The Sante Fe New Mexican reviews Family Picnic

TERRELL’S TUNE-UP

The nightmares before Christmas

▼ Family Picnic by Johnny Dowd. Here’s another who embraces losers, down-and-outers, and pictures from life’s other side. On his latest (soon-to-be-released) album, Dowd embraces his musical past. His last few records have found the moving company owner drifting into minimalist, sometimes menacing electronic weirdness as a backdrop to his Texas drawl. But Family Picnic is closer in sound to his classic turn-of-the-century output. And more good news: Singer Kim Sherwood-Caso, who graced most of Dowd’s works until the dawn of this decade, is back. And she’s still delightful.

There are nods to the blues here — albeit the blues through a crazy Dowd filter. There’s the harmonica-driven shuffle of “Vicksburg,” in which the music suggests good times as Dowd sings about the carnage of the Civil War. Likewise, the song “Conway Twitty” is a distorted blues tune about a rube soaking in the bright lights of New York City, dreaming of being a star “like Conway Twitty.”

Longtime Dowd fanatics will recognize “Dream On” as a version of a song that originally appeared on Chainsaw of Life by Hellwood — a short-lived band Dowd had with singer Jim White circa 2006. In the song, Dowd confesses a fear of burning out. “You called me a dreamer, but I’m all dreamed out/I’m just a whisper/I don’t know what I was shouting all about,” he sings.

“Thomas Dorsey,” the last song on Family Picnic — and another one from the Hellwood project — is a tribute to the greatest songwriter in the history of gospel music. While the Hellwood version is dark and minor-key, here Dowd turns it into what on the outside sounds like a happy cowboy song — though the fadeout, where Johnny and Kim repeat the refrain, “I wish that Satan would let me go,” is jarring in this context.

– Original Article

Mark your calendars-John’s official CD release and bonus Family Art show is March 1 at the Grayhaven in Ithaca, a venue making a really interesting cultural addition to the Ithaca scene . You’ll get to see a new side to John’s wack sensibility, and a peek at his genetic co-conspirators talents as well. To top it all off, profit from the art sales goes to the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes. (That right, it’s yet another Dowd bringing that great cause to the table).

Thanks to Low Profile for making it happen…

                                                                                 – Ed.

Jim White’s New T-Shirt

Jim White Plays Guitars & Talks Jesus At Dingwalls & St Mary’s Guildford

“He then told us about how he hooked up with Johnny Dowd for the album they did together as Hellwood and also just how quickly Johnny re-wrote Jim’s lyrics for A Man Loves His Wife a super dark and twisted tale that sounds like it was being played on a back porch in the middle of nowhere rather than in good old Dingwalls the venue he played the first time he played here.”

 – Posted by  | 29/11/17 |

 – Full Article

Croatia’s KLFM reflects on Johnny Dowd

Johnny Dowd – KLFM

Johnny Dowd spada među one rijetke kantautore što unatoč eklektičnom pristupu ipak zadržavaju svoj nativni identitet, a rezultat sukoba tradicionalnog i modernističkog jest jedan od najoriginalnijih izričaja u suvremenoj glazbi!

Johnny Dowd je rođen 29. ožujka 1948. u Forth Worthu, Texas. Tako započinje praktički svaki tekst kojemu je cilj ukratko ili poduže proanalizirati život i stvaralaštvo dotične persone. No, navikli ste na pomaknutu strukturu ovih ‘najava’, i znate da autoru napisa nipošto nije cilj prepisivati sa wikipedije, niti iznositi općepoznate kronološke činjenice ionako dostupne u relevantnoj literaturi, tek uz napomenu kako su česte poredbe s Waitsom i Caveom apsurdne koliko i Dowdovi stihovi. Pokušajmo onda krenuti od geografske odrednice.

Već i ptice na grani znaju da je savezna država Texas zadnjih desetljeća iznjedrila ponajbolje američke kantautore; od Townesa Van Zandta, Willie Nelsona i Krisa Kristoffersona, preko Guy Clarka, Steve Earlea, Lyle Lovetta, Rodney Crowella, Jimmy Dale Gilmorea, Roberta Earla Keena, Billy Joe Shavera, pa do Scotta H. Birama i Justina Townesa Earlea – da spomenemo tek neke elemente te bogate lepeze.

No, ime Johnnyja Dowda se vrlo rijetko spominje u tom zemljopisnom kontekstu. Razlog tomu dijelom (no, uskoro ćete shvatiti – tek dijelom!) jest činjenica da je dotični još u djetinjstvu započeo onaj sveamerički proces mijenjanja lokacija i saveznih država – između ostalog, do pete je godine života već živio u Tennesseeju i Oklahomi. Neko je vrijeme boravio i u Kaliforniji, a u Memphis se vraća 1965., nakon razvoda roditelja, a te da bi se na koncu skrasio u gradiću Ithaca, New York.

