Velvet Sheep picks for Xmas 2020

 

Without further ado, it’s over to Jim for his eggnog flavoured but definitely not cheesy “Xmas song for ewe”…

“I’m a massive fan of the Xmas song and obviously being a Midlander love that golden year of 1973 when Slade and Wizzard released the two classic Christmas songs in one year! But for this year I thought what better song than Johnny Dowd with “Christmas Is Just Another Day.”

Johnny Dowd is a prolific twisted Americana songwriter from Ithaca NY. His albums veer from straight country to weird funk and residents style weirdness. His main lyrical obsessions are the usual country subjects divorce, booze and Jesus but also at least one song an album about his dislike for Christmas. (See also his mangling of Jingle Bells!) This song hits the nail on the head for Christmas haters in the way it can just remind you of missing loved ones, in this case his mum. Merry Christmas!”

And the beat goes on…

Johnny Dowd: Man Up for Xmas

Johnny Dowd has posted a video of him playing his brand new song Man Up for Xmas, giving some sound advice to Santa. This might be the definite title for the tune, but it will do nicely for now.

» johnnydowd.com

Hideaway Video Release

Video

Take that, Pandemic Hell! Thanks to the wizardry of Justin Asher, Johnny has several of his band iterations getting together for a kind of quarantine version of the Last Waltz finale…except it’s not going to be a finale. Hold your breath till Thanksgiving, unless you’re busy screaming.

Hello good people.

Hard times and more coming. About all we can do is take it day at time. 

Something that really gave me a lift was the virtual reunion of my band: Justin Asher, Brian Wilson, Kim Sherwood-Caso, Anna Coogan, Mike Edmondson, Mike Stark, and honorary member, Sally Timms. We recorded “Hideaway,” which is about my mother. Lyrics by me and music by Brian. 

The project was Justin’s idea, and he organized and produced the whole thing — did all the audio engineering and created the video above.

It was so much fun, we’re doing another song, “Thanksgiving Day,” which should be done by Thanksgiving.

I’m still writing and recording. At this point, I’ve got more in the vault than Prince!

Stay safe, stay in touch, and see you down the the road.

— Johnny

 

Johnny Dowd Band eenmalig terug samen

Of hoe corona dan toch ook positieve dingen kan veroorzaken.

Ok, het was virtueel, maar Justin Asher, Brian Wilson, Kim Sherwood-Caso, Anna Coogan, Mike Edmondson, Mike Stark en erelid Sally Timms, ooit de band van Johnny Dowd werden eenmalig verenigd en namen zo Hideaway (zie hieronder) op, een song over Dowds moeder op muziek van Brian Wilson. Het project was een idee van Justin Asher, die alles regelde en produceerde inclusief de clip. 

En Johnny Dowd liet al weten dat hij nog van alles achter de hand heeft: “I’ve got more in the vault than Prince!'”https://www.youtube.com/embed/B3H5RA907F418 oktober 2020Patrick Van Gestel© 2004-2020 daMusic – Alle rechten voorbehouden.
daMusic is niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van de externe websites.

                                                                                                                – Da Music

Johnny Dowd: virtual band reunion for “Hideaway” video

Former Johnny Dowd band member Justin Asher got in touch with other musicians who have played with this musical maverick over the years. The virtual band reunion led to a video of them recording of Hideaway, a song from the Temporary Shelter album.

                                                                                                                 – HCTF

Live @ Super Secret Show Haverhill MA

Johnny Dowd: house concert in Haverhill, MA

By

Hans Werksman

werksman.blogspot.com

Live in vicinity of Haverhill, MA? On March 7 Americana outsider Johnny Dowd plays an intimate show in someone’s house. Inquiries via email. with any luck he might play some of the stuff he is working on for his next album.

Live dates:

  • 03/06 Marlboro, NY @ The Falcon & The Falcon Underground
  • 03/07 Haverhill, MA @ house concert

» johnnydowd.com

HCTF review of Family Picnic.

