindhoven, Mark has a Kickstarter campaign to produce a book of this  “…huge collection of more than 100 works of art, lectures, children’s drawings and interviews; all connected to one of the songs of ‘Holland’.”




Johnny and his sister collaborated on a piece for this project you can see at three major exhibitions in Rotterdam: TENT (13-23 oct) opening + book presentation in TENT on October 13 NL = US (20 Oct – 3 Dec) ViaKunst (20 Oct – 17 Nov) There are also two release concerts in Rotterdam, 16 and 17 November in the Union Hall.


 – On Instagram

The Southern Tour

As a bit of a bloggish prelude to upcoming shows with Pere Ubu, here’s shots from John’s mini tour of the south in June. He played some crazy cool venues, and there were a few adventures…


First stop was Local 506 in Chapel Hill, a great show shared with local favorites Melissa Swingle and Ben de la Cour ( and that hot hamburger stand guy).


John and Mike had a whole day and night to recoup at the swanky Hotel BobNJackie. And no, they don’t take reservations.

123 Pleasant St. was a revisit (and reunion) for John.(Check out this CD of a previous show there). Once again he shared the stage, this time with The Furr and Captain Catfeesh.

It’s along drive to Nashville, so you gotta stop and eat in W Va. And if you gotta eat in W Va, you’d best go to Mama Kay’s.

In addition to food, there is employment, so John made a quick career change to tire salesman.



Hours later, having sold only one tire (to himself), profit margins proved slim,so it’s on to the Big Bucks at Mouthhole (F)ester.


You remember the Mouthhole, right, who had a fundraiser for Johnny’s fundraiser and wrote all those sick Name Songs for contributors? Johnny wrote a song for them, too,which you can find eventually if you scroll around his website

The Mouthhole (F)ester being dark and deep and awesomely funky, images were not so clear. As it should be in the best of underground venues.

(Johnny’s own take on the tour:

Just got back from a mini southern tour: Local 506 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown, West Virginia; and Mouthhole Festival in Nashville, Tennessee.All three gigs were a ton of fun. Mike Edmondson and I dubbed ourselves the Muggles Brothers for this tour. Jennifer Edmondson came with us and was a great help with the merch table. In Chapel Hill, I was able to visit with my sister and her husband who gave me an awesome madras jacket from the sixties! Thanks to the clubs for booking us and the people who came out to see us. Give yourself a big hand.


One of the highlights of the tour was an out-of-the-world lunch at Mama Kay’s in Princeton, West Virginia. The food was great, and the owners really made us feel at home. If you are in the area, check it out. Tell them Johnny sent you.)


In spirit of the upcoming Twinkle Twinkle album, here’s a thousand stars there’s plenty of time to make for yourself next time you drive from New York to Nashville and back. (Congrats to Ben & Jade).

JDF out!



Live @ The Mouthhole Fest(er)


3rd Annual
Nashville TN

Bigger/ Bolder/Wider than ever!!!
Please share/invite
Featuring music from:

4:00–Droneroom (Louisville)
4:40–Fusca Stella
5:00–Bright Yung Things
5:20–Chop Chop Chang
6:00–The Strumms
6:40–Austin Hoke
7:00–Horcerer (Knoxville)
7:20–Stand Up Comedy
7:40–Anouk Asunder
8:00–Johnny Dowd (Ithaca)
8:59–Planet Mouthhole Fitness Awards
9:00–Crisswell Collective (Knoxville)
9:30–Cat Casual (Louisville)
10:00–The Chewers
10:30–The Ornaments
12:00–Midnight Movie

Totally Free. BYOB.