Srećom, stara poslovica kaže da možeš potjerati stvorenje iz Texasa, ali nikad iz njega u potpunosti izbiti, istjerati taj čudnovati duh kojeg teksašani upiju rođenjem. Rekli bi pravnici, Iur Sole – pravo rodnog Sunca! Ipak, Johnny Dowd se po nečemu bitno razlikuje od imena navedenih na početku teksta.

Svi su oni, naime, stvorili prepoznatljiv stil temeljen na folku, countryju, bluesu ili pak kombinacijama navedenih utjecaja u varijabilnim omjerima. To se u određenom može reći i za Johnnyja Dowda, konkretno za njegovu ranu fazu, kada je djelovao unutar sastava Jokers s početka osamdesetih, te Neon Baptist ranih devedesetih. No, Wrong Side of Memphis (1997.), prvi uistinu samostalni album, odnosno rad koji je sada potpisan isključivo imenom Johnny Dowd donosi poprlilično drugačiju zvučnu sliku. Kompozicije izlaze iz očekivanih okvira često balansirajući na rubu prihvatljivosti, barem kada je o tradicionalnim okvirima riječ. Dowdova je nastupna ploča prožeta mračnom tematikom tipičnog southern gothica, i potpisnika ovih redaka podsjeća na Williama Faulknera u luđačkoj košulji. Može i ovako – zamislite da se radnja romana To Kill a Mockingbirdspisateljice Harper Lee odvija u paralelnom svemiru gdje američki Jug utjelovljuje nekoliko zadnjih krugova pakla, i gdje Scout u naletu ludila spaljuje Boo Radleyja u krušnoj peći… jeste li vizualizurali? Onda vjerojatno polako naslućujete ambijent ‘pogrešne strane Memphisa’. Nižu se balade o ubojstvima, griješnicima i prokletstvu: Welcome Jesus, John Deere Yeller, Idle Conversation, Ft. Worth; Texas, Ballad of Frank and Jessee James, Papa Oh Papa…, skladbe tek prividno odjevene u klasično folk/country ruho, jer sama struktura pjesama u simbiozi sa neortodoksnim izborom instrumenata – sintetizator, između ostalih – kreira sasvim neočekivan i isčašen doživljaj. Možda je opus kantautora Jim Whitea, koji djelovanje započinje otprilike u isto vrijeme (i s kojim će Dowd 2006. ostvariti suradnju na projektu Hellwood) najbliža poredba?

Ovo definitivno stoji, jer štoviše, Dowd će odigrati bitnu rolu u dokumentarcu Searching for a Wrong-Eyed Jesus, nadrealnoj priči o američkom Jugu koja je 2003. nastala kao plod suradnje scenarista Steve Haismana i redatelja Andrewa Douglasa, a po motivima Whiteova albuma Mysterious Tale of how I shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus. Scena u brijačnici je doslovice antologijska, kao i Dowdova izvedba pjesme Murder, sirovog dvoakordnog bluesa kojeg Johnny izvodi pod sivim nebom na groblju automobila.

Ukoliko je Wrong Side of Memphis najavio Dowdovu samostalnu karijeru, predstavivši već poznatog autora u novom, prigušenijem svjetlu, album Pictures from the Life’s other Side ide korak dalje. Ovdje Johnny već okuplja prateći sastav, koji ga uz određene iznimke prati i dan danas (primjerice na trenutačnoj europskoj turneji koja, očekivano, zaobilazi morlačke krajeve), što mu omogućuje daljnja eksperimentiranja u zvuku. Iskreno, jeste li sposobni predočiti teksaškog kantautora čije se kompozicije mogu obilježiti jazz festivale, ili se pak provući kroz tipičnu funky, pa i hip-hop DJ listu, svejedno ostajući u nativnoj folk domeni?

Albumi koji se nižu čitav novi milenij (spomenimo tek Temporary Shelter, Pawnbroker’s Wife,Cemetry Shoes, No Regrets, Do the Gargon i Thats your Wife at the Back of my Horse), zaključno sa dva zasad posljednja koji se taman promoviraju u našem sjevernom susjedstvu (Execute American Folklore i Twinkle Twinkle) možda i ne donose nekakav primjetan napredak u odnosu na očekivani Dowdov zvuk, no to i nije nešto čemu bi trebalo prigovoriti, pošto je njegov opus u cijelosti već pomaknut iz songwriterskog  mainstreama. Istina, na pojedinim se ostvarenjima Johnny u određenoj mjeri vraća klasičnom izričaju (klasičnom u smislu kompatibilnosti s ljudima čija imena, ponavljam, bodu oči na početku ovog napisa), no to su rijetki trenuci opuštanja, pošto će se on već narednim albumom vratiti u vlastite vode spajanja naizgled nespojivog.

