Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm
Songs In The Key Of D, Vol. 12. Onze favoriete outsider is terug met zijn nieuwste worp, die de ingeslagen koers van That’s Your Wife On The Back Of My Horse (met voorsprong de beste albumtitel van 2015) verderzet. De liefhebber weet wat te doen.
Volgend jaar zal Dowds solocarrière de symbolische kaap van twintig jaar bereiken. Best opmerkelijk want de veteraan, die bij zijn debuut al werd beschouwd als een ouwe lul, houdt er een indrukwekkende productiviteit op na en blijft regelmatig Amerikaanse en Europese podia afschuimen met zijn steeds eigenzinniger wordende muziek. Wrong Side Of Memphis en zijn recentste wapenfeit liggen bij een eerste beluistering misschien ver uit elkaar, maar eigenlijk is niets minder waar. Het zijn albums die getuigen van dezelfde radicale visie en zijn een aanval op rootsgenres en zones ver daarbuiten.
Voor Execute American Folklore lanceerde Dowd een crowdfunding-campagne, die met succes werd afgerond. Je weet dan ook dat je getrakteerd zal worden op een feest van onzin en transgressie, van kitscherige funk en voze bluesresten, van op z’n kop gezette gemeenplaatsen, innuendo en ironievrije egodocumenten. Hij had er net zo goed bij kunnen lopen in een grasgroen trainingpak en een fluokleurige zweetband. Het zal Dowd allemaal worst wezen. Hij bepaalt de regels in een bonte wereld die geen toegevingen doet, al moet je soms, ook nu, toegeven dat de man regelmatig wat oorwurmen uit de mouwen schudt.
Veertien songs jaagt hij er weer door, in minder dan veertig minuten. Stilistisch is dit een verderzetting van That’s Your Wife…, wat betekent dat hij zowat alles zelf opnam: bas, gitaar, toetsen en heel veel plastieken beats. In opener “Unease And Deviance”, eigenlijk een mooie definitie van z’n werk, dreigt het even uit te monden in het thema van “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air”.Met iele synths, een rudimentaire beat, onnozele breaks en Dowds vieze nonkel-verzen. En zo klinkt het wel vaker, alsof hij in stukken als “3.29.48” (zijn geboortedatum) en “Modern Woman” zit rond te hossen met een XL-beatbox en een zak vol kromme rhymes.
Elders vind je nog knikjes richting rock-‘n-roll swagger, maar dan wel nadat het grondig door de mangel gehaald werd. “Sexual Revolution” heeft meer gemeen met The Butthole Surfers en Ween dan met de rootshelden waar hij vroeger mee vergeleken werd. “Funkalicious” zet Bootsy Collins bij The Residents. Of ook: “Last Laugh”, eentje voor zijn moeder die aanvankelijk bijna klinkt als 80’s INXS.En “Rhumba In The Park”, een uitje richting exotica dat klinkt als een antwoord op “Worried Mind” uit z’n vroege klassieker Pictures From Life’s Other Side. Maar het kan altijd nog zotter: tijdens “Mr. Muggles” verwacht je dat het Beverly Hills Cop--thema elk moment zal opduiken en mag gastzangeres Anna Coogan voor theatrale franjes zorgen, terwijl de opgefokte titelsong knettergek barakkenkabaal van de meest gesjeesde soort is.
Het is duidelijk: deze halvegare vaart een koers die even desastreus als onweerstaanbaar is. Want geef nu toe: hoeveel artiesten geraken ermee weg om hun naam te laten scanderen? Jaren geleden gebeurde het al op het podium, nu ook in het afsluitende “World Without Me”. En toch kan je niet anders dan meegrijnzen bij zoveel idioterie. “Whiskey Ate My Brain” luidt het elders. Dat moet dan wel, maar het leverde intussen wel een onnavolgbaar oeuvre op. Go, Johnny, go!
Dowd is van 12 tot 30 oktober op tournee in Europa. Hij speelt drie keer in Nederland en een keer in Belgie: op 29 oktober in GC De Melkerij (Zemst).
Execute American Folklore
Songs In The Key Of D, Vol. 12. Our favorite outsider is back with his latest steps that the chosen course of That’s Your Wife On The Back Of My Horse verderzet (by far the best album title of 2015). The lover knows what to do.
Next year Dowds solo career will reach the symbolic milestone of twenty years.Quite remarkable for the veteran, who was already considered his debut as an old dick, does an impressive productivity after and remains a regular American and European stages skimming his increasingly idiosyncratic becoming music. Wrong Side Of Memphis and his latest feat lie with a first listening may be far apart, but really is nothing further from the truth. The albums are witnessing the same radical vision and attacking roots genres and areas beyond.
