New CD release and the 2006 Tour that inspired it

 

Johnny Dowd has dug up a rocking show from the past. Live at GrassRoots 2006, recorded in Trumansburg, NY in July 2006, catches him in full flight, with Michael Stark (keyboards, organ), Willie B (drums, bass pedals) and Kim Sherwood-Caso (vocals). He played quite a few songs that were unreleased at the time – the scary blues rocker Demons and Goats for instance would turn up on his Wake Up the Snakes album in 2010.

While most artists play it safe on stage and stick close to the studio versions, Dowd and his band love to turn things upside down and inside out. Warts and all is pretty much their modus operandi, but it works like a charm. Uncle Willie comes barreling down the tracks like a runaway train. The Good Die Young, a song that became a highlight on the Hellwood album Chainsaw Of Life is a slowed down lament that hits hard. Miracles Never Happen is dedicated to his mother, who would be surprised that her son is still kicking ass today, a music critics favourite, and a cult artist with a fervent and vocal fan base. Drunk is skewed and lopsided, almost falling apart, with Kim Sherwood-Caso as the one who keeps it together. Performing a song with reckless abandon is what Johnny Dowd does best, but he is smart enough to take a time out after such a demanding oexxcursion and let “his band within a band” Tzar (Willie B and Michael Stark) plus guest vocalist Eva Revesz do their electronic thing with Don’t Drink the Water – that must have confused the hardcore folkies in attendance. Closing the show with God Created Woman, a song that was already part of the shows of his first band Neon Baptist and a stand out track of his Pictures from Life’s Other Side album he bade the audience farewell, after putting on a show that delighted his fans, converted a few and generally confusing and/or irritating the rest.

Live at GrassRoots 2006 is released on Mother Jinx Records and is available thru his website (and the merch table at his shows).

Tracks:

  1. Poverty House
  2. Linoleum Floor
  3. Miracles Never Happen
  4. King of the Jews
  5. Uncle willie
  6. The Good Die Young
  7. Drunk
  8. Don’t Drink the Water
  9. Demons and Goats
  10. Ding Dong
  11. God Created Woman

 

As you can tell from Hans’ review, the band was burning pretty hot, as is usual after coming off tour. We wish we had a tape of this 2006 show:

The Sun 2006 review

Speaking of great albums, did you miss this? It was a very good year…

 Johnny Dowd

By Listen Up June 14, 2006
One of 2006’s most intriguing discs so far is Johnny Dowd’s Cruel Words, a combination of poetic lyrics and funky rhythms, with synths, organ, bass, and guitar. Even with the music, the performances — half spoken, half sung — owe more to the theater than to traditional singer-with-band-onstage shows.

Celebrating cynical existentialism, Dowd brings odd stories to life: a wheelchair-bound veteran who questions the price of loyalty; a cowboy who shoots off his “member” because it’s the root of all his troubles; the suicide of a man whose lipstick-scrawled message on a motel room mirror claims he’s the “King of the Jews” — he lay surrounded by women’s shoes, a Telecaster, and, on the nightstand, an empty notepad.Fort Worth native Dowd grew up in Pauls Valley, Okla., pretending to be James Brown (circa Live at the Apollo) before moving to Memphis, where he picked up his first guitar and discovered Hank Williams as Luke the Drifter. Mix in bits of free jazz and psychedelia, and you get an idea what Cruel Words sounds like.

The songs occasionally — and purposefully — jangle like shards of glass in a cardboard box. Dowd’s creaky, out-of-breath voice isn’t a lot better, but the sum of the album goes far out and almost touches the ragged edge where interesting things can happen to music and listeners.

Dowd wrote a dozen of the 14 songs here and interprets bandmate and drummer Brian Wilson’s “Wilder than the Wind ‘66” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” Dowd and his tight outfit turn the otherwise innocuous JBG into a vaguely ominous threat.

Cruel Words is an aural guided tour through a sideways world where nothing is pretty, it just is. The words and music work so well together that listeners can almost see it.

 – Original Article

 

Johnny Dowd: Cruel Words

Alan Brown   
“Mystery, oh mystery / Cowboy’s life is strange / Gets very existential when his brains are rearranged”, drawls Johnny Dowd to the accompaniment of vibrant ’60s retro organ and bombastic drums on the darkly comic opener “House of Pain”, about a philanderer who decides to take a gun to “that thing between his legs”. For the uninitiated listener, this opening gambit amounts to a baptism by fire into the nightmarish domain inhabited by Dowd and the array of desperate, murderous, and marginalized characters he has chronicled in song over the last eight years.