O Dowdu ne treba pisati litanije, pošto je njegov štih potrebno (i jedino moguće) doživjeti slušnim čulom. Stoga se, štovani slušatelji, udostojite preslušati mali, trosatni izbor iz opusa ovog vrhunskog i neobičnog kantautora, jer ćete samo tako biti u stanju donijeti osobni objektivni sud. A Dowdov je opus itekako vrijedan temeljitog preslušavanja, posebno ukoliko spadate u skupinu puritanaca koji s prezirom i gnušanjem gledaju na suživot tradicionalnog i eksperimentalnog. Jer, u tom bi slučaju Johnnyjeve skladbe mogle na Vas djelovati iscjeliteljski i prosvjetiteljski!

 – Vjeran Stojanac       15/02/2018

Dark Side of Texas
Johnny Dowd is one of the few cantoutists who despite their eclectic approach still retain their native identity, and the result of the conflict between traditional and modern is one of the most original expressions in contemporary music!

Johnny Dowd  was born March 29, 1948 in Forth Worth, Texas. Thus, practically every text starts with a goal that briefly or aims to proanalize the life and creations of the person concerned. However, you are accustomed to the shifting structure of these ‘announcements’, and you know that the author of the writing is by no means the aim of rewriting from the wikipedia, or to make known common chronological facts already available in the relevant literature, noting that frequent comparisons with Waits and Cave are absurd as far as Dowd’s verses. Let’s try to start from the geographical point of view.

Even the birds at the branch know that the federal state of Texas has emerged in the last decades of the best American royalties; from Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, through Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovetta, Rodney Crowell, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Robert Earle Keen, Billy Joe Shaver, and Scotty H. Biram and Justin Towness Earle some elements of that rich array.

But Johnny Dowd’s name is very rarely mentioned in that geographic context. The reason for that part (but you will soon understand – in part!) Is the fact that it is still in the childhood that the all-American process of changing locations and federal states has started – among other things, until the fifth year of his life he lived in Tennessee and Oklahoma. For some time he stayed in California, and in Memphis he returned in 1965 after the divorce of his parents, and eventually ended up in the town of Ithaca, New York.

Fortunately, the old proverb says that you can chase a creature out of Texas, but never completely break out of it, expel that strange spirit that Teddy bears in birth. Lawyers would say,  Iur Sole  – the right of the native Sun! However, Johnny Dowd is essentially different from the names mentioned at the beginning of the text.

All of them have created a recognizable style based on folk, country, blues or combinations of these influences in variable ratios. This can be said for Johnny Dow, specifically for his early phase, when he acted within the Jokers composition from the early 1980s, and the Neon Baptist in the early nineties. No,  Wrong Side of Memphis (1997), the first truly self-contained album, or the work that has just been signed by the name Johnny Dowd brings a somewhat different soundtrack. The compositions come from the expected frameworks, often balancing on the edge of eligibility, at least when it comes to traditional frameworks. Dowdova is an inaugural board interspersed with a dark theme typical of the southern gothic, and the signatories of these lines remind William of Faulkner in a hijack shirt. It may well be this – imagine the action of the novel  To Kill a Mockingbirdwriter Harper Lee takes place in a parallel universe where American South embodies a few last rounds of hell, and where Scout in a maddening madness burns Boo Radley in a baking oven … are you visualizing? Then you probably slowly feel the ambiance of ‘the wrong side of Memphis’. Ballads of Murders, Sinners, and Curse:  Welcome Jesse, John Deere Yeller, Idle Conversation, Ft. Worth; Texas, Ballad of Frank and Jessee James, Pope Oh Papa …, the compositions are apparently dressed in classical folk / country costumes, because the structure of the songs in symbiosis with the unorthodox selection of instruments – the synthesizer, among others – creates a completely unexpected and exaggerated experience. It may be the work of Jim White, who works roughly at the same time (and with which Dowd 2006 will co-operate on the project Hellwood ) the closest match?
This is definitely because, moreover, Dowd will play a major role in the documentary ”  Searching for a Wrong-Eyed Jesus”, a  surreal story about the South of America, which came in 2003 as the fruit of collaboration between scriptwriter Steve Haisman and director Andrewa Douglas, and White’s album  Mysterious Tale of how I shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus . The scene in the barber shop is literally anthology, as well as Dowd’s performance of the Murder song  , the crude two-tone blues Johnny performs under the gray sky at the car cemetery.

