Feeling Bad Tour @ The Band Room

Johnny Dowd (US) & Melle de Boer (NL) + Fawn

Tonight we’re delighted to welcome back the great Johnny Dowd who returns to the venue he was born to play en route for Tilburg (NL) to complete an early hat-trick of Band Room shows. We think of Dowd, a US Army veteran who served in Berlin, as the missing link between Keith Richards, Captain Beefheart and The Handsome Family. Others imagine him no less theatrically. “If Nicolas Cage were playing Nick Cave, he’d sing like Johnny Dowd”, said John Aizlewood in The Guardian.

Fawn – rising stars of the York scene – will open the show. If two people mine the same territory long enough, they’ll eventually meet. Johnny Dowd and cult Dutch singer Melle de Boer have been digging deep into the human soul for a long time. Like Orpheus, they go down into the underworld and surface to make beautiful songs about their discoveries. Now their journeys are coming together in a collaborative performance like no other.

They are touring Europe as a double bill in January and February 2018, playing songs old and new. It won’t be a sleepy singer-songwriter night. It will be electric, chaotic, hard and ugly, soft and beautiful. They’ll combine their individual stories to provide a new, unforgettable, unique performance.

They’ll each do a set of their own songs, then perform a set of unconventionally interpreted traditional songs together. Behind the music will be visuals, drawings, photos. Johnny Dowd will be joined by Mike Edmondson (vocals, guitar), while Melle de Boer will be accompanied by Suzanne Ypma (vocals, drums, synthesizer).

Both Dowd and de Boer are releasing new albums. De Boer comes to terms with his parents’ separation, while Johnny does his inimitable take on old American songs. Both albums are traditional, but not corny. They crackle with electricity.

For background on Dowd, this is the most perceptive review we’ve ever seen of his work – the album in question Temporary Shelter (2000), the reviewer John Aizlewood in The Guardian:

Should you ever find yourself needing to move house within the environs of Ithaca, a quiet New York state town, you might be tempted to call upon the respected services of the Zolar Moving Co (“We stand behind our reputation. Ask your neighbor”), established in 1978. Perhaps you would receive the personal attention of Zolar’s craggy, 52-year-old Texan co-owner John Dowd. Perhaps, if you bonded over the sideboards and wardrobes, he might let you into his little secret.

Like many of his generation, Dowd was drafted into the army, albeit to serve in Berlin rather than Vietnam. On discharge, he embraced hedonism, married (and divorced a fortnight later), travelled and slipped into respectability before the gutter took him for ever. In 1997, Johnny Dowd began to make records.

Temporary Shelter, his third album, was mostly recorded in Ithaca. Self-produced and partly engineered by Dave Hinkle, Zolar’s other owner, it is based around the notion of memory or, as Dowd expands, “the story of my life as I remember it”. It is probably mostly lies and jokes – he’s certainly taken the insurance policy of formally noting that his characters are fictitious – but that’s hardly the point: as with all the best fiction, it feels true.

Dowd’s music is from everywhere yet nowhere. His previous albums, 1998’s Wrong Side of Memphis, and Pictures From Life’s Other Side a year later, were mistakenly perceived as alt.country, albeit with a Raymond Carver-esque twist. Although Dowd has found his metier with Temporary Shelter, the brooding ingredients were already in place. “Be content with your life,” he warned in Wrong Side of Memphis’s Thanksgiving Day, “it may not get any better.”

Dowd’s is the dark, mistrustful side of Americana. Those who inhabit his tumbleweed songs – the abused child as adult in Angel Eyes, the washed-up surfer of Big Wave, the oppressive parents and disturbed children of Sky Above Mud Below – “momma talks to Jesus, I wonder if she ever mentions me” – are not so much cracked caricatures that could be filmed by David Lynch as crushed ordinary folk who have long been beaten by life, whether they know it or not.

Golden Rule is par for the lyrical course. Dowd growls his way through the saga of a borderline bum trying to bed a married woman whose husband “puts his hand between your legs: it makes you sick”. He offers to “take you to a motel with a TV and a pool”, promises to share his bottle of whisky with her and reminds her that “nothing comes from nothing is my philosophy”. Dowd neglects to mention how this grubby tale ends, but not, you’d suspect, happily ever after. Who says chivalry belongs to a more courtly past?

