December 31, 2021

Johnny Dowd: Homemade Pie

Johnny Dowd

Johnny Dowd is always looking forward, even when he retraces his steps musically. On his new album Homemade Pie he is joined by long time collaborator Michael Edmondson and it marks the return of Kim Sherwood-Caso and Willie B who already on board on his debut album Wrong Side of Memphis in 1997. He has returned to an in-your-face, raw and organic sound, making it more urgent and vibrant than his previous albums, Twinkle, Twinkle, which was basically a solo record with lots of twisted electronics, and Family Picnic, a record that foreshadowed his current musical makeup. He is 73 now, quite content at being a critically acclaimed cult artist, catering to a niche who appreciate his one-of-a-kind lyrical imagery.

Dowd has always been a genre of his own, exploring the alleys connecting blues, country, vaudeville, funk, rock and maybe of dozen more. His songs are populated with losers, disgruntled, lovers, con men, players, and small time crooks. Thankfully they never show any signs of regret or remorse, which makes for far more interesting stories than gratuitous happy ending. Exhibit A: the title track Homemade Pie, the story of a sketchy salesman who gets shot and crucified. Exhibit B Shack: his Dad made every stupid mistake a man could possibly make, but he stands by his deeds, porudely proclaiming that he would do it all again, if he had the chance. Ladies is a lascivious, one-word rave-up that will get him cancelled by radio stations without a sense of humour. And there is Uncle Jimmy, who was a fun character taking him on fishing trips and let him smoke fags - he lifted the intro of Allen Toussaint's Fortune Teller to set the mood for this one.

He is incurable road rat, who can't imagine having a life without travelling in a van to the next gig in the celebratory singalong Gone: "I love the band when it plays to loud, I love the feelng of being gone". Dowd is in for the fun most of the time, but he could not get past the shambolic state of the USA. Rise Up is the closest he ever got to write an organizing song, a one-finger salute to Trump fans and fake news peddlers.

Johnny Dowd: vocals, guitar, keyboards
Mike Edmondson: guitar
Willie B: drums
Kim Sherwood-Caso: vocals

Johnny Dowd: Homemade Pie

Homemade Pie is released on Mother Jinx Records and is available thru his website. Release date: January 1.

  1. Homemade Pie
  2. Out For Blood
  3. Silk Scarf
  4. Rise Up
  5. Rose
  6. Rick Ross
  7. Uncle Jimmy
  8. Call Me the Wind
  9. Ladies
  10. Shack
  11. Gone
  12. Dolomite Redux
  13. Do Me Do


HCTF review of Xmas 2021.

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