If  Wrong Side of Memphis  announced Dowd’s stand-alone career, presenting a well-known author in a new, duller light, the album  from the Life’s other Side  goes a step further. Here, Johnny is already gathering a companion, which, with certain exceptions, is still tracked today (for example, on a current European tour that, by the way, forbids the Morlachian regions), allowing him to continue experimenting with sound. Frankly, are you able to present a Texan singer whose compositions can mark jazz festivals or go through a typical funky and hip-hop DJ list, still remaining in the native folk domain?

Albums that are down the whole new millennium (just mention  Temporary Shelter, Pawnbroker’s Wife, Cemetry Shoes, No Regrets, Do the Gargon and Thats Your Wife at the Back of My Horse ), ending with the two last ones that are just promising in our northern neighborhood ( Execute American Folklore  and  Twinkle Twinkle) may not even make some noticeable progress with respect to the expected Dowd sound, but that is not something to obey, since his opus has been entirely moved from songwriter mainstream. True, on certain achievements, Johnny returns to a certain extent classical expression (classic in terms of compatibility with people whose names, I repeat, point their eyes at the beginning of this article), but these are rare moments of relaxation, as he will return to his own next album the connection water seems unmatched.

There is no need to write a lithian about Dowda, since his or her mind is needed (and only possible) to hear the hearing. Therefore, listened to listeners, listen to the small, three-choice choices from the opus of this top-class and unusual songwriter, for you will only be able to bring a personal objective court. And Dowd’s opus is a worthwhile thorough listening, especially if you fall into a group of Puritans who, with disdain and disdain, look at the coexistence of traditional and experimental. Because, in that case, Johnny’s songs could have a healing and enlightening effect on you!

 – Translation by Google

Feeling Bad tour @ Kloveniersdoelen

Zondag 11 februari staat De Kloveniersdoelen in het teken van Amerikaanse Folk met Johnny Dowd en Melle de Boer. Johnny Dowd wordt één van de laatste echte Amerikaanse folkartiesten genoemd. Hoewel het moeilijk is een label op zijn muziek te plakken, wordt hij vaak vergeleken met Tom Waits, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds en Captain Beefheart. Melle de Boer heeft de Amerikaanse countrystijl geadopteerd en er zijn eigen draai aan gegeven. Hier begon hij al mee in 1999 met zijn toenmalige band Smutfish. De Boer zal in 2018 een nieuw album uitbrengen. De muziek van beide heren staat bekend als diep emotioneel, zwartgallig en experimenteel. Het beloofd een heftig middagje te worden in Middelburg!

 – Original site

Sunday, February 11, De Kloveniersdoelen is dominated by American Folk with Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer . Johnny Dowd is known as one of the last real American folk artists. Although it is difficult to stick a label to his music, he is often compared to Tom Waits, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Captain Beefheart. Melle de Boer has adopted the American country style and has given it its own twist. Here he started in 1999 with his former band Smutfish. De Boer will release a new album in 2018. The music of both men is known as deeply emotional, bilious and experimental. It promises to be a violent afternoon in Middelburg!

 – Translation by Google

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Johnny Dowd en Melle de Boer spelen op zondag 11 februari 2018 een concert in de Kloveniersdoelen. Amerikaanse traditionals: Johnny en Melle zullen ze bijna onherkenbaar brengen. Niet oubollig, maar zoals ze nu moeten klinken, actueel, vol orpziel, elektriciteit en noodzakelijkheid. Tickets: €12,-

Als twee mensen lang genoeg graven komen ze elkaar uiteindelijk tegen. Johnny Dowd en Melle de Boer graven al jaren tunnels in de menselijke ziel. Als Orpheusen dalen ze af in de onderwereld en nemen met gevaar voor eigen leven de mooiste dingen mee naar boven. Nu komen die tunnels samen.

Johnny Dowd

Johny Dowd wordt al tijden een van de laatst overgebleven échte folk-originals genoemd. ‘Dowd is misschien niet naar de vorm, maar wel naar de geest een late volgeling van de vooroorlogse blueszangers’ NRC 2001. Johnny Dowd (geboren 29 maart 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas) is een Amerikaanse alt country musicus uit Ithaca, New York. Typisch voor zijn stijl zijn experimentele, luidruchtige pauzes in zijn liedjes en sterke gotische (in de zin van duistere en sombere) elementen in de liedjes en in de muziek. Er is ook een sterke onderstroom van zwarte humor en het absurde in zijn werk. Als singer-songwriter wordt zijn muziek vergeleken met de muziek van Tom Waits, Nick Cave en Captain Beefheart.