His voice is an extraordinary thing; part croak, occasionally country twang, but always tremulous. Not unreasonably, Tom Waits is the laziest comparison, but Dowd is how Nicolas Cage might sing, if playing Nick Cave. And on the deeply unhappy Planet Happiness, Dowd echoes himself, pre-empting each line of each verse. “I have always followed the religion of mental hygiene,” he explains forebodingly, twice. “I won’t touch a woman who does not keep herself clean.”

If it weren’t such a typically accessible but unsettling song, and if the conviction that Dowd is not being autobiographical didn’t hold (it only just does), it would be creepy. You can almost feel the mainstream beginning to blush.

As with all secure leaders, Dowd picks and retains superior henchfolk without fear of being usurped. His rumblings are leavened by frequent duettist Kim Sherwood-Caso’s crystal clear, detached tones. She sugar-coats Dowd’s icebergs and is devastating on her solo vocal showcase, the wintry inverted carol that is Death Comes Knocking, quietly declaring that “when death comes calling you won’t hear a sound”.

Justin Asher’s pounding but sombre keyboards establish a funereal pace across the whole album, while Brian Wilson’s drums and his unusually low basslines provide all the backbone Dowd needs.

Musically, there is a ghostly blues sensibility tucked in beneath the Hank Williamsy desolation, as well as a distinctly un-American Weillian seam to both the lengthy opener, Stumble and Fall, and the melodically circular Hideaway. But Dowd’s hybrid is his own.

Where he can take this from here – after all, there is a successful removal firm to consider – is anybody’s guess, but right now that matters not a jot. What a record.

Johnny Dowd (US) & Melle de Boer (NL) + Fawn website

Ticket price: £ 12.50

Please note early booking is recommended as The Band Room’s capacity is only 100. You can buy tickets securely on-line or by cheque – and prices include postage and administrative costs. There is no additional booking fee. Please email us further information.

Johnny Dowd to complete hattrick of Band Room shows on February 2 bill with Melle de Boer

JOHNNY Dowd is to play The Band Room, Low Mill, Farndale, on the North York Moors for a third time, on this occasion with Dutch singer Melle de Boer on February 2 on their Down The Road Feeling Bad Tour.

“A US Army veteran – he served in Berlin, not Vietnam – Johnny has a removal business in Ithaca, New York, and didn’t cut his first record until he was 50,” says Band Room promoter Nigel Burnham. “We saw him in York twice, first at the Duchess…with 12 other people. The following year we saw him at the old Fibbers, where he still drew an audience of less than 30.

“We thought we could do better than that and he has indeed attracted bigger crowds here and gone down a storm at his previous two Band Room shows. Now he returns to the venue he was born to play, en route for Tilburg, to complete an early hat-trick of Band Room shows.”

Welcoming Dowd back to the North York Moors, Burnham says: “I think of Johnny as the missing link between Captain Beefheart’s genius, Tom Waits’ eccentricity and Keith Richards’ charisma. Brett Sparks, of The Handsome Family, is a big fan of Dowd’s guitar playing, and it isn’t just me and Brett. Others imagine him no less theatrically.”

Dowd is touring Europe in a double bill with cult Dutch singer Melle de Boer, digging deep into the human soul in songs old and new. “It won’t be a sleepy singer-songwriter night,” says Burnham. “It will be electric, chaotic, hard and ugly, soft and beautiful. They’ll combine their individual stories to provide a new, unforgettable, unique performance.

“They’ll each do a set of their own songs, then perform a set of unconventionally interpreted traditional songs together. Behind the music will be visuals, drawings, photos. Johnny will be joined by Mike Edmondson, on vocals and guitar, while Melle de Boer will be accompanied by Suzanne Ypma, on vocals, drums and synthesiser.”

Both Dowd and de Boer are releasing new albums. “Johnny does his inimitable take on old American songs while de Boer comes to terms with his parents’ separation. Both albums are traditional, but not corny. They crackle with electricity,” says Burnham.

Dowd’s Twinkle, Twinkle is out on Friday on Mother Jinx Records, featuring such tracks as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, House Of The Rising Sun, Going Down The Road Feeling Bad, Executive American Folklore, Again and Red River Valley. Details for de Boer’s record are elusive, however.