Johnny Dowd by The Mouthhole Band

A man named Johnny Dowd had a good idea, so we stole it. To raise money for his next album, living legend
Johnny Dowd offered a reward on a crowdfunding website:
for $1000 he would write a song about you.
The residents of The Mouthhole
Nashville’s weirdest house venue, wanted a Johnny Dowd song about us, but we are poor.
We decided – we should raise crowdfunding
to donate to Johnny Dowd’s crowdfunding and get a song made about The Mouthhole.And what would our offered reward be? We’ll make songs too. If you donate even $1 we will make a song about you.
So we did. You are now holding a collection of rewards. They were recorded quickly and efficiently in order to keep the flow (and there ended up being 36 of them).Each member of The Mouthhole Band rotated instruments for each song. Lyrics, with occasional exception, were written
by committee. We raised approximately $760 dollars. Johnny Dowd made us a song anyway, because he liked our idea that we stole from him.
He named the song “The Mouthhole”.
We named this album “Name Songs“.

Editors note: You can find Johnny’s Mouthhole song if you scroll down to  November 30, 2016 on his website.

More on the Mouthhole

HCTF – Best of 2016

  • By Hans Werksman
  • December 29th, 2016

Where’s …
David Bowie, Radiohead, Nick Cave? Or that album that you liked so much?

Simple. HCTF picked the 20 best albums that were actually reviewed on this blog.

HCTF lists the 20 albums that will be in regular rotation for many years to come.

2016 was a memorable year for music lovers.

  • Vinyl is back
  • The majors are still running around in circles, trying to keep their cashflow alive
  • streaming is now big business (for the artist not so much).
  • “Self-released” has become a regular tag. Even big time acts go for crowdfunding to cover the costs of making an album, sometimes aided by a small network of indie labels to carry the load of distribution.
  • Software is catching up with the studio as a means of home recording – untrained ears will have a hard time to hear the difference.

One thing will never change: independent music is where it’s at when you are on the 1look out for something interesting to listen to.

Sadly some of the greats are no longer with us – David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen as well two of the finest sidemen – Scotty Moore and Bernie Worrell. As 2016 drew too a close underrated Stus Quo rhythm guitarist Rick Parfitt and singer George Michael also checked out.

7 Johnny Dowd: Execute American Folklore   Cover_Execute

The perennial outsider updates his output with an assorted array of gizmos.

So whatever happened to the left-field country artist of yore? That guy left the building a couple of albums ago. Dowd has embraced technology or more accurately is stretching it to its outer capabilities, banging his gear into submission and messing with preprogrammed presets in peculiar ways. He is more of a wrestler than a player. Title track Execute American Folklore is heavily distorted call to arms for a revolution that will never happen, but at least there is anthem just in case.

 – Original Article with The Rest of the Best

Johnny vs Krampus

gruss_vom_krampusSure, you can support great music .008 cents at a time on Spotify, but you can also score a deal just a couple digits to the left of the decimal place directly from the Man at the Johnny Dowd website.

Check out this message from Kristmas Kat:

Here’s a brand new Johnny song for you.

Johnny wrote and recorded this for The Mouthhole who commissioned the song via his Indiegogo campaign earlier this year. The Mouthhole is a Nashville-based house venue run by Michael Sadler, Zac Caffrey, and Travis Caffrey. It hosts regular parties that feature live music, art, theater, and all things bizarre. It’s home to weirdo rock band The Chewers and electronic monkey man Chop Chop Chang.
Michael, Zac, and Travis created their own fund-raising campaign to raise money for their Johnny song in which they also wrote songs for donors. They wrote 36 songs altogether which are awesome! Be sure to check them out here. There’s even one written for Johnny.

We’ve added some new merch to the store page

— Neon Baptist CDs: Two disks of live recordings of Johnny’s first band in handmade package including photo of Johnny from that era.

Zolar t-shirts: Shirts worn by employees of Johnny’s moving company. Become an honorary Zolar employee!

7-inch vinyl: Johnny song on one side and Mark Lotterman song on the other.

We’ve also slashed the prices of older CDs. Maybe some of your friends and family would like Johnny music for Christmas? Or maybe Johnny’s song “Christmas is Just Another Day” would suit you? (It’s on the Cemetery Shoes CD.) All CDs will be autographed.


