September 05, 2016

Johnny Dowd: Execute American Folklore

photo: Kat Dalton
BEST OF 2016

Most people mellow with age, but thankfully Johnny Dowd isn't one of them. His snarl is very much intact and the beats he gets from his vintage gear are harsh and ugly. Besides Anna Coogan, who helped out with some vocals, he is the sole musician on his new album Execute American Folklore, playing guitar, bass and keyboards, and he is adamant on getting even with everyone who gets in his way.

In Sexual Revolution the protagonist caught his wife in flagrante, urging him to repeat "d.iv.o.r.c.e" over and over again. Mr. Muggles is the lead character in his darkest dance tune to date, with brass and female vocals going berserk. Rhumba In The Park and Modern Woman sound like outtakes of his No Regrets album on which song described the ways of a particular woman. Anna Coogan gets her place in the spotlights singing lead on Brains-a-flame, channeling Poly Styrene.

So whatever happened to the left-field country artist of yore? That guy left the building a couple of albums ago. Dowd has embraced technology or more accurately is stretching it to its outer capabilities, banging his gear into submission and messing with preprogrammed presets in peculiar ways. He is more of a wrestler than a player. Title track Execute American Folklore is heavily distorted call to arms for a revolution that will never happen, but at least there is an anthem for it just in case.

With the album's closer A World Without Me, an old school guitar rocker, he shows his sense of humour and puts things in perspective. A world without him would be same. That may be so within the grand scheme of things, but as long as he is walking the face of the earth, touring and releasing albums, it is a slightly better and weirder place.

Execute American Folklore is released on Mother Jinx Records. Release date: September 9. Buy it from his website, which also has a stream of stream of A World Without Me.

  1. Unease And Deviance
  2. 3.29.48
  3. Last Laugh
  4. Sexual Revolution
  5. Mr. Muggles
  6. Rhumba In The Park
  7. Whiskey Ate My Brain
  8. Funkalicious
  9. Modern Woman
  10. Freddie
  11. Brains-a-flame
  12. Count Your Blessings
  13. Execute American Folklore
  14. A World Without Me

Park Doing is the support act for the first two weeks (October 12 through 23) of his European tour and Mark Lotterman got the call for the final week (October 24 through 30).

Live dates:
  • 10/01 Trumansburg, NY @ Rongovian Embassy
  • 10/12 Haarlem, Netherlands @ Patronaat
  • 10/13 Norderstedt, Germany @ Music Star
  • 10/14 Krefeld, Germany @ Kulturrampe
  • 10/15 Zeist, Netherlands @ De Peppel
  • 10/17 Zurich, Switzerland @ El Lokal
  • 10/20 Liverpool, United Kingdom @ Dumbulls
  • 10/21 Bovey Tracey, United Kingdom @ Edgemoor Hotel
  • 10/22 Farndale, United Kingdom @ The Band Room
  • 10/23 Glasgow, United Kingdom @ 02 ABC2
  • 10/25 London, United Kingdom @ The Islington
  • 10/26 Eye, United Kingdom @ The Bank Eye
  • 10/27 Sheffield, United Kingdom @ Greystones
  • 10/29 Zemst, Belgium @ GC de Melkerij
  • 10/30 Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Bureau Beukorkest at TAC


HCTF review of That's Your Wife on the Back of My Horse.

1 comment: