reviews Twinkle Twinkle – CD Release @ The Dock Tonite 2/17

Johnny Dowd “Twinkle, Twinkle” (Seven Shooter Music, 2017)

New AlbumFrom beneath the waters of this dark and eerie sonic soundscape emerge some of the most well-known songs in the American canon. The songs on this fine album are as familiar as, well, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ – the title cut – along with ‘Tom Dooley’, ‘Oh My Darling Clementine’, ‘Red River Valley’, ‘St. James Infirmary’ and ‘House of the Rising Sun’. But it’s a safe bet you’ve never heard them done this way. Dowd is highly original, even eccentric. Sometimes these songs, familiar as they are, can be recognised only by the lyrics.

This album is dominated by dark, deep electronic sounds, anchored by a heavy beat. Dowd is credited with playing ‘all instruments’, but there’s little here that will remind you of any instruments you’ve ever heard before. The vocals are also handled mostly by Dowd. But ‘intones’ would be a better word than ‘sings’. Mostly he just speaks the words.

This isn’t an album you’ll put on when your Aunt Clara comes for a visit. Nor will you dance to it. Of the 13 tracks, only the opening cut – ‘Execute American Folklore, Again’ – was written by Dowd. All the others are songs for the ages. There are no spaces between the tracks. One song sinks into the sonic depths; then, soon enough, a new song emerges from the electronic murk. While the album cover lists 13 tracks, this is really one 36-minute long meditation on the great American songbook.

Dowd, 69, didn’t begin his music career until he was nearly 50, when he released the album ‘Wrong Side of Memphis’, devoted to songs of sin and murder. The album turned him into a cult figure; since then he’s released one unconventional album after another. The music can fall harshly on the ears on first listen. But the album grows on you. And while it’s not dance music, it definitely has a beat – deep pounding drums punctuate the songs.

This, in short, is a work of creativity and imagination – the work of a highly unusual mind. You’ll hear some of the most familiar American songs of all time, reinvented as if they’d been run through a mad computer. But madness and genius are closely related. ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ is an album that, over time, will speak to you in many different ways. This one’s a keeper.

Live @The Dock


                                                HAPPY HOUR at it’s most ironic




Johnny Dowd

“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), September 2016

“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 on Execute American Folklore. . . . Gloriously deviant.“

— Andy Gill, The Independent (London)


(Editors note: For those in the know, there’ll be a Party Here tonite!)



Live @ The Dock with My Darling Clementine



Johnny Dowd (born March 29, 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas) is an American alternative country musician. 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.

He currently resides in Ithaca, NY.

Although his early albums were most celebrated in the alternative country community, he has never quite fit into any particular genre.

The Dock: Tickets here


Live at The Dock – IMOP





Christmas Party for the self-employed !

               At the Dock tonite!





Live at The Dock – Ithaca Musicians Office Party

                                                       It’s a party at The Dock


Live at The Dock WBVR’s Rock the Waters



Grassroots vid clip 20160722

Listen to live local music and support your favorite station!
Saturday August 6th
The Dock
Doors open 7pm


Johnny Dowd
Gabe Tavares
Polly Wood
Samuel Lupowitz

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door

We will have raffles for prizes such as gift cards to Handwork, Viva and the Nines.
Your ticket in gets you a discount on WVBR T-shirts.
Did we mention that The Dock has fantastic food and drinks?
Come rock out while supporting the station!






Rock the Dock WVBR Benefit

I don’t care man. I really don’t care why. Like I said, I would have gotten naked AND had a hot dog eating contest tonight if it would bring in people.
                                                                             – Johnny Dowd, The Dock 2016/8/6

Photo-jif,the dock,20160806

Soundcheck, hanging around, waiting to go on, and other glamorous rock star activities:

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Work? Fun…

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Live at The Dock with Avalnchez and Jennie Stearns Sat. June 11 8:00pm


Or as Anna says:

Getting ready for next Saturday’s ‪#‎battleofthebands‬, I mean show, at the Dock with Avalanches and Jennie Lowe . Because life is a competition. I mean, love fest.

Anna Coogan's photo.


Live at The Dock: A Benefit for Bernie Sanders



So many reason to show up at The Dock …..

Don Bazley:

Each year for my birthday party I hold a benefit for a person or organization. Usually, these parties have been “tribute shows”. This year it’s a tribute to democracy in association with Ithaca/Tompkins County for Bernie Sanders. Come early and learn how you can get involved to help Bernie win the White House.

A suggested donation of $10 will be accepted at the door with hopes folks will give more to support the campaign. There will be different ways to donate to both/either the national campaign or the local effort.

Party goes from 4:00pm-12:00.

Music by:

Fly Rods
Common Railers
Johnny Dowd
Park Doing
Alter Koker
Sonic Rust
Bad Hand
Glacial Erotics
Jeannie Burns
Wonder Monday (solo)
Dan Aloi
Alan Rose


Message from Bernie:

so, please take photos or video of the event, and post them to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #Bernie2016. Also please send them to

Nationwide Musicians for Bernie day


thaca Musicians for Bernie Sanders: Benefit Concert report
Don Bazley’s benefit concert for Bernie Sanders was a great success!  Many people came out, the musicians and the setting were super, and we added  about 70 new supporters to our Bernletter mailing list! We also raised $2102 to send to the national campaign and sent quite a few people home with Bernie t-shirts, bumper stickers and so forth.

There was a lot of interest (among musicians and attendees) in doing another event.  We’d just need a location and some people to help organize it!

If you missed this event, a number of the musicians donated CD’s of their music to the “cause” — stop by our campaign office at 215 The Commons, make a donation, and you can take home some music (along with a button or bumper sticker…)

Live at The Dock with Alter Koker

Poster,Banner_Dockpressrelease,Promo_Dock,AlterKoker,20150828Hi Johnny,
Ami found this really cool photo of a real serious Dock!
We would like to use it to create an fb event – if you like it too?

As I recall show time is 9pm, right? and the Kokers go on first. Is that still cool with you?
We decided to record our live set – so do make some nooooizze

Oh and thanks for the many books! I am enjoying “Fine just the way it is” by Anne Prouxl




Poster,Banner_Dock,AlterKoker,20150828 The Dock