Here are folks majorly digging some objects-yes,actually objects-from Johnny. Some are IndieGoGo perks, some long time collections (we’d love to see yours!):


A Note from from The Mouthhole:

A man named Johnny Dowd had a good idea, so we stole it. To raise money for his next album, living legend
Johnny Dowd offered a reward on a crowdfunding website:
for $1000 he would write a song about you.
The residents of The Mouthhole
Nashville’s weirdest house venue, wanted a Johnny Dowd song about us, but we are poor.
We decided – we should raise crowdfunding
to donate to Johnny Dowd’s crowdfunding and get a song made about The Mouthhole.

And what would our offered reward be? We’ll make songs too. If you donate even $1 we will make a song about you.
So we did. You are now holding a collection of rewards. They were recorded quickly and efficiently in order to keep the flow (and there ended up being 36 of them).

Each member of The Mouthhole Band rotated instruments for each song. Lyrics, with occasional exception, were written
by committee. We raised approximately $760 dollars. Johnny Dowd made us a song anyway, because he liked our idea that we stole from him.
He named the song “The Mouthhole”.
We named this album “Name Songs”.


released November 21, 2016

The Mouthhole Band is
Michael Sadler
Zac Caffrey
Morgan Ames
Travis Caffrey


indebanvan fan on Execute American Folklore


Johnny Dowd: nieuw album Execute American Folklore

Ik denk dat ik inmiddels een ceedeetje of veertien heb van Johnny Dowd. Maar 1 fan maakt natuurlijk nog geen zomer. Dus zag ook Johnny Dowd zich genoodzaakt om zijn nieuwe album te financieren d.m.v. crowdfunding. Fans konden onder meer ere-werknemer van zijn verhuisbedrijf Zolar Moving Company worden.

“Execute American Folklore” wordt de titel van het album dat 9 september verschijnt.

1 oktober start er een Europese tour. Onderstaand de Nederlandse concertdata.

I think I now have a ceedeetje fourteen Johnny Dowd. But one fan, of course, does not make a summer. Also saw Johnny Dowd forced to finance his new album via crowdfunding. Fans could be more honorary employee of his moving company Zolar Moving Company.

Execute American Folklore” is the title of the album September 9 appears.

October 1 will start a European tour. Below are the Dutch tour dates.

Date      location                place                      support act

WED OCT 12       patronage           Haarlem, Netherlands   Park Doing

SAT OCT 15         the Peppel          Zeist, Netherlands           Park Doing

SUN OCT 30        Office Beukorkest at TAC             Eindhoven, Netherlands
Mark Lotterman

 – Translation by Google

Editors note: “ceedeetje”?? reviews Execute American Folklore – Johnny Dowd tonite at The Haunt opening for Mofos


banner_jdmofoTonight at The Haunt, opening for the Mofos at 9pm






Johnny Dowd

 Songs In The Key Of D, Vol. 12. Onze favoriete outsider is terug met zijn nieuwste worp, die de ingeslagen koers van That’s Your Wife On The Back Of My Horse (met voorsprong de beste albumtitel van 2015) verderzet. De liefhebber weet wat te doen.

Volgend jaar zal Dowds solocarrière de symbolische kaap van twintig jaar bereiken. Best opmerkelijk want de veteraan, die bij zijn debuut al werd beschouwd als een ouwe lul, houdt er een indrukwekkende productiviteit op na en blijft regelmatig Amerikaanse en Europese podia afschuimen met zijn steeds eigenzinniger wordende muziek. Wrong Side Of Memphis en zijn recentste wapenfeit liggen bij een eerste beluistering misschien ver uit elkaar, maar eigenlijk is niets minder waar. Het zijn albums die getuigen van dezelfde radicale visie en zijn een aanval op rootsgenres en zones ver daarbuiten.

Voor Execute American Folklore lanceerde Dowd een crowdfunding-campagne, die met succes werd afgerond. Je weet dan ook dat je getrakteerd zal worden op een feest van onzin en transgressie, van kitscherige funk en voze bluesresten, van op z’n kop gezette gemeenplaatsen, innuendo en ironievrije egodocumenten. Hij had er net zo goed bij kunnen lopen in een grasgroen trainingpak en een fluokleurige zweetband. Het zal Dowd allemaal worst wezen. Hij bepaalt de regels in een bonte wereld die geen toegevingen doet, al moet je soms, ook nu, toegeven dat de man regelmatig wat oorwurmen uit de mouwen schudt.

