"A Drunkard's Masterpiece is a creative car crash of Americana, beatnik rock, poetry, prose, jazz rock, rap, screaming metal guitar, retro pop, spoken word and country noir. The whole thing was recorded in three days, on 8 track tape, live in the studio... The lyrics, like the music, are classic Dowd - sex, marriage, more sex, adultery, original sin, unoriginal sin, God, Mary, Jesus, more adultery, death, love, masturbation." - Sylvie Simmons, Mojo, 4 STARS --------------------- Four musicians. Eight tracks. Eight microphones. Three opuses. Three days. This is Johnny Dowd's new record, A Drunkard's Masterpiece. The songs, welded and mangled together, fondle every style from metal/weird country ("Infidelity/Gargon vs. The Unicorn") to jazz ("Random Thoughts") to instrumental funk ("Union of Idiots"). "I wanted to do an album that was a combination of variety show and soul revue. In the mix of styles, you can see my take on American music. Also, by running the songs together rather than having silence between them, I was trying to make the album as close as possible to our live show," says Dowd. "When we tour in 2008, we will be performing the album in it's entirety." The band which includes Willie B (drums and bass pedals), Michael Stark (keyboards), and Kim Sherwood-Caso (vocals) is at the top of their game. "I think this album really shows the depth and breadth of what Willie B and Michael Stark can do musically as it is filtered through my somewhat warped consciousness." Kim is back after being out for a few years to raise her two small children. "Now that she's back, I wanted to feature her and bring her singing into sharp relief to mine, to really emphasize the yin and yang of our musical relationship. I think her singing is better than ever - it has a cool intensity." "It's truly a band record - everybody brought their own vibe to the music." When asked about the theme of the record, Dowd said, "The theme is, as on my other records, the battle between the sexes. The overall message is: it's a war without winners, only survivors." The recording style was very basic. They limited themselves pretty much to eight tracks. "We tried to record live, with everyone in the same room. I realized that I work best with severe limitations. Otherwise, I follow a good idea with many bad ideas, a la Protools, the devil's workshop." Why opuses? "That's our tip of the hat to 70s prog/rock bands, as well as to other fine musicians from the past such as Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven," he said, grinning. ------- • Johnny Dowd takes his vision of the American music soundscape to the brink of Hell, creating a wholly individualistic concept album that totters over pop culture's chasm like the bastard son of Johnny Cash and Deep Purple, the mighty doom-laden swell of Hammond Organ punctuating every acerbic lyric... it does! • This is not really an Americana or Alt Country album as defined by the confines of those genres, altho it is definitely American Alt-Something, maybe Post-Progressive Rock, is that a genre we've just created? • There is nobody else on this planet like Johnny Dowd and we are proud to be his label.
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