Johnny Dowd Live @ The Horseshoe Tavern

 

 

“Imagine if Hank Williams had mutated into Captain Beefheart, acquiring a bunch of primitive electronic equipment along the way, and you’ll get some idea of where Johnny Dowd is at . . . Gloriously deviant.” – The Independant (UK)

“It’s weird, uncompromising and, compared with anything I’ve heard this millennium, certainly unique…beatnik rock, poetry, prose, jazz rock, rap, screaming metal guitar, retro pop, spoken word and country noir.” – MOJO

“There’s nobody quite like Johnny Dowd, a dapper Texan absurdist…like Charles Bukowski backed by a jazz-country funk shuffle…putting to shame artists half his age.” – Uncut

JOHNNY DOWD > www.johnnydowd.com/

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Brian Sasaki & The Scuffed Souls > http://www.briansasaki.com

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Josh Mover & The Shakers > http://www.joshmover.com/

Doors 8:30pm – Adv. Tickets $9.50 @ Ticketfly: CLICK HERE > https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1672963-johnny-dowd-toronto/

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

The Sante Fe New Mexican reviews Twinkle Twinkle

TERRELL’S TUNE-UP: Johnny Dowd’s Twinkle Twinkle

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

I love great old American folk songs and other hoary tunes from past centuries. And I love radical reinterpretations of great American folk songs, ancient murder ballads, epic love ballads, supernatural weirdness, field hollers, proto-Tin Pan Alley standards, Stephen Foster classics, and spirituals.

Neil Young’s Americana, with its fearsome take on “She’ll Be Comin’ ’Round the Mountain” (retitled “Jesus’ Chariot” and recast as an appeal to our space-alien forefathers), is a prime example of this. Lesser known is Snakefarm’s Songs From My Funeral, in which singer Anna Domino puts a funky, electronic, atmospheric twist on spooky old tunes like “St. James Infirmary Blues,” “Banks of the Ohio,” and “House of the Rising Sun.”

If stodgy old purists balked at these efforts, Johnny Dowd’s new album Twinkle, Twinkle should give them all heart attacks. Dowd doesn’t bring these songs into the present. He doesn’t take them to the future. He takes them straight to hell — and listeners not only will feel the heat, they’ll smell the devil’s breath.

With Dowd on vocals, guitar (torturing the poor thing), keyboards, and other instruments, plus backing vocals by Anna Coogan and Michael Edmondson, most of the songs here will take on different shades, spotlight hidden corners, and reveal strange new meanings. It’s like a dream in which familiar things — in this case, the lyrics of the songs — melt into menacing new forms. The closest comparison I can come up with is The Residents, those mysterious masked mutants who have applied their strange craft to the works of Elvis, Hank Williams Sr., James Brown, and others. Dowd sounds downright Residential on this album.

Dowd’s prominent drawl is not affected. He was raised in Texas and Oklahoma. But for the last few decades he has resided in Ithaca, New York, where he has earned his daily bread operating a moving company. He didn’t start recording until he was nearly fifty, when he released his 1998 debut, Wrong Side of Memphis, full of off-kilter original murder ballads and other tales of the underbelly.

Starting off Twinkle, Twinkle with an original song called “Execute American Folklore, Again” (an obvious reference to the title of his previous album), Dowd lays out his purpose. And while you’re still scratching your head over that one, he goes into the title song, a version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with industrial percussion, Coogan singing a surreal soprano, and a demonic electronic voice that seems to be mocking Dowd’s earnest recitation.

That’s followed by a Dada-like take on one of my favorite folk songs. Even before Dowd got his hands on it, “The Cuckoo” was filled with mystery, with its seemingly unconnected references to Independence Day (“She never hollers cuckoo ’til the fourth day of July”) and the Jack of Diamonds robbing you of your silver and your gold. It’s an old British ballad that I suspect has evolved into a patchwork of two or three songs. It became a folk-scene standard in the ’50s when Harry Smith put Clarence Ashley’s version of it on his Anthology of American Folk Music.There are great versions by Doc Watson, The Holy Modal Rounders, Taj Mahal, Dave Alvin, and — perhaps my favorite — by Big Brother & The Holding Company. But Dowd does the most cuckoo “Cuckoo.” He makes this bird holler louder than anyone (and several months before the fourth of July).Dowd’s take on the New Orleans classic “St. James Infirmary Blues” sounds even more ominous than a song about viewing your sweetheart’s corpse in a hospital morgue is supposed to sound. He includes an opening-verse framing device that Cab Calloway and others omitted:

“… Old Joe’s barroom, it was on the corner of the square./The usual crowd was assembled, and Big Joe McKinney was there./He was standing by my shoulder. His eyes were bloodshot red/He turned to the crowd around him and these are the words he said.”

When Dowd sings the part in which the narrator fantasizes about his own funeral, he changes a line, perhaps to add cosmic significance: “Put a $20 gold piece on my watch chain/So that God will know I died standing pat.”

Other highlights of Twinkle, Twinkle include what sounds like a Martian hip-hop interpretation of “Rock of Ages.” Dowd punctuates the versions saying “Rock! I said Rock!” with a crazy guitar twang coming in behind him. On “John the Revelator,” Dowd delivers each line as if he’s relaying information that could get him killed. “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” sounds like a road trip into another dimension. Yes, it’s strange, but I bet Woody Guthrie would have gotten a kick out of it.