Veertien songs jaagt hij er weer door, in minder dan veertig minuten. Stilistisch is dit een verderzetting van That’s Your Wife…, wat betekent dat hij zowat alles zelf opnam: bas, gitaar, toetsen en heel veel plastieken beats. In opener “Unease And Deviance”, eigenlijk een mooie definitie van z’n werk, dreigt het even uit te monden in het thema van “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air”.Met iele synths, een rudimentaire beat, onnozele breaks en Dowds vieze nonkel-verzen. En zo klinkt het wel vaker, alsof hij in stukken als “3.29.48” (zijn geboortedatum) en “Modern Woman” zit rond te hossen met een XL-beatbox en een zak vol kromme rhymes.

Elders vind je nog knikjes richting rock-‘n-roll swagger, maar dan wel nadat het grondig door de mangel gehaald werd. “Sexual Revolution” heeft meer gemeen met The Butthole Surfers en Ween dan met de rootshelden waar hij vroeger mee vergeleken werd. “Funkalicious” zet Bootsy Collins bij The Residents. Of ook: “Last Laugh”, eentje voor zijn moeder die aanvankelijk bijna klinkt als 80’s INXS.En “Rhumba In The Park”, een uitje richting exotica dat klinkt als een antwoord op “Worried Mind” uit z’n vroege klassieker Pictures From Life’s Other Side. Maar het kan altijd nog zotter: tijdens “Mr. Muggles” verwacht je dat het Beverly Hills Cop--thema elk moment zal opduiken en mag gastzangeres Anna Coogan voor theatrale franjes zorgen, terwijl de opgefokte titelsong knettergek barakkenkabaal van de meest gesjeesde soort is.

Het is duidelijk: deze halvegare vaart een koers die even desastreus als onweerstaanbaar is. Want geef nu toe: hoeveel artiesten geraken ermee weg om hun naam te laten scanderen? Jaren geleden gebeurde het al op het podium, nu ook in het afsluitende “World Without Me”. En toch kan je niet anders dan meegrijnzen bij zoveel idioterie. “Whiskey Ate My Brain” luidt het elders. Dat moet dan wel, maar het leverde intussen wel een onnavolgbaar oeuvre op. Go, Johnny, go!

Dowd is van 12 tot 30 oktober op tournee in Europa. Hij speelt drie keer in Nederland en een keer in Belgie: op 29 oktober in GC De Melkerij (Zemst).

 – Original Article


Execute American Folklore

Guy Peters – Photos: Cat Dalton – September 28, 2016

Songs In The Key Of D, Vol. 12. Our favorite outsider is back with his latest steps that the chosen course of That’s Your Wife On The Back Of My Horse verderzet (by far the best album title of 2015). The lover knows what to do.

Next year Dowds solo career will reach the symbolic milestone of twenty years.Quite remarkable for the veteran, who was already considered his debut as an old dick, does an impressive productivity after and remains a regular American and European stages skimming his increasingly idiosyncratic becoming music. Wrong Side Of Memphis and his latest feat lie with a first listening may be far apart, but really is nothing further from the truth. The albums are witnessing the same radical vision and attacking roots genres and areas beyond.

For Execute American Folklore Dowd launched a crowdfunding campaign, which was successfully completed. You also know that you will be treated to a feast of nonsense and transgression of kitsch funk and blues rotten remnants of upside regular platitudes, innuendo and irony-free personal documents. He had just as much to be able to walk in a grass green trainingpak and a fluorescent-colored sweatband. The Dowd will all care less. He sets the rules in a colorful world that does not compromise, although sometimes, even now, admit that the man regularly what earwigs shakes up their sleeves.