Melle de Boer

Vanaf 2001 is Melle bezig met het duiden van zijn ‘Amerikaanse’ muziek. Zijn band Smutfish, opgericht in 1999, heeft sinds het debuutalbum ‘Lawnmower Mind’ een omvangrijk oeuvre opgebouwd en bij verschillende platenmaatschappijen 5 cd’s opgenomen. Door optredens op onder andere Noorderslag, SXSW in Austin, Texas, de Popkomm in Berlijn en het Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg, heeft de band veel getourd door Nederland en Europa. Ook noemenswaardig is de tour met Daniel Johnston in 2007 en 2008. In 2015 vond de release van het album “Trouble” plaats bij het toonaangevende Nederlandse label Excelsior Recordings. Melle brengt begin 2018 een nieuw solo-album uit.

Kaarten: € 12,- (te koop in boekhandel de Drvkkery en online via www.drukkerijmiddelburg.nl/tickets)

 – Original site

Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer will perform a concert in the Kloveniersdoelen on Sunday 11 February 2018. American traditionals: Johnny and Melle will bring them almost unrecognizable. Not quaint, but as they should sound now, current, full of soul, electricity and necessity. Tickets: € 12, –

When two people dig long enough, they eventually meet each other. Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer have been digging tunnels in the human soul for years. As Orpheusen they descend into the underworld and with danger to their own lives bring out the most beautiful things. Now those tunnels come together.

Johnny Dowd

Johny Dowd has been known as one of the last remaining real folk-originals. ‘Dowd may not be in the form, but in spirit a late follower of the pre-war blues singers’ NRC 2001. Johnny Dowd (born March 29, 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas) is an American alto country musician from Ithaca, New York. Typical for his style are experimental, noisy pauses in his songs and strong gothic (in the sense of dark and sombre) elements in the songs and in music. There is also a strong undercurrent of black humor and the absurdity in his work. As a singer-songwriter his music is compared with the music of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Captain Beefheart.

Melle de Boer

Since 2001 Melle has been busy interpreting his ‘American’ music. His band Smutfish, founded in 1999, has built up an extensive body of work since the debut album ‘Lawnmower Mind’ and recorded 5 CDs at various record companies. Through performances at, among others, Noorderslag, SXSW in Austin, Texas, the Popkomm in Berlin and the Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg, the band has toured a lot through the Netherlands and Europe. Also noteworthy is the tour with Daniel Johnston in 2007 and 2008. In 2015 the release of the album “Trouble” took place at the leading Dutch label Excelsior Recordings. Melle will release a new solo album in early 2018.

 – Translation by Google

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Johnny Dowd en Melle de Boer vormen een winnende combinatie

Als Melle de Boer en Johnny Dowd het podium van de kleine zaal betreden, hebben ze pas twee keer eerder samengespeeld op hun Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Tour. Ze vormen samen een gelegenheidscombinatie, maar wel een winnende. Uiteraard is de dwarse Amerikaan Dowd het hoofdprogramma en De Boer zijn support, maar aan het einde van de show gaan ze samen enkele traditionals zingen zoals Dowd die onlangs uitbracht op zijn album Twinkle, Twinkle. Verwacht het onverwachte, we kennen die Dowd zo langzamerhand wel. Niets zal zijn zoals het lijkt op papier.

Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer are a winning combination

When Melle de Boer and Johnny Dowd entered the stage of the small hall  January 27, they have only played together twice before on their Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Tour. Together they form an occasional combination, but a winning one. Obviously, Dowd, the cross-country American, is the main program and De Boer is supporting, but at the end of the show they are going to sing some traditional songs like Dowd recently released on his album Twinkle, Twinkle. Expect the unexpected, we know that Dowd slowly. Nothing will be as it appears on paper.

Striking duo with double bill
When Sugar Mountain Melle de Boer speaks for some additional explanation, he has just finished his first joint show with Johnny Dowd. That took place in Altstadt in Eindhoven ‘Rock City’. “That was great,” he still enjoys. “It was the first time there for me.” What do we have to imagine at these duo shows? The combination of ‘Melle the easy’ and ‘Johnny the difficult’ alone is remarkable enough. And then we are not talking about their music, but rather about their reputations on the human level. How do those two come together, apart from the fact that Melle designed the artwork for Johnny’s previous album Execute American Folklore?

Experimental folk turned inside out
Before we let Melle answer that question, we go back to Monday, December 4, when colleague singer-songwriter Jim White performed at the same location. In one of his stories that evening, he said that his career and that of Johnny Dowd, whom he admired, always went more or less parallel. They both made their debut about the end of the nineties with a similarly turned-out experimental folk repertoire. When, in that period, after his own show at SXSW in Austin, Texas, he hurried to Dowd’s show and afterwards agreed to address him, he got the wind from the front. ‘Oh you’re that dude who is imitating me?’ He spoke viciously. At least it does not matter that Dowd is a difficult person. Or not?