Fawn, rising stars of the York scene, will open the 7.30pm gig; tickets are on sale at thebandroom.co.uk.

 – Original site

Feeling Bad Tour @ Paradiso

Johnny Dowd + Melle de Boer

Saturday 27 January 2018 in Paradiso
Doors open 21:30Start 22:00

Johnny Dowd and Melle de Boer: Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Tour

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.

Johhny 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.

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 own worlds to provide an unforgettable, but especially unique, performance.

Johnny takes his guitarist Mike Edmondson with him. He provides a solid percussion guitar where Johnny can put all his craziness and chaos into it. 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.

Johhny 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 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. 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

How I Wonder What You Are

New Album

                                    Samples from the album  here

Red River Valley , that’s the name of the new Johnny Dowd album ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ that will be in stores on January 12th. According to the press release it is a playful album with recognizable tunes.

More info about the release can be found on ‘s mans website . Dowd is back on track with Melle De Boer at his side. That brings him eight times to the Netherlands, but Belgium this time (for the time being) left. So keep an eye on it.

  – Original article

The twinkle of Johnny Dowd is finished with his seventeenth (!) Solo album.

In his newsletter, the man announced that ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ became the title of the successor of ‘ Execute American Folklore ‘, which was published last year. The album appears on its own Mother Jinx label in December.

Dowd said the following about the development process: “I thought it was going to be my most important inside record, but at some point it would go on and on.”

Then there is an American tour as support act of Pere Ubu before he goes down to Europe. And that all promises to be “a little different”, but more details in that regard are not yet known.

 September 25, 2017                                                                    Patrick Van Gestel

Ithaca’s finest singer-songwriter Johnny Dowd has a new record coming up. Twinkle, Twinkle is a collection of public domain songs, It is being mixed and will be released in January.

He will be on tour in the UK and The Netherlands in January and February to promote the release. He will be sharing he bill with Dutch musician Melle de Boer. They named it the Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Tour.
– Original article

Been fun watching the album progress, not to mention Kat Dalton’s photos illustrating that progression. We re-present, in the original order:

Good stuff happening in Dowdsville.

“Twinkle, Twinkle” is finished. I thought it was going to be my most inside record, but at some point it leapt the fence and took on a life of its own. It will be released on my label in January.

All for now.

Johnny’s new album, ”Twinkle, Twinkle,” will be released on January 12, 2018.

From the press release by Del Day (Ark PR):

”Wonderfully playful, yet bursting with creative juices, ’Twinkle, Twinkle’ is an album only Dowd would be brave enough to make. These are tunes we all know—tunes we hum, sing-along to at parties, solid bricks in the pantheon of American song—yet you’d be forgiven for thinking that you are hearing all of them for the first time given Dowd’s startling interpretations. Against a backdrop of scathing synths and menacing beats, tracks like ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ and ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ adorn entirely different guises. ‘Trouble In Mind,’ originally recorded as a jazz song in 1924, here broods like some kind of long-forgotten Tom Waits song remixed by Burial, whilst ‘St James Infirmary Blues’ plays out as a soundtrack to Dowd’s dark and inquisitive mind.”  

Above is one of the tracks for you to enjoy right now, “Red River Valley.“

The Euro tour starts on January 25. Tour schedule here.

Check out the latest Euro tour dates on the Tours page. Johnny will have his new album, ”Twinkle, Twinkle,” for sale at the shows. It will also be available at this site starting January 12, as well as digitally at all the usual outlets.

A CD release show is scheduled in Ithaca, New York, at The Dock, on February 17. Special guests are Anna Coogan, Kim Sherwood-Caso, and Tzar.

Bido Lito interviews Johnny Dowd – Live Show at Dumbulls





Executed American Outlaw

JOHNNY DOWD has been making records and touring since 1997. His latest album, Execute American Folklore was released last month. He plays Liverpool for the first time on 20th October at Dumbulls Gallery.

“I thought every record I made, with the exception of Wrong Side of Memphis, would be my ticket into the mainstream and big record sales. The fact that I have been wrong each time doesn’t discourage me.”