Fourteen songs he hunts again through in less than forty minutes. Stylistically, this is a continuation of That’s Your Wife … which means he just recorded everything himself: bass, guitar, keyboards and many plastics beats. In opener “unease And Deviance”, actually a good definition of his work, as it threatens to result in the theme of “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” .With sterile synths, a rudimentary beat, silly breaks and Dowds dirty uncle -verzen. And so it sounds more as if he were in pieces like “3:29:48” (his birth) and “Modern Woman” hossen sitting around with an XL-beatbox and a bag full of crooked rhymes.

Elsewhere you can find nods towards rock and roll swagger, but only after it was thoroughly mangled. “Sexual Revolution” has more in common with The Butthole Surfers and Ween then the roots heroes in which he was once against. “Funkalicious” put Bootsy Collins by The Residents. Or again: “Last Laugh”, one for his mother, who initially almost sounds like 80’s INXS.En “Rhumba In The Park”, an outing direction of exotica that sounds like a response to “Worried Mind” from his early classic Pictures From Life’s Other Side. But it is still more foolish: during “Mr.Muggles “you expect it to Beverly Hills Cop -theme will emerge anytime and guest singer Anna Coogan may provide theatrical fringes while the raised title song is crazy barracks hubbub of the most dropout species.

It is clear that this screwball sails a course as disastrous as irresistible. Admit it: How many artists get away with to have their name chant? Years ago it happened already on stage, now in the final “World Without Me”. And yet you can not help but meegrijnzen with so much idiocy. “Whiskey Ate My Brain” is the elsewhere. It must then, but meanwhile gave it an incomparable oeuvre. Go, Johnny, go!

Dowd has 12 to October 30 on tour in Europe. He played three times in the Netherlands and once in Belgium: on October 29 in GC The Dairy (Zemst).

Last Chance to Get Drunkards Masterpiece Original Cover Art and Your Own Song

THIS IS THE FINAL DAY of Johnny Dowd’s IndieGoGo campaign, with these great perks to make you want to be the the one to close it with a bang!

To start with, if you loved A Drunkards Masterpiece, you gotta claim this perk:

CD_Drunkardards paining

“This is a gorgeous watercolor by artist Kurt Herrmann which we reproduced on the cover of Johnny’s 2008 CD, “A Drunkard’s Masterpiece.” Painting is 6¾ x 7¾ inches (12¾ x 14¼ inches, including mat and wood frame). Matted and framed to archival standards.”

Okay, fine, I get it – what you REALLY want is a song written about you by Johnny:

The Studio,Jif,Execute2016

“Become immortalized in song. Johnny will write a song about you and record it. He’ll send it to you on CD-R, along with the handwritten lyrics. Just give him a few details about your life. Or, if you prefer, the song can be about someone or something else. Who knows, maybe it will be on Johnny’s next record? You can keep the recording to yourself or share with the world, as long as you don’t charge anyone for it. (Johnny will retain songwriting rights.)”


Hell, be the crazy mofo that got both! But Do It NOW!


(PS Never hesitate-here’s the perk you missed:
“Hello everyone. I added a new perk today—my Electro Harmonix DRM-16. It’s almost like a band member. I used it on just about every record I’ve made. You can hear it in this video for “Betty”:
Video by Louk Voncken
Thanks everyone for helping me get my new record, “Execute American Folklore,” out into the world. Please spread the word if you haven’t already!
(PPS You can hear this drum machine in use if you contribute to The Mouthholes Go Go Johnny Go campaign and get a Bad Song written about you.)













Behind the Scenes of Execute American Folklore


A day with John and Anna working on the album you can get as a perk at Johnny’s IndieGoGo IF YOU HURRY. Seriously, only a few days left!

Get a song written about you by Johnny, or help these folks get one about them and they’ll return the favor!

(Audio taste of Execute at Johnny’s website.)


Johnny Dowd has unveiled the cover art for his forthcoming new album Execute American Folklore. Drawing made by Melle de Boer, design by Kat Dalton. There are 12 days to go
(Editors note: FOUR!)
for his crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo to cover the expenses for recording He aims to raise $15,000 ($8,470 is in the pocket right now).

Figuring it out:

The Command:

The Studio,Jif,Execute2016

How Anna does it:

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The Studio,Jif,Execute2016