For Execute American Folklore Dowd launched a crowdfunding campaign, which was successfully completed. You also know that you will be treated to a feast of nonsense and transgression of kitsch funk and blues rotten remnants of upside regular platitudes, innuendo and irony-free personal documents. He had just as much to be able to walk in a grass green trainingpak and a fluorescent-colored sweatband. The Dowd will all care less. He sets the rules in a colorful world that does not compromise, although sometimes, even now, admit that the man regularly what earwigs shakes up their sleeves.
Fourteen songs he hunts again through in less than forty minutes. Stylistically, this is a continuation of That’s Your Wife … which means he just recorded everything himself: bass, guitar, keyboards and many plastics beats. In opener “unease And Deviance”, actually a good definition of his work, as it threatens to result in the theme of “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” .With sterile synths, a rudimentary beat, silly breaks and Dowds dirty uncle -verzen. And so it sounds more as if he were in pieces like “3:29:48” (his birth) and “Modern Woman” hossen sitting around with an XL-beatbox and a bag full of crooked rhymes.
Elsewhere you can find nods towards rock and roll swagger, but only after it was thoroughly mangled. “Sexual Revolution” has more in common with The Butthole Surfers and Ween then the roots heroes in which he was once against. “Funkalicious” put Bootsy Collins by The Residents. Or again: “Last Laugh”, one for his mother, who initially almost sounds like 80’s INXS.En “Rhumba In The Park”, an outing direction of exotica that sounds like a response to “Worried Mind” from his early classic Pictures From Life’s Other Side. But it is still more foolish: during “Mr.Muggles “you expect it to Beverly Hills Cop -theme will emerge anytime and guest singer Anna Coogan may provide theatrical fringes while the raised title song is crazy barracks hubbub of the most dropout species.
It is clear that this screwball sails a course as disastrous as irresistible. Admit it: How many artists get away with to have their name chant? Years ago it happened already on stage, now in the final “World Without Me”. And yet you can not help but meegrijnzen with so much idiocy. “Whiskey Ate My Brain” is the elsewhere. It must then, but meanwhile gave it an incomparable oeuvre. Go, Johnny, go!
Dowd has 12 to October 30 on tour in Europe. He played three times in the Netherlands and once in Belgium: on October 29 in GC The Dairy (Zemst).
Sinds hij in 1997 debuteerde met het uiterst eigenzinnige Wrong Side of Memphis bouwt Johnny Dowd gestaag voort aan zijn hoogstpersoonlijke muzikale universum. Pogingen om hem in een muzikaal hokje te duwen, zijn gedoemd te mislukken. Ooit werd zijn muziek gecatalogeerd als alt country, maar door de jaren heen gebruikte hij steeds meer elementen in zijn songs die nauwer aanleunen bij de wereld van Captain Beefheart dan die van alt-country coryfeeën als Whiskeytown of Green on Red. Dowd maakt er trouwens een goede gewoonte van om zich niet te laten vastpinnen in één bepaald hokje want hij kijkt met veel plezier, en soms zelfs bepaald gulzig, over de schutting van andere stijlen met de bedoeling de beste elementen in zijn muziek te mengen. Op Execute American Folklore, volgens mijn telling zijn twintigste album, haalt deze nijvere doe-het-zelver er ook nog eens een fikse dosis elektronica bij en in de meeste gevallen leidt dat tot resultaten die mij best bevallen.Johnny Dowd neemt ook nu het leeuwendeel van de instrumenten en zang op zich, maar laat de achtergrondzang én in Brains-a-Flame ook de leadzang over aan een bij tijden felle Anna Coogan die zich zo te horen opperbest voelt in het gezelschap van Dowd. Die kruisbestuiving leidt tot een album dat zich mijlenver ophoudt van het soort muziek dat Dowd aan het begin van zijn loopbaan maakte. De eerste associatie die ik maakte toen ik opener Unease and Deviance en songs als Last Laugh en Freddie hoorde was overigens niet Don Van Vliet maar de Australische band Flash and the Pan. Wellicht zal die evolutie hem een paar fans kosten, maar daar heeft Dowd nog echt wakker van gelegen. De man gaat zijn eigen gang en zal dat hopelijk nog lang blijven doen. Hij heeft er de creativiteit en ondertussen de leeftijd voor. Er verschijnen tegenwoordig al meer dan genoeg onderling inwisselbare plaatjes. (Mother Jinx Records)
Since his debut in 1997 with the extremely quirky Wrong Side of Memphis Johnny Dowd builds steadily continue his highly personal musical universe. Attempts to push him into a musical box, are doomed to fail. Once his music was classified as alt country, but throughout the years he used more and more elements in his songs more closely linked to the world of Captain Beefheart than alt-country stars like Whiskeytown or Green on Red. Dowd is there actually a good habit not to be pinned down to one particular booth because he looks with the intention of pleasure, and even certain greedy, over the fence of other styles to mix the best elements in his music. Execute American Folklore, according to my count his twentieth album, takes these industrious do-it-yourselfer is also a hefty dose electronics at and in most cases this leads to results that best suit me.