There are two types of “outsider artist”, those that make a decent living and get featured on film soundtracks, get a book written about them, maybe even survive on the outskirts of a major label (Daniel Johnston, Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits) and those that self-drive their rental car across Europe to play tiny gigs to a devoted following. Johnny Dowd is the latter. 15 or so releases into a career that started late (Dowd released his first CD in his late 40s) Dowd has flirted with flirting with mainstream success, been featured on the Americana documentary “Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus”, been selected by Matt Groening to play the New York edition of the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival and covered a range of styles from country and folk through to twisted electro-funk.

Joe Florek called him at his home in Ithaca, New York state where he writes, records and runs his home removals business. Just so you can imagine his replies, consider each reply in this interview as a slow, measured, southern drawl (he was born in Texas, grew up in Memphis and moved north in his teens) reminiscent of Harry Dean Stanton sat on a porch with William Burroughs.

Bido Lito!: With some artists, you don’t really know what they do. You assume they exist in some kind of artistic bubble, writing songs and waiting for their muse to turn up. With other bands, such as Steve Albini’s Shellac, for example, they are very open about their day jobs and the time and money it costs to be an artist these days. How do you balance those things?

Johnny Dowd: Musicians who do it the way I’m doing it, basically a full time job and then the music second is because they aren’t financially successful enough. I guess if I was more successful I wouldn’t have that story, I would just be on the road playing music and making money. Because you need money to live, you know? When you were younger, you could go out on the truck all day and then gig at night and it was never really a problem, you had a lot of energy. In terms of balance, it’s never been a problem. I don’t have to go away anywhere to write. I can put the phone down now and just switch off and write a song if I want to. I can write in the office if I’m not out on the truck, or at home. I guess I have a pretty fast on/off switch as far as that goes.

In terms of success, there was a time a few years ago I was getting pretty pissed off, thinking maybe I should be more successful. That’s how it works with my regular business, you know? If you do a good job, and then people tell you and they’ll call again and give you some more business. It’s not like that with the music business, totally different. There’s hundreds of bands out there that I’m better than who are way more famous, but also there are bands that are better than me that never got out of their living room. If you’re looking for justice, it’s not in the music business, you know.

 But I love making music, and it’s like fishing or sex or anything you like doing; it’s enjoyable in and of itself. So whether you’re playing to 4 people or 4,000 once you have the amps turned on and everything, and start up, it’s fine. It’s good. Just the money at the end of the night is different. It’s a bit less.

BL!: How many albums have you released, is this about 15?

JD: Well, Maybe ten or so regular albums, but also some live stuff and some collaborations on top of that. This year I have my new album, Execute American Folklore coming out and a double album of demos and live stuff with my first band from years ago, Neon Baptist and then I have this one, long 25 minute song that is influence by Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew or something. That might be ready for the tour. (Thinks) Maybe not. What date is it? No, that won’t be ready.

BL!: Does it have a name?

JD: It might be called the Back End of Spring or the Black End of Spring. I dunno. It’s instrumental, so I can call it anything. I could call it Your Mama, you know? It doesn’t have to be called anything related to the lyrics because it’s instrumental. I’ve had that title for a long time, I might save it for something else.

BL!: Do you write stuff differently now to how you wrote your first albums? Now you’re getting deeper into your career?

JD: I have changed a bit, I used to just do the traditional thing of sitting there with an acoustic guitar and working on a chord progression. Now I like to work with a drum machine, in a way because it’s more limited. I just get a beat going and then kind of freestyle over it. Not like freestyle rapping. But like blah, blah, blah, talking some lyrics over it until something comes. Or maybe I’ll have some lyrics lying around that will fit it. One thing about some people who maybe run dry when they get really old, some guys have been doing this since they were teenagers and by the time they get to 50 or 60, they’ve been writing for 40 years. But I only started when I was in my 40s, so although I’m 67 years old now, I’m only like……..20 in musical years so I still got plenty of ideas and songs, I reckon. My body is 67, but my musical mind is pretty young, it’s like the opposite of dog years. I haven’t exhausted the musical well.

BL!: Some of my favourite songs of yours are the story songs, where you’re getting one side of a conversation or a view of a character. You have a song, Betty, where you’re calling up an old girlfriend, asking for a leather jacket back that you gave here when you were kids. It’s like a less romantic version of Martha by Tom Waits.

