October 9, 2019
The ”Live at Grassroots 2006” CD-R is available now — only at this site, here.
This is a live recording of Johnny and the band’s performance at the GrassRoots Festival in Trumansburg, New York, in the summer of 2006. Band members at that time were Michael Stark, Willie B, and Kim Sherwood-Caso (shown on CD cover above). Includes a song performed by Tzar (Willie B and Michael Stark), with vocals by Eva Revesz.
Full song listing available on Store page. Track 9, “Demons and Goats,” is above.
September 11, 2019
Johnny will have a new CD out in a few weeks.
We’re doing a limited run of CD-Rs of his performance at the Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, New York, in the summer of 2006.
His bandmates at that time were Michael Stark, Willie B, and Kim Sherwood-Caso (shown on the CD cover above, with Johnny).
It will only be available here at his site. If you aren’t already on Johnny’s email list, please sign up here, and you’ll receive an email when the CD is available.
August 15, 2019
“Welcome, Jesus, to my broken shack....”
Here’s “Welcome, Jesus,” the final track on Johnny’s very first album, Wrong Side of Memphis, for your listening pleasure.
It’s spooky and true — and my personal favorite of all of Johnny’s creations. Wrong Side of Memphis (1997) is still available on the Store page here.
Many other CDs are also available, at bargain-basement prices, during our summer sale.
— Kat Dalton
July 29, 2019
We came across some copies of Johnny’s 2003 CD, Wire Flowers, and have made it available on the Store page (here).
Wire Flowers consists of 13 songs recorded at the same time as the songs on Johnny’s first CD, Wrong Side of Memphis, which garnered so much attention in 1997 when it was on Billboard's and other publications’ best-of-the-year lists.
You can read what Johnny said about Wire Flowers when it came out in the image below.
The summer sale is also still on. Lots of good bargains.
Hope you’re all enjoying your summer — or winter, if you’re one of Johnny's friends from down under!
May 31, 2019
We have gotten our hands on a few more copies of Hellwood: Chainsaw of Life, the CD Johnny made in collaboration with Jim White and Willie B in 2006. This CD is hard to find, but you can purchase it now on the Store page here.
Below is a review that appeared in Americana UK when Hellwood was released. Also below, photos taken during the making of the album by Kat Dalton, who also took the photo for the CD cover.
Hellwood: Chainsaw of Life
Welcome to Hellwood, population 3. Be afraid.
There has been a lot of collaboration on the Americana scene of late. The members of Golden Smog found the time to record a third long player while those busy guys in Calexico also tied-up with Iron & Wine for a release. Yet for lovers of the darker, weirder side of the genre, Hellwood is the one you’ve been waiting for. After nine years of talking about it, the cool and often creepy Johnny Dowd, a man that has that David Lynch knack of raising a laugh while he’s unsettling the hell out of you, has hooked up with his regular drummer and composer Willie B and the ‘hick-hop’ visionary Jim White to bring ‘Chainsaw of Life’ to the table. It’s a natural blend for the long-time friends who also worked together on the Jim White film ‘Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus.’
Despite associating these artists with the dirty south, the album was recorded in a cabin in central New York that was plastered with obituaries of dead musicians. It’s a weird and wonderful journey the three artists paint with characters and scenarios that stretch the imagination. With every listen, new nuances about these stories reveal themselves, whether it’s Dowd’s funky ‘God’s Back Pocket,’ which shares a theme with John Goodman’s character in ‘O Brother Where Art Thou,’ or the co-written frenetic ‘Man in a Plaid Suit’ about a frightened obscure man who only lets his hands out of the pockets of his Plaid suit at night.
The record is dominated by Dowd, his ‘Thank You Lord,’ ‘Chicken Shack’ and ‘The Good Die Young’ adding a forceful and heavy invective. White, however, tones down the darkness with the dreamy and beautiful numbers ‘A Man Loves His Wife,’ and ‘Dream On’ as well as the oddball pop of ‘Spider in the Bed.’ As such, the album is not a smooth ride as it veers between styles at an alarming rate and a multitude of voices are apparent. The appearance of a Talking Heads riff (‘Crosseyed & Painless’) on ‘Ten Commandments’ comes straight out of leftfield. However this only serves to intrigue.