Johnny Dowd also now takes the lion’s share of the instruments and vocals himself, but let the background vocals and in Brains-a-Flame also lead vocals on an at times fierce Anna Coogan who are about to hear supreme best feeling in the company of Dowd. This cross-fertilization leads to an album that is a far cry from the kind of music ends Dowd made at the beginning of his career. The first association I made when I open unease and Deviance and songs like Last Laugh and Freddie heard was, moreover, not Don Van Vliet, the Australian band Flash and the Pan. Perhaps this trend will cost him a few fans, but Dowd has kept awake located. The man goes his own way and will hopefully continue to do so far.He has the creativity and meanwhile the age. There now appear more than enough interchangeable plates. (Mother Jinx Records)
– Translation by Google
Johnny Dowd’s new record is called “Execute American Folklore” – a grum title for a jolly record. It will be released in September Once again he played all the instruments, with assistance from his trusty drum machines. Anna Coogan contributed some really fine vocals. “I think this is the best stick-in-your-CD-player-and-drive-around record I have made. It has some killer grooves, if I do say so myself. I hope you dig it.” The album will be released early fall.
Ever since Johnny Dowd made his first record in 1997, “Wrong Side of Memphis,” he has been the alternative to the alternative. He has walked a twisted path through nearly every genre of American music. Each of his dozen albums has been an equal mix of Hank Williams and Captain Beefheart. Along the way, he has collaborated with artists as diverse as Jim White and The Mekons and toured with Neko Case and Beukorkest.
This is Mark Lotterman‘s first show of the tour-sure to be killer!
Ever since Johnny Dowd released his first record in 1997, Wrong Side of Memphis, he has been the alternative to the alternative. Walking a twisted path through nearly every genre of American music, each of his dozen albums has been an equal mix of Hank Williams and Captain Beefheart. Along the way, he has collaborated with artists as diverse as Jim White and The Mekons and toured with Neko Case and Beukorkest.
Dowd supports his latest album, Execute American Folklore, on a new European tour.
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.
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.
Alternatieve countryzanger Johnny Dowd fascineert fans en critici al sinds zijn eerste album Wrong Side of Memphis in 1997 uitkwam. Met ongeveer één nieuw album per jaar blijft hij zijn eigen draai geven aan de Amerikaanse rootsmuziek. Hij maakt donkere, maar humoristische en catchy songs die doen denken aan Tom Waits, Nick Cave en Captain Beefheart.
In september komt het nieuwe album Execute American Folklore van Johnny Dowd uit. Hij speelt wederom alle instrumenten zelf, met een beetje hulp van zijn drum machines. De Texaanse zegt er zelf over: “I think this is the best stick-in-your-CD-player-and-drive-around record I have made. It has some killer grooves, if I do say so myself. I hope you dig it.” Live altijd spraakmakend!
Supportact Park Doing speelt elektronische experimentele folk. De basis ligt in de Amerikaanse folklore, roots- en protestmuziek, maar Park Doing deinst niet terug voor het gebruik van bizarre geluiden en samples zoals morse code en wetenschappelijke geluiden. Samen met de loops die hij live doet met vocals en gitaren zorgt dit voor een unieke, innovatieve, moderne soort Amerikaanse folk muziek.
Alternative country singer Johnny Dowd fascinates fans and critics since his first album Wrong Side of Memphis came out in 1997. With about one new album per year, he continues to give his own spin on the American roots music. He is dark, but humorous and catchy songs reminiscent of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Captain Beefheart.
In September the new album Execute American Folklore Johnny Dowd out. He again plays all the instruments himself, with a little help from his drum machines. The Texan says himself: “I think this is the best stick-in-your-CD-player-and-drive-around post I have made. It has some killer grooves, if I do say so myself. I hope you dig it. “Live always talked about!
Supportact Park Doing plays electronic experimental folk. The base lies in American folklore, roots- and protest music, but Park Doing is not afraid to use weird sounds and samples as morse code and scientific noises. Along with the loops that he does live with vocals and guitars that provides a unique, innovative, modern type of American folk music.
– Translation by Google
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