Ever since Dowd decided at the age of 50 to utilise the offices of the removals company he co-owns in Ithaca, New York, to record his self-released, stripped-down, country-blues-soaked-in-blood debut Wrong side of Memphis, he has rejoiced in portraying the seedy underbelly of contemporary small-town U.S.A. But even though the subject matter may have remained a constant over the years, his music has long ago wandered far from its initial raw blues path to incorporate free-flowing jazz and swamp psychedelia.

Cruel Words, Dowd’s sixth album and second for Bongo Beat Records following 2004’s Cemetery Shoes, is no exception with his penchant for country blues and retro keyboards serving as a foundation from which to build a wonderfully ragged fusion of otherwordly funeral funk (“Ding Dong”), hard rockin’ wig-out (“Cradle of Lies”), scuzzy electric-guitar-fuelled rap (“Anxiety”), and distorted penny-opera jazz (“Unwed Mother”) to accompany his profound spoken-word lyrics. It also comes as no surprise to find that the cowboy-turned-eunuch of the opening number is not the only disenchanted individual to appear in Dowd’s latest batch of excellent musical vignettes. There’s the disillusioned wheelchair-bound vet in the funky anti-war song “Praise God” who questions the sacrifice he made for a country that has no more need for his services. On “Final Encore”, Dowd, sounding like a burnt-out Nick Cave, paints a bleak picture of a suicidal musician’s final moments in a cheap motel.

Elsewhere, Jon Langford (who previously performed with Dowd on the latter’s self-penned song “Judgement Day” for the 2002 anti-death-penalty album The Executioner’s Last Songs) and Sally Timms of the Mekons join Dowd regulars Brian Wilson (former employee of Dowd’s moving company who plays drums and bass pedal), Mike Stark (keyboards), and longstanding back-up vocalist Kim Sherwood-Caso (who was sadly absent on Cemetery Shoes) to provide additional vocals on the country lament “Drunk”.

While you’d hardly expect this cacophony of woes to end on a happy note, Dowd wraps things up thrillingly with his longstanding live-set finale “Johnny B. Goode”, a hell-bound reinterpretation of the Chuck Berry classic. With Sherwood-Caso’s angelic backing vocals shadowed by a snarling, creepy Dowd, pounding keyboards, and distorted electric guitar that threatens to drive the song into freefall only to pull back from the abyss at the last moment, this provides a menacing yet exhilarating end to an enjoyably inventive and deliriously dark album.

 – Original Article

 

JDF would like to contribute a small collection of photos of the 2006 European tour, some by Mike Edmondson, some by Michael Stark and some by a photographer at a show ( if you identify yourself, we’ll identify you!):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Live @ KOHI Kulturraum Karlshrue review

 

photo by Kat Dalton

Songs of unfulfilled longing
American nightmare: The 70-year-old songwriter Johnny Dowd in Kohi

Arrangements are rough and beautiful

No, Johnny Dowd did not drink a bit too much, Tom Severer from Kohi says, “He’s just an old man.” And that’s right Dowd was born in Fort Worth Texas in 1948. As a teenager, he volunteered the army came to Berlin for these to Vietnam in the sixties, and for two years in Berlin. “Since then, Germany and this city have been”, he mumbles, and admits that his thoughts on this period are first of his “experiences in the army, the many wars, and all the trouble. “What men have since learned, he does not know:” But most of them have most likely forgotten.
His acclaimed performance has been in the air for a few minutes, he has been smoking a cigarette out of doors and is now sitting behind the black table with hanging shoulders and saddest eyes, where band mate and brother-in-law Michael Edmondson sells CDs and poetry. Edmondson has been talking to Dowd for 33 years, starting in New York’s punk band Neon Baptist. His autographs and dedications are always provided by Dowd with a small drawing. Selzer hands him a glass of bourbon. Johnny Dowd has had to endure this world long enough to tell a lot. For a long time he worked as a furniture packer and had his own company. The first marriage is said to have lasted only two weeks.
Today he’s only doing rock n roll In the song “Dream On” dedicated to his current wife, he complains; “I did the best that I could but did not do what I should.” At first he probably just tried to spend his time in a good mood. Anyone who, after the wildest youth, only picks up a guitar at the age of 30 and starts making music, will always listen well and have seen a lot. Edmondson calls him a “real guy” “and is right. Because Dowd does not play a role in his role but the American nightmare of the eternally unfulfilled yearning. Yes, that’s Rock n Roll Blues Folk Americana. This is not songwriting but songsuffering.
Dowd creates arrangements that are so rude and beautiful that you almost stifle the fulfillment. Everywhere one hears the americanish 20th year dying out, which is dying. If you lose your sense of humor, it will be really bad, “he says,” you pack the sentence in your backpack and look forward to the next morning. “That’s life, Matthias Dreisigacker