For fans of Dowd, the inclusion of White augments his vision without watering down his style. For fans of White, Dowd gives his lyrics a creepier feel, the hip ‘Fireworks Factory’ a case in point. All three artists chime in with songs that would stand out on any of their solo albums and they feed off each other’s strengths. If you’re planning a trip anytime soon, Hellwood ain’t like any place you’ve been before.
Nic Fildes, Americana-uk.com
August 11, 2006
May 3, 2019
Got back from a fun tour in Europe a couple of weeks ago. Mike Edmondson and I had a great time. Saw a lot of my friends and fans (and their kids). We introduced a new dance to everyone called “The Butter Man.” It all seems like a dream at this point.
Special thanks to my partner in crime, Mike Edmondson, and to Park Doing who joined us the first week of the tour. Many thanks also to Jair Hoogland of Sedate Bookings and Kat Dalton.
Until we meet again — or for the first time.
— Johnny (the white Dolomite)
April 14, 2019
The Euro tour has been going great. Thanks to everyone who has come out to see Johnny and the band so far. There are still seven shows left. If you are in any of these cities, please come!
April 15: Sheffield (UK) - Greystones
April 17: Lewes (UK) - Lewes Con Club
April 18: Liverpool (UK) - 81 Renshaw
April 19: Gent (BE) - Het Ijle Land
April 20: Zeist (NL) - De Peppel
April 21: Karlsruhe (DE) - Kohi
April 22: Helmond (NL) - Lokaal 42
Ticket links here.
March 27, 2019
I’ll be hitting road next Thursday. Yikes.
I’m as ready as I’ll ever be and think we have a pretty entertaining show—including some choreography. I’ll have all my records for sale plus some artwork and Johnny Dowd masks!
Looking forward to seeing old friends and hope to make some new ones. — Johnny
Latest press for Family Picnic:
“Dowd has made a career of making music full of piercingly bleak, hard fought, gnarled dreamscapes that make David Lynch’s tales seem like those of a choir boy. But just when I thought I had him figured out, Dowd delivers a blues record so beautiful that I cannot stop playing it. It is also full of demons that live on a merry-go-round with feedback and distortion taking the places of the painted ponies going up and down. Paradoxically, it’s his most accessible music in quite a while, maybe ever.”
— Amos Perrine, No Depression (US)
“On these 14 new songs, Dowd, like America, has reverted to his dark, twisted country roots. In Dowd’s case, it’s a good thing.”
— MOJO (UK)
“....because the songs are so damn well put together (after two tunes it sounds like edits of long-forgotten classics from an indefinable past) and following each other at such a fast pace, this is perhaps the man’s most accessible record of the past decade.”
— Guy Peters, Enola (Belgium)
“The grizzled, weather-worn drawing of Dowd that peers out from the CD cover is matched by the dark and ramshackle country-blues noir within....’Vicksburg’ is a blood-drenched affair, the title track is anything but a picnic, and the country legend Conway Twitty gets a surreal namecheck.”
— Daily Express (UK)
“The album of the moment, and probably of the year, is without a doubt Johnny Dowd’s. Family Picnic is, pardon my French, a splendid cubist portrait of forty years of American music. Let’s say Georges Braque with a Fender amp and a flask of whiskey.”
— Dyl Dylan, Le Cri du Coyote (France)
March 1, 2019
Family Picnic is available now.
You can also purchase it digitally at Amazon and other digital outlets worldwide.
“On these 14 new songs, Dowd, like America, has reverted to his dark, twisted country roots. In Dowd’s case, it’s a good thing.” — MOJO (4 stars)
February 11, 2019
Howdy, good people.
My new album, Family Picnic, will be out in a couple weeks — March 1— and I will be headed across the mighty Atlantic soon after that. Yes, I’m living the life men only dream of! Seriously, I’m looking forward to seeing the Johnny Dowd faithful in Europe.
If you’re in the Ithaca, New York, area, don’t miss the CD release show at the Grayhaven Motel on March 1.
The album will be available on CD at this site and at shows. It will be available digitally at all the usual outlets.
