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 www.johnnydowd.com

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
MOUTHHOLE FEST(ER)
Nashville TN

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

SATURDAY:
4:00–Droneroom (Louisville)
4:20–Econosin
4:40–Fusca Stella
5:00–Bright Yung Things
5:20–Chop Chop Chang
5:40–Bazookatooth
6:00–The Strumms
6:20–Work
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
11:00–Twen
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