Not difficult, but a strong appearance
Melle says that image laughing at: “No, he is not a difficult man to work with. But of course he has a very strong appearance. “The joint part of the show with squeaky and creaking electronic performances of well-known folk songs has not been studied before. “I’m not really into the rehearsal space, honestly,” Melle admits from whom the idea for this double bill comes. Let us tell you now how this went, and where the guts came from to ask the question. Melle stays very calm. “I just asked him if we could play together. He then replied: “That would be more fun than a barrel or monkeys.” I had to let those words work on me. Then I understood that that is his expression to say that it was good.”

For daredevils
Prepare yourself for the craziest. Some of those traditionals have been put in an absolutely unrecognizable jacket. It forms almost food for a fun pop quiz. In reality it is about modern interpretations of someone who understands the folk idiom better than anyone else. Melle de Boer happily assists Johnny Dowd on his quest for the ultimate renditions. That requires ears that can take a beating. But that is not asking too much? Not for purists. For daredevils!

Text by: Robbert Tilli

 – translation by Google

KLFM plays Johnny Dowd

 

webclip_klfm

Johnny Dowd je čovjek koji spada među one rijetke kantautore što unatoč eklektičnom i neuobičajenom stilu ipak zadržavaju svoj nativni identitet, a rezultat sukoba tradicionalnog i modernističkog jest jedan od najoriginalnijih izričaja u suvremenoj glazbi.

Johnny Dowd je rođen 29. ožujka 1948. u Forth Worthu, Texas. Tako započinje praktički svaki tekst kojemu je cilj ukratko ili poduže proanalizirati život i stvaralaštvo dotične persone. No, navikli ste na pomaknutu strukturu ovih ‘najava’, i znate da autoru napisa nipošto nije cilj prepisivati sa wikipedije, niti iznositi općepoznate kronološke činjenice ionako dostupne u relevantnoj literaturi, tek uz napomenu kako su česte poredbe s Waitsom i Caveom apsurdne koliko i Dowdovi stihovi. Pokušajmo onda krenuti od geografske odrednice.

Već i ptice na grani znaju da je savezna država Texas zadnjih desetljeća iznjedrila ponajbolje američke kantautore; od Townesa Van Zandta, Willie Nelsona i Krisa Kristoffersona, preko Guy Clarka, Steve Earlea, Lyle Lovetta, Rodney Crowella, Jimmy Dale Gilmorea, Roberta Earla Keena, Billy Joe Shavera, pa do Scotta H. Birama i Justina Townesa Earlea – da spomenemo tek neke elemente te bogate lepeze.

No, ime Johnnyja Dowda se vrlo rijetko spominje u tom zemljopisnom kontekstu. Razlog tomu dijelom (no, uskoro ćete shvatiti – tek dijelom!) jest činjenica da je dotični još u djetinjstvu započeo onaj sveamerički proces mijenjanja lokacija i saveznih država – između ostalog, do pete je godine života već živio u Tennesseeju i Oklahomi. Neko je vrijeme boravio i u Kaliforniji, a u Memphis se vraća 1965., nakon razvoda roditelja, a te da bi se na koncu skrasio u gradiću Ithaca, New York.

Srećom, stara poslovica kaže da možeš potjerati stvorenje iz Texasa, ali nikad iz njega u potpunosti izbiti, istjerati taj čudnovati duh kojeg teksašani upiju rođenjem. Rekli bi pravnici, Iur Sole – pravo rodnog Sunca! Ipak, Johnny Dowd se po nečemu bitno razlikuje od imena navedenih na početku teksta.