January 8, 2019
Mike Edmondson and I are gearing up to cross the Atlantic with a whole passel of new tunes, along with some oldies and a couple of great covers. I’ll be bringing my buddy Park Doing to open for some of the shows. He’s wackier than I am, if you can believe that. Have added a few new dates. Complete tour schedule here.
The new record, “Family Picnic,” will be available March 1— at all the usual digital outlets and on CD on this site and on tour. Buy it!
December 5, 2018
April “Family Picnic” European tour dates announced today. Schedule and ticket links on Tour page here.
If you are in any of the cities on the tour, hope you can come!
“Family Picnic” will be released on March 1.
November 13, 2018
Johnny on his new album, Family Picnic, which will be released March 1:
“I had to dig pretty deep for this one. Not sure how many more tunes I have in me. Tick tock. This record took an unexpected turn to the past — my past. It’s kind of like Wrong Side of Memphis 30 years down the road. Surprisingly little has changed for me (emotionally, that is). I’m still drawn to the same themes — unrequited love, murder, general foolishness. Waltzes and shuffles and boom chuck beats abound. Ice cream chord changes. Plus Kim Sherwood-Caso and Mike Edmondson. What’s not to like? An Americana classic, if I do say so myself.”
Many thanks to artist Mike Massingham who created the woodcut for the cover of CD. He contacted us after meeting Johnny at his London show earlier this year and offered to do the artwork for the next album. We took him up on his kind offer. You can see the lovely result above. Below is Mike in his studio.
October 7, 2018
My new record, “Family Picnic,” is finished. Put a stake in it. Seriously, it’s pretty good. A little more in the roots rock bag than my last few discs. Waltzes, shuffles, etc. The songs translate well when played live. You’re in for a real treat if you come out to hear Mike and me. Planning on a Euro tour in April (with record release in March). Local shows here and there. Next one is October 19 (details here). Sail on.
P.S. Prices of CDs slashed on Store page. Have to make room for the new one.
August 14, 2018
Headed into the studio yesterday to put the icing on the cake — that would be Kim Sherwood-Caso’s vocals. She totally nailed it. I’m really pleased with how the record is turning out. Roots rock, if you can believe that. Lots of guitar, courtesy of Mike Edmondson. Will release the CD next spring.
July 12, 2018
The new record is coming along swimmingly. I guess if I were to put it in a genre, it would be Alt Country/Roots Rock/Americana, etc. They’re the kind of tunes I was writing 20 years ago. Mike Edmondson plays some great rock and roll guitar, and the icing on the cake is the return of Kim Sherwood-Caso (above), singing better than ever. Still some work to do, but this may be a breakthrough album. Grammys, here I come.
June 20, 2018
Here’s a track from Johnny’s Neon Baptist double CD — “Alien Tongue“ — recorded live on April 27, 1991, at The Nines in Ithaca, New York. Neon Baptist band members, in addition to Johnny, were Dave Hinkle, Jennifer Dowd, Mike Edmondson, Max Ormond, and Cally Arthur.
The double CD set, in cool tin CD holder, is available on the Store page HERE.
Hello good people. Working on a new record. Pretty early in the process, but so far it’s sounding like a grungy garage rock thing, circa 1965. My buddy Mike Edmondson laid down some nasty guitar tracks, and I tracked some vocals yesterday. Speaking of vocals, I’m going to get my old singing partner Kim Sherwood-Caso on this record. Sort of a return to Wrong Side of Memphis, nice and raw. Anyway, that’s what it’s sounding like at this point. Don’t hold me to it.
Opening for Southern Culture on the Skids on June 30 at the Haunt, here in Ithaca, NY. Gonna be a party.
May 12, 2018
Mike Edmondson and I had a great time on our US/Canadian mini-tour. Had two of the best breakfasts ever in Hamilton, Ontario (different days). Breakfast is my fave meal. Opened for Amy Rigby in Cleveland. She gave me a schooling on song writing!
Shout out to the good souls who came out to see us.
Time to get busy on my new record. Yet another change of direction.
What do you think about a greatest hits record — some of my old songs re-imagined in my new style? If you have an opinion, please send me an email here.