Johnny Dowd: working on a new album

 

photo: Andy Muscroft

Johnny Dowd is messng around in the studio, reinventing himself again for his next album, the follow-up for Family Picni. Technology and rock ‘will meet and weird and wonderful things could happen as part of the process:

Working on some new stuff — going in a whole new direction. Samples and heavy drum machine. Somewhere between brilliant and total self-indulgence. At the same time, I’m working with buddy Mike Edmondson on some straight-up rock songs. Can I put the two together? My point is, I’m still cranking it and chasing the dream — or my own ass. Whichever comes first.

Live @ IMOP Maxie’s and The Best of 2019

MAXIES

Join us for a night of music and food to benefit the Tompkins family. Co-hosted by Mary Lorson and Mickie Quinn.  Enjoy music from Ithaca musicians, including Pierce Walsh, The Long Now, Sam and Mandy, Janet Batch, Jennie Stearns, Johnny Dowd, Venissa Santi, Wingnut, Strange Heavy, Billy Coté, Mary Lorson, and more!  4pm til close. Maxie’s will donate 10% of the sales that evening. Donations welcome!

HCTF’s annual list of the 20 albums that will be in regular rotation for 

many years to come. As per usual many genres are represented. This blog covers a lot of ground and it shows in this eclectic, final tally.

Today: final countdown from number 5 to 1.

Please shop at your local record store, buy directly from the artist, attend live shows. Don’t block anyone’s view with with your phone (better still, switch it off altogether). Shut the fuck up while the band is playing. Educate your friends. Word-of-mouth can’t be beat as the prime source to discover new music.

2 Johnny Dowd: Family Picnic

A prime example of mastering chaos and turning it into art.

Family Picnic rambles and rocks, like a machine on the verge of breaking down, with Dowd’s ragged delivery seemingly barely keeping it together. But first impressions can be deceptive. Dowd knows exactly what he is doing and what will work and what will fuck things up in a good way. Take the singalong quality of Conway Twitty, a live favourite for years is presented in what appears to be a one-take wonder format – it’s that spontaneous. The title track is a depiction of family get together told in a husky spoken word way, during which he points at all the six-packs that people brought in were consumed as thing started falling apart. Back End of Spring is abrasive and foreboding, almost like a piece of musique concrète. Stuck-up Christians will frown at Thomas Dorsey, a twisted but heartfelt tribute to the father of black gospel music.

At seventy Dowd shows no signs of aging gracefully. He is without peers in his field, but his friends and fans are willing to put up with whatever he comes up with. Luckily enough, putting out a shit album is beyond his grasp. Family Picnic caters to the converted and there is nothing wrong with that. He is an incurable maverick, who is just too weird for the MOR Americana crowd to appreciate.

 – Original Article

 

H.R. Gertner’s “High Rank” End Of Year Top Ten Albums Review For 2019

I reviewed just over 50 albums for Americana Highways since July. The following represents my favorite records out of those 50 reviews: record of the year, top ten after that, and all the rest listed for reference.

7. Family Picnic by Johnny Dowd

Zoom in close to a rose bush and all you see is thorns. Although twisted and hidden beauty still exists within the plant. Welcome to the music of Johnny Dowd in all its thorny beauty. For over thirty years Dowd has been taken the unexpected path, an iconoclast with few mates. Family Picnic, Dowd’s 2019 release, finds Johnny tilling the soil of unrequited love, murder, and characters struggling to live a twisted American dream. As Dowd sings album closer Thomas Dorsey, “I sing songs of lust and depravity, that’s the only kind of songs come out of me.” Electronic beats, keyboard flourish, and what Johnny deems “ice-cream chords” drive a record composed of waltzes, shuffles, and boom-chuck rhythms. Dowd shifts between his bent-but-not-broke singing voice and a spoken word approach that succeeds where lesser artist would be chastised for “trying to rap”.   REVIEW: Johnny Dowd’s “Family Picnic”

 – Original Article

 

Family Picnic Tour in April,CD Release @ Grayhaven

Johnny Dowd: new album “Family Picnic” March 2019; European tour April 2019

Johnny Dowd has finished his new record Family Picnic. Available in March 2019, followed by an European tour in April:

Hello everyone.