Alternative-Country irgendwo zwischen Noise, Elektro, Punk und DiY (NY-Ithaca) Einlass 19.30h

www.johnnydowd.com/
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Dowd

Johnny Dowd trinkt gerne Whisky, ist Vietnamveteran und ehemaliger Möbelspediteur, war immerhin mal zwei Wochen verheiratet und singt, so schrieb ein Rezensent, “wie ein Serienkiller, der in einem Staubsauger gefangen ist”. Seine Songs sind skurrile Gesamtkunstwerke, zusammengebastelt aus Versatzstücken von Country, Blues und allem anderen. Dazu scheppert das Schlagzeug, Texte über unerwiderte Liebe, Mord und andere Fiesheiten stellen einem die Nackenhaare, und verzerrte Gitarren krachen, als würde es kein Morgen geben. Gibt es vielleicht auch nicht, denn wie Dowd selbst sagt: “Ich bin mir nicht sicher, wie viele Melodien ich noch in mir habe. Tick tock.” (a)

Johnny Dowd likes to drink whiskey, is a Vietnam veteran and former furniture forwarder, was married for two weeks and sings, a reviewer wrote, ” like a serial killer trapped in a vacuum cleaner. ” His songs are quirky Gesamtkunstwerke, made up of pieces of country, blues and everything else. The drums clank, lyrics about unrequited love, murder and other nasties put the hackles, and distorted guitars crack, as if there would be no tomorrow. Maybe it does not exist because, as Dowd himself says, “I’m not sure how many tunes I still have in it, tick tock.”

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

Live @Local 506

Johnny Dowd

Melissa Swingle Duo

Ben de la Cour

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Tickets

Facebook Event

Johnny Dowd, one of a kind leftfield trashcan Americana artist, has a show at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC on June 14th.

HCTF review of Execute American Folklore.

 – Original Article

Live at The Bunker Elwood City PA

 

Cover_Execute

Johnny Dowd is an American alternative country musician from Ithaca, New York. Typical of his style are experimental, noisy breaks in his songs and strong gothic (in the sense of dark and gloomy) elements in the lyrics as well as in the music. There is also a strong undercurrent of black humor and the absurd in his work.

We have previously only seen Johnny Dowd at the Fingerlakes Grassroots Music Festival in New York, & we are looking forward to welcoming him to The Bunker for what will be a rare and exciting opportunity to see this audacious, rockabilly-punk, poet-songster in an intimate house concert format. He will be accompanied by his former Neon Baptist bandmate, Mike Edmondson, on keyboards.

“Sometimes music shouldn’t be easy, and instead should be mysterious, idiosyncratic and the work of a true maverick. So we should welcome the arrival of a new Johnny Dowd album. . . . Never a man to run from the truth, if there was any justice, this guy would be a legend.“ — Acoustic Magazine (UK)

“Gonzo hell-bound music from a true original.”­ —Andy Fyfe, Q Magazine

Details: 848 Walnut Drive., Ellwood City, PA
Doors open at 6:30 for a pot luck dinner (food contributions are welcome but not mandatory) followed by music at 8 pm
BYOB

Donations will be collected – $20 per person is suggested, but feel free to give more 🙂 100% of your donation goes to the band…Your support of live music is appreciated!

*Please help to spread the word about this event by inviting your music-loving friends!!

Hope to see you on March 11!
The Klines

COMMENTS:

Yay, it’s Johnny Dowd Day!
This is THE DAY… the day that Johnny Dowd comes to Ellwood City, specifically to our DEAR friends the Kline‘s house… their basement, aka The Bunker.
It’s a little chilly today but the roads are clear and dry with no precip in the forecast… and the environment in The Bunker is climate controlled… in the best ways possible, WARM and LOVING. This will fill your soul, with the best food, companionship and MUSIC/POETRY you could hope for.
Please come join us, you may never have another chance to experience anything like this!
JOHNNY Dowd!!