JD: Well Martha is a great song. I used to like the whole thing back in the 60s, there would be comics like Shelley Berman or Bob Newhart and you’d only hear their side of the conversation for the whole routine, so you had to do a bit of work and imagine the other side. They were really funny, and I liked that kind of thing. I like some humour in my music, I like Nick cave and I get Nick Cave and Tom Waits a lot as comparisons but I like that there’s some humour in Tom Waits. No matter how dark the subject matter. And I listen to a lot of Hip-Hop , and there’s a lot of humour in that stuff too.

BL!: There’s another song called Big Wave, from one of your early albums that I used to be listen to a lot, it was on the cover of an Uncut CD about 15 years ago. It’s the story of a guy driving round West Virginia, miles from the ocean, but he still has a surfboard on his car and dreams of the big waves crashing down in Waikiki. That has a lot of dark humour in it. The image of this guy pulling up to the feed store in his truck with a surfboard on it.

JD: That’s it in a nutshell. That’s what I’m trying to do. No matter how weird or dark it is, there’s some humour in there too.

BL!: I saw on your Indiegogo campaign, you said “You people opened your hearts andopened your wallets” to raise $17,000 for the album and tour. You did that OK, but you sold a really beautiful old Hawaiian guitar. Was that a wrench or was it just something you wanted to lose so you could do the tour?

JD: Oh, I never learned to play that thing. So that wasn’t a problem in terms of being sad to sell it. I had it about 25 years and I always said I’d learn to play it and I never did. So I thought I’d let it go and help out a little on financing this tour. I always thought I’d learn to play jazz properly or learn to play like Son House or whatever, and then I thought I’m just going to concentrate on playing C, F, G in time.

BL!: You play a wide selection of styles, do you ever have to disappoint someone if they come up and ask for “first there was funeral” (from “….Wrong Eyed Jesus”) or some Americana stuff and then this new record has a lot of electro stuff on it, like an experimental version of Beck or something. Is that a pressure?

JD: Well, as far as this tour goes, I’ve got a drum machine and two other guitarists. So I’m going to play 4 or 5 songs of this album, some stuff off the other albums and then some stuff just me with a guitar, some of the folkier stuff, like “first there was a funeral”. So if you are a fan of any one particular era or style of Johnny Dowd, you should be happy. (long pause) Or I might not. I never have any fucking idea what I’m going to do, really (laughs). If anyone calls out a song, I’ll make a stab at it, But if it’s bad, it’s like “That’s your fault forshouting it out, I didn’t say I could do it”.

BL!: Obligatory Liverpool question, you grew up in the sixties, were the Beatles on your radar when you were young?

JD: Not really, to be honest, when they came out, later on I went back to them and I can appreciate the albums. But at the time, the first stuff, I didn’t think they were doing anything that the Everly Brothers weren’t doing better. I usually listen to more black music, RnB, James Brown, Otis Redding, Son House and these days the only new music I listen to is Hip-Hop, like Kendrick Lamar just came out with a bunch of great stuff. Some people might say well, I can’t hear anything like that in your music. But what I listen to and what I sound like are different. It’s all in there, somewhere.

BL!: How about writers? Harry Crews was in Wrong Eyed Jesus with you, and Big Wave reminded me of one of the deluded obsessives from Flannery O’Connor, both classic southern gothic writers. Are they anything of an influence?

JD: Oh yeah. I’ve read both authors extensively, that is at least as big as any musical influence on me, even as a kid, long before I was writing music, even, I was reading voraciously.

BL!: The venue you’re playing in Liverpool is famous for a Bob Dylan photoshoot, back in the 60s, I thought that might interest you.

JD: Well, I rate Dylan as a songwriter, definitely, so I’ll have to get my picture taken in the same place, and then play the show. Looking forward to seeing Liverpool. Sounds like a plan.

Johnny Dowd plays Dumbulls Gallery on 20th October with Park Doing and Dead Hedge Trio. Tickets in Probe and Dig! Vinyl or online here.

 – Original Article


Execute American Folklore Tour – El Lokal


PosterBanner_El Lokal


– Original Article