My new record, “Family Picnic,” is finished. Put a stake in it. Seriously, it’s pretty good. A little more in the roots rock bag than my last few discs. Waltzes, shuffles, etc.

The songs translate well when played live. You’re in for a real treat if you come out to hear Mike and me. Planning on a Euro tour in April (with record release in March).

                                                                     –  Original Article

JOHNNY DOWD BRINGS “FAMILY PICNIC” TO EUROPE IN APRIL

Thirty years on from his remarkable, indescribably dark and damn right startling Americana debut Wrong Side Of Memphis, Ithaca, NY, legend Johnny Dowd returns to the roots rock arena with Family Picnic, his new album set for release on March 1st through Mother Jinx Records.

Over the last thirty years, Dowd has been releasing records that defy trends, a unique catalogue of work that stands head and shoulders above many of his lauded contemporaries. Now in his seventieth year on God’s good earth, Dowd has lost none of the vigour, enthusiasm, and attitude that has seen him forge his position as one of America’s most inquisitive musical minds, a musical explorer who has charted expeditions to genre-defying destinations that, at their heart, question, challenge, and dissect in their own way notions of the American Dream. Family Picnic — once again featuring long-time cohorts Michael Edmondson and Kim Sherwood  -Caso – is the first time Dowd has really looked backwards in all that time, instead of plunging forward into a sonic unknown with the playfulness of a child.

As Dowd says himself: “I had to dig pretty deep for this one. Not sure how many more tunes I have in me. Tick tock. This record took an unexpected turn to the past — my past. It’s kind of like Wrong Side of Memphis 30 years down the road. Surprisingly little has changed for me (emotionally, that is). I’m still drawn to the same themes — unrequited love, murder, general foolishness. Waltzes and shuffles and boom chuck beats abound. Ice cream chord changes. Plus Kim Sherwood -Caso – and Mike Edmondson. What’s not to like? An Americana classic, if I do say so myself.”

With Family Picnic Johnny Dowd will be touring Europe in April:

TOUR DATES

                                                                                                   – Sedate Bookings

Johnny Dowd debuted about thirty years ago with a dark Americana album, Wrong Side or Memphis, and with Family Picnic he returns to that roots rock environment. The lyrics still have that black humor, just listen to the portrait of a family in the title song of this album, that would not make you happy, if he did not put it so funny. And that is actually why I have a weakness for this American singer / songwriter – he is funny and works on my laughter muscles, also with a song like Let’s Have a Party , where I really laugh irresistibly, how clunky those drums also may sound, or maybe that’s why. He opens with a very nice instrumental, Hoodoo, which immediately puts you in the mood for good murder ballads and songs about other misery.

Johnny Dowd is now seventy and is accompanied by two musicians he worked with more often, Michael Edmondson and Kim Sherwood-Caso, and that works perfectly. A perfect Americana album. Do not miss the tour that brings Dowd to Europe in early 2019.

  • Johnny Dowd – Family Picnic – Mother Jinx Records

Listen to a few fragments here:

Johnny Dowd – Hoodoo 

Johnny Dowd – Family Picnic

Johnny Dowd – Let’s Have a Party

Johnny Dowd – Thomas Dorsey

UPCOMING SHOW

 

You can catch John in the states March 1st at his CD Release and Family Art Opening. John will be playing with Mike Edmondson and Kim Sherwood-Caso (Park Doing opening), and JD’s kinfolk Jennifer and Jade will contribute arts & crafts . There will be good music, eclectic art work, some snacks, and lots of good company. All arts sale proceeds go the the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes (represented by JD Jyl along with her photobooth). A Don’t Miss event.

 

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