Larry Franklin

— 02/03/2017 20:15
We haven’t seen Johnny Dowd in several years, mainly because we haven’t been to Ithaca, NY, where we have always seen him perform. Nor have we his last couple of albums, which we *will* remedy next weekend. We do have most of his previous remarkable recordings… but there is just nothing like seeing and feeling him live and in person, it is a *very* unique experience. A vibe like I have experienced nowhere else. He’s very popular in Europe but not so much in The States, which I personally see as tragic. We first saw him fronting Neon Baptist at the first Great Blue Heron Festival. Anyone who knows us knows that our favorite band, next to The Grateful Dead, is Donna The Buffalo… Donna played several times each day at the first Great Blue Heron Fest, and we did immediately fall in Love with them, but I can’t honestly say that I remember very much of their sets from that festival… what they played, etc… but I do remember every second of that mind-blowing Neon Baptist set. We have seen Mr Dowd at every chance since then, even forgoing the Saturday night Donna The Buffalo sets at their home base festival, the Fingerlakes Grassroots Fest, just outside of Ithaca, where he is usually scheduled opposite them on another stage. And each and every time has been well worth it, I remember every set of his we have ever seen, even the most highly intoxicated ones. 🙂 We have made several trips all the way to Ithaca just to see him perform. Now I suppose he is an acquired taste, he is “different,” he is dark, and he is Pure Art. IMHO. Not “pretty” art, high art… dark high art to the extreme. Johnny Dowd has been compared to Nick Cave… probably because he is so dark. Johnny Dowd has been compared to Captain Beefheart… probably because of the unique ways he uses words and sound. Johnny Dowd has been compared to Tom Waits… I myself do that often when talking about him… because of his artistic sensibilities, temperament and taste. But he is just unique, and incomparable. As far as I know he hasn’t performed in the Pittsburgh area before, which makes next week’s show at Kline’s basement, The Bunker, a premiere of sorts. Do yourself a favor. Take a chance. We are *extremely* excited that he’s coming here to Ellwood City and we hope that all the wonderful open-minded music fans who frequent this fine venue, and YOU, join us and thoroughly enjoy this… character. You have never seen/experienced anything like it. Check out some of these You Tube videos, open your mind, and fasten your seat belt….

Gary Johnson

— 02/03/2017 20:15
I live in Cincinnati. If it wasn’t for a work commitment on March 11, I would drive the 300 miles to Ellwood City for this show. That’s how much I appreciate Johnny Dowd’s music. You fans of adventurous music in Ellwood City or places closer to it than Cincinnati owe to yourselves to attend. Johnny takes various musical elements and twists them into his own unique musical vision. On top of that, he is a very engaging performer with a fine sense of humor. See him if you can!

Larry Franklin

— 03/03/2017 17:32
Hey kids… can’t beat a recommendation like this… thanks, Gary!: “Gary Johnson: I live in Cincinnati. If it wasn’t for a work commitment on March 11, I would drive the 300 miles to Ellwood City for this show. That’s how much I appreciate Johnny Dowd’s music. You folks of adventurous music in Ellwood City or places closer to it than Cincinnati owe to yourselves to attend. Johnny takes various musical elements and twists them into his own unique musical vision. On top of that, he is a very engaging performer with a fine sense of humor. See him if you can!”

Judy Cs

— 03/03/2017 17:32
Gary Johnson, he’s playing a house concert in Buffalo the evening before. PM me for details if you’re not working.
Judy Cs
— 02/03/2017 18:29
quirk·y ˈkwərkē/ adjective characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits. “their sense of humor was decidedly quirky” synonyms: eccentric, idiosyncratic, unconventional, unorthodox, unusual, strange, bizarre, peculiar, odd, outlandish, zany… Johnny Dowd, poet first, and musician, is an acquired taste. Do yourself a favor and acquire that taste. Check out this video from his European tour:

Larry Franklin

— 26/02/2017 22:57
I’ve mentioned before that Mr Dowd is much more popular in Europe than he is here, particularly in Sweden, Germany & The Netherlands… here’s a nice little article about him:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/5852ea02-04f4-49a9-ab8a-40555ac4c1d5

Susan Chikalla

— 23/02/2017 17:52
I’ll be in Wisconsin visiting family that weekend. Have a great time!!! Thanks for the invitation.
Milton Donald
— 23/02/2017 14:53
I hope folks int he Bunker will be prepared for something “different”. 🙂
Larry Franklin
— 23/02/2017 14:53
– this is going to be interesting. Most of Kline’s patrons aren’t very familiar with most of the bands they’ve had there but they’ve been very receptive. And positive. Of course most of the bands have been more acoustic, and many Dead-related. They have no idea what they’re in for! He will be by far the edgiest music they’ve had (it’s a pretty progressive town music-wise… I’m telling folks to think Tom Waits only edgier & darker) and by far the darkest. But, hey, WE know how good he is, let’s just hope minds stay open. I hope to get some of his music posted before the show so folks will have an idea what to expect (suggestions welcomed!), but I’m extremely busy and more than a little sick right now, so I’m not thinking clearly at all… we’ll get on that asap! 🙂
Milton Donald
— 23/02/2017 14:52
Been wanting to get to a Bunker show since you started. Maybe I’ll be able too make this one. Melissa has been wanting to visit Pittsburgh. I could warm up the stage with my song called… “Johnny Dowd”. Would be great to see y’all.
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