And there’s “Tom Dooley,” in which Dowd ends the song by singing a verse of “Jesus Loves Me.” And on “Oh, My Darling, Clementine,” Dowd actually sings the melody, backed up by Coogan on the choruses. This is about as straight as he plays it, at least until the last minute or so of the song — in which the music gets stranger and “Jesus Loves Me” makes a return.

He ends the album with some Bible verse — “Job 17: 11-17” — taking about as many liberties with the Good Book as he does with the folk songs. The Bible says, “If I wait, the grave is my house: I have made my bed in the darkness. I have said to corruption, `You are my father’: to the worm, `You are my mother, and my sister.’” Dowd adds words you never heard in the Bible: “TGIF, thank God it’s Friday, gonna have a party. … Hey everybody, come on over to my house.”

When my kids were growing up, I warned them not to accept party invitations from strangers spouting Bible verses full of worms and death. But Dowd’s crazy party is pretty hard to resist.

Video time!

Well Hell’s bells, I couldn’t find any videos of Twinkle Twinkle songs to post here. But here are a few of my favorites from the past.

Here’s an ode to Nancy Sinatra:

To this next song, I pledged my eternal love .

And going way way back to 1999, this one from Dowd’s second album, Pictures from Life’s Other Side this one still haunts my nightmares.

 – Original site

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

Feeling Bad Tour @ PaRaDoX rootZclub 2/3

 

Johnny-Dowd-by-Kat-Dalton

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. December 2017 komt Johnny Dowd uit met een album met zijn interpretaties van Amerikaanse Folk klassiekers. Liedjes als: Going Down the Road, St. James Infirmary, Tom Dooley, Oh my Darling Clementine. Het zijn Traditionals, de basis van de Amerikaanse muziek. Johnny en Melle zullen ze bijna onherkenbaar brengen. Niet oubollig, maar zoals ze nu moeten klinken, actueel, vol ziel, elektriciteit en noodzakelijkheid. Ze spiegelen een directe reactie op de huidige Amerikaanse samenleving, met alle spanningen en onzekerheden die daarbij denkbaar zijn.

Melle de Boer brengt begin 2018 een album uit. Een solo album heel dichtbij zichzelf. Dit album wordt opgenomen op zijn zolder. Eenzelfde zolder als waarnaar de vader van Melle vertrok na zijn scheiding. Op die zolder wonen spoken. Spoken die liedjes fluisteren. Johnny en Melle gaan touren door Nederland. Ze spelen hun liedjes. Oude liedjes, nieuwe liedjes. Geen suf singer-songwriter avondje maar elektrisch, chaotisch, hard en lelijk, zacht en mooi. Alleen en samen. Ze combineren hun volstrekt eigen werelden om een onvergetelijk, maar vooral uniek optreden te verzorgen. Johnny neemt zijn gitarist Mike Edmondson mee. Hij zorgt voor een gedegen slaggitaar waar Johnny al zijn gekte en chaos in kwijt kan. Mike zingt ook mee. Melle wordt bijgestaan door Suzanne Ypma. Zij heeft samen met Melle zijn nieuwe album opgenomen. Suzanne is van de elektropop. De synthesizer heeft een belangrijke rol in het nieuwe album.

JOHNNY DOWD
Johnny 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. De daaruitvolgende tour langs filmhuizen maakte duidelijk dat door tekeningen toe te voegen aan de muziek, de teksten beter begrepen werden, zodoende werd er een extra dimensie aan een optreden toegevoegd.

Melle de Boer

 – Paradox Rootz Club

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. December 2017 Johnny Dowd comes out with an album with his interpretations of American Folk classics. Songs like: Going Down the Road, St. James Infirmary, Tom Dooley, Oh my Darling Clementine. They are Traditionals, the basis of American music. Johnny and Melle will bring them almost unrecognizable. Not quaint, but as they should sound now, current, full of soul, electricity and necessity. They mirror a direct reaction to current American society, with all the tensions and uncertainties that are conceivable in this respect.

Melle de Boer will release an album in early 2018. A solo album very close to itself. This album is recorded in his attic. The same attic as the father of Melle left after his divorce.Ghosts live in that attic. Ghosts that whisper songs. Johnny and Melle are going to tour the Netherlands. They play their songs. Old songs, new songs. Not a dull singer-songwriter night but electric, chaotic, hard and ugly, soft and beautiful. Alone and together. They combine their completely individual worlds to provide an unforgettable, but especially unique, performance. Johnny takes his guitarist Mike Edmondson with him. He provides a solid percussion guitar that Johnny can put all his craziness and chaos into. Mike also sings along. Melle is assisted by Suzanne Ypma. She has recorded his new album together with Melle. Suzanne is from the electropop. The synthesizer has an important role in the new album.

JOHNNY DOWD
Johnny 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 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. The ensuing tour of film houses made it clear that by adding drawings to the music, the texts were better understood, so an extra dimension to a performance was added.

 

– Translation by Google