Svi su oni, naime, stvorili prepoznatljiv stil temeljen na folku, countryju, bluesu ili pak kombinacijama navedenih utjecaja u varijabilnim omjerima. To se u određenom može reći i za Johnnyja Dowda, konkretno za njegovu ranu fazu, kada je djelovao unutar sastava Jokers s početka osamdesetih, te Neon Baptist ranih devedesetih. No, Wrong Side of Memphis (1997.), prvi uistinu samostalni album, odnosno rad koji je sada potpisan isključivo imenom Johnny Dowd donosi poprlilično drugačiju zvučnu sliku. Kompozicije izlaze iz očekivanih okvira često balansirajući na rubu prihvatljivosti, barem kada je o tradicionalnim okvirima riječ. Dowdova je nastupna ploča prožeta mračnom tematikom tipičnog southern gothica, i potpisnika ovih redaka podsjeća na Williama Faulknera u luđačkoj košulji. Može i ovako – zamislite da se radnja romana To Kill a Mockingbird spisateljice Harper Lee odvija u paralelnom svemiru gdje američki Jug utjelovljuje nekoliko zadnjih krugova pakla, i gdje Scout u naletu ludila spaljuje Boo Radleyja u krušnoj peći… jeste li vizualizurali? Onda vjerojatno polako naslućujete ambijent ‘pogrešne strane Memphisa’. Nižu se balade o ubojstvima, griješnicima i prokletstvu: Welcome Jesus, John Deere Yeller, Idle Conversation, Ft. Worth; Texas, Ballad of Frank and Jessee James, Papa Oh Papa…, skladbe tek prividno odjevene u klasično folk/country ruho, jer sama struktura pjesama u simbiozi sa neortodoksnim izborom instrumenata – sintetizator, između ostalih – kreira sasvim neočekivan i isčašen doživljaj. Možda je opus kantautora Jima Whitea, koji djelovanje započinje otprilike u isto vrijeme (i s kojim će Dowd 2006. ostvariti suradnju na projektu Hellwood) najbliža poredba?

Ovo definitivno stoji, jer štoviše, Dowd će odigrati bitnu rolu u dokumentarcu Searching for a Wrong-Eyed Jesus, nadrealnoj priči o američkom Jugu koja je 2003. nastala kao plod suradnje scenarista Steve Haismana i redatelja Andrewa Douglasa, a po motivima Whiteova albuma Mysterious Tale of how I shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus. Scena u brijačnici je doslovice antologijska, kao i Dowdova izvedba pjesme Murder, sirovog dvoakordnog bluesa kojeg Johnny izvodi pod sivim nebom na groblju automobila.

Ukoliko je Wrong Side of Memphis najavio Dowdovu samostalnu karijeru, predstavivši već poznatog autora u novom, prigušenijem svjetlu, album Pictures from the Life’s other Side ide korak dalje. Ovdje Johnny već okuplja prateći sastav, koji ga uz određene iznimke prati i dan danas (primjerice na trenutačnoj europskoj turneji koja, očekivano, zaobilazi morlačke krajeve), što mu omogućuje daljnja eksperimentiranja u zvuku. Iskreno, jeste li sposobni predočiti teksaškog kantautora čije se kompozicije mogu obilježiti jazz festivale, ili se pak provući kroz tipičnu funky, pa i hip-hop DJ listu, svejedno ostajući u nativnoj folk domeni?

Albumi koji se nižu čitav novi milenij (spomenimo tek Temporary Shelter, Pawnbroker’s Wife i Cemetry Shoes), zaključno sa dva zasad posljednja koji se taman promoviraju u našem sjevernom susjedstvu (No Regrets i Do the Gargon) možda i ne donose nekakav primjetan napredak u odnosu na očekivani Dowdov zvuk, no to i nije nešto čemu bi trebalo prigovoriti, pošto je njegov opus u cijelosti već pomaknut iz songwriterskog  mainstreama. Istina, na pojedinim se ostvarenjima Johnny u određenoj mjeri vraća klasičnom izričaju (klasičnom u smislu kompatibilnosti s ljudima čija imena, ponavljam, bodu oči na početku ovog napisa), no to su rijetki trenuci opuštanja, pošto će se on već narednim albumom vratiti u vlastite vode spajanja naizgled nespojivog.

O Dowdu ne treba pisati litanije, pošto je njegov štih potrebno (i jedino moguće) doživjeti slušnim čulom. Stoga se, štovani slušatelji, udostojite preslušati mali, dvosatni izbor iz opusa ovog vrhunskog i neobičnog kantautora, jer ćete samo tako biti u stanju donijeti osobni objektivni sud. A Dowdov je opus itekako vrijedan temeljitog preslušavanja, posebno ukoliko spadate u skupinu puritanaca koji s prezirom i gnušanjem gledaju na suživot tradicionalnog i eksperimentalnog. Jer, u tom bi slučaju Johnnyjeve skladbe mogle na Vas djelovati iscjeliteljski i prosvjetiteljski!

24/02/2017  autor: Vjeran Stojanac

 – Original Article

Johnny Dowd is a man who is one of those rare songwriter that despite the eclectic and unusual style still retain their native identity, a result of the conflict of traditional and modernist is one of the most original expressions in contemporary music.

Johnny Dowd was born on 29 March 1948 in Forth Worth, Texas. So begins practically every text aimed at short or lengthy analyze the life and creativity of the respective persona. Well, you’re used to the shifted structure of these ‘announcements’, and you know that the author of the inscription is by no means objective rewritten from wikipedia, or removed from the generally known chronological facts already available in the relevant literature, only noting that the frequent comparisons with Waits and Cave absurd as the Dowd verses. Then try to start from the geographical determinants.

Even the birds in the trees know that the state of Texas last decade has seen the best of American singer-songwriter; of Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, over Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Rodney Crowell, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Robert Earl Keen, Billy Joe Shaver, to Scott H. Biram and Justin Townes Earle – to name only some elements of this rich array.

However, the name of Johnny Dowd is rarely mentioned in the geographic context. The reason for this part (well, you’ll soon realize – just part!) Is that it is concerned in childhood began the all-American process of changing locations and states – among other things, to the fifth year of life already lived in Tennessee and Oklahoma. For a while he lived in California, and Memphis returns in 1965, after his parents’ divorce, and this in order to end up settling in the town of Ithaca.

Fortunately, the old adage says that you can chase the creature from Texas, but never out of it completely knocked out, flush out the strange spirit that Texans are absorbed by birth. They said to the lawyers, Yur Sole – right gender of the Sun! However, Johnny Dowd at something essentially different from the names listed at the beginning of the text.

All of them, in fact, created a distinctive style based on folk music, of country, blues, or combinations of these influences in variable proportions. This is in particular can be said for Johnny Dowd, specifically for its early stage, when it acted within the band Jokers from the beginning of the eighties and early nineties Neon Baptist. But the Wrong Side of Memphis (1997), the first truly solo album, or work that is now signed exclusively named Johnny Dowd brings poprlilično different sound image. The compositions out of the expected framework often balancing on the edge of acceptability, at least in the traditional framework of the word. Dowd’s next board imbued with dark themes typical southern gothic, and the author of these lines reminiscent of William Faulkner in a straitjacket. Can this – imagine that the action of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird writer Harper Lee takes place in a parallel universe where the American South embodies the past few circles of hell, and where Scout coming madness burned Boo Radleyja in a baker’s oven … are you vizualizurali? Then slowly I suspect probably ambience ‘wrong side of Memphis. Lined with ballads of murder, sinners and a curse: Welcome Jesus, John Deere Yeller, Idle Conversation, Ft. Worth; Texas, Ballad of Frank and James Jessee, Papa Oh Papa …, tracks only seemed dressed in classic folk / country attire, because the very structure of the songs in symbiosis with unorthodox choice of instruments – synthesizer, among others – creates a completely unexpected and disjointed experience. Perhaps opus songwriter Jim White, who action begins around the same time (which is to Dowd 2006. collaborate on the project Hellwood) closest comparison?

This definitely stands, because in fact, Dowd will play an important role in the documentary Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, surreal tale of the American South, which in 2003 occurred as a result of the collaboration screenwriter Steve Haisman and director Andrew Douglas, but the motifs White’s album Mysterious Tale of how I shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus. The scene in the barbershop is literally anthology, and Dowd rendition of Murder, raw dvoakordnog blues by Johnny performed under a gray sky in the cemetery car.

If the Wrong Side of Memphis announced Dowdovu solo career, presenting already known authors in the new, muted light, the album Pictures from Life’s Other Side goes a step further. Here Johnny already gathers backing band, who with certain exceptions monitors today (such as the current European tour, which, as expected, bypasses Morlacki regions), allowing it to further experimentation in sound. Honestly, are you able to visualize the Texas singer-songwriter whose compositions can celebrate jazz festivals, or they slip through the typical funky, and hip-hop DJ list, still remaining in the native folk domain?

Albums that can lower the entire new millennium (just to mention the Temporary Shelter, Pawnbroker’s Wife and Cemetry Shoes) ended with two for now last who just promote our northern neighborhood (No Regrets and Do the Gargon) may not bring a noticeable improvement over the expected Dowdov sound, but it’s not something we should complain, since his work as a whole has already shifted from songwriterskog mainstream. True, the individual achievements of the Johnny to some extent restores classic expression (a classic in terms of compatibility with people whose names, I repeat, stinging eyes at the beginning of this article), but these are rare moments of relaxation, as it will be on the next album already back in their own water connecting seemingly incompatible.

O Dowd does not need to write a litany, after his flair required (and only available) experience auditory sense. Therefore, honored listeners, deign to listen to a small, two-hour selection from the oeuvre of this excellent and unusual singer-songwriter, because only thus be able to make a personal objective court. A Dowdov work was well worth a thorough listening, especially if you belong to a group of Puritans who with contempt and disgust view the coexistence of traditional and experimental. Because, in this case Johnny’s songs could you act on healing and enlightenment!

 – Translation by Google