I now have postcards for sale on the store page. Also, “Twinkle, Twinkle” is available for a lower price this month.
April 24, 2018
Hello good people.
I’m headed out next week to do my song and dance (see May 1-5 on Tour page). Going to be fun, or I’ll know the reason why.
Started work on my new record. Have some dope beats and bass lines. Now, some lyrics. Hopefully my strangest but most accessible record thus far.
I will have reproductions of some of my artwork on postcards for sale soon. Who needs email?
“Twinkle, Twinkle” and a few Euro tour posters and t-shirts are still available here.
March 15, 2018
Headed back into the U.S. heartland (belly of the beast) for some gigs. Taking a little jaunt to Canada, too. Also putting together some new tunes and a new sound. I will be channelling my inner Bernie Worrell?!
Show dates here.
Also, the Euro tour posters are now available here. They are silkscreens, hand-printed by Melle de Boer who also designed the poster (below).
February 23, 2018
Just back from Europe. Great fun. Toured with a couple of great Dutch musicians, Melle de Boer and Suzanne Ypma, as well as an excellent road manager, Joost Tazelaar. I had my Sex Robots with me: Mike Edmondson and Anna Coogan. I ran into so many people I first met 20 years ago. Amazing. We are all still rocking. More or less. Many great memories, but the black night on the moors at the Band Room stands out. My face turned orange half way through the tour, but I’m back to normal now. Working on getting some U.S. gigs. — Johnny
February 10, 2018
Review of “Twinkle, Twinkle” in February 2018 Uncut, where it was Americana album of the month:
January 31, 2018
We’ve gotten some requests for the Euro tour t-shirts from people in the U.S. So we’ve put them up for sale on the Store page.
If you order now, Johnny will put one aside for you, in your size, and bring it home with him after the tour. Then we’ll ship in mid-February.
“Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” is both the name of the tour and the title of a track on Johnny’s latest album, “Twinkle, Twinkle.” Johnny’s co-bill on the tour, Melle de Boer, designed the shirt.
If you’re interested in having one, be sure to order soon. They could sell out on the tour.
The tour has been going very well. The show in London, in St. Pancras Old Church, was packed.
There are still nine more shows. If you’re in the United Kingdom or The Netherlands, please check out the schedule on the Tour page. The Antwerp show is sold out.
”Twinkle, Twinkle” CD available now on the Store page of this site. It‘s available digitally at all the usual outlets.
Uncut made it Americana album of the month in their February 2018 issue:
“Reverence be damned. . . . Twinkle, Twinkle finds the prolific miscreant sifting through some of the keystones of American blues, folk, and jazz and giving them a radical makeover. . . . few manage to recycle existing musical forms quite like him.” — Rob Hughes
Also a very perceptive review at Soundblab site here. An excerpt:
“’The coo coo is a pretty bird,’ Clarence Ashley once crooned on a scratchy bit of shellac sometime in early 20th Century. Well, Dowd’s version is just plain cuckoo. Here this well-worn standard sounds like it joined up with Devo after a 5th of Jim Beam. This bird is so mean, it will rip your heart out like a buzzard if you so much as tip toe around it. And you not only won’t recognize this ‘St. James Infirmary’, you’ll need directions home after sliding all over the guts spilled on the floor. In Dowd’s hands, Son House’s ‘John The Revelator’ reads more like a Dear John letter to Nietzsche’s lost, dead God. ‘Tom Dooley’ gets a make- over with a pair of brass knuckles. And God help you if you’re caught snoozing in this ‘House of The Rising Sun’. If that weren’t enough, Dowd has cut the most unsettling and terrifying version of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ you’ll ever hear. Mozart must be laughing in his grave.“ — Kevin Orton
January 7, 2018
Samples from the new album, ”Twinkle, Twinkle,” are up now on the Latest Release page. Includes full version of one of the tracks, ”Red River Valley.”
The CD will be for sale here and at Johnny‘s shows starting January 12. It will be available digitally worldwide.
If you are in The Netherlands, Belgium, or the United Kingdom, be sure to check out the dates for the European tour which starts January 25. It‘s a double bill with the fabulous Dutch artist Melle de Boer.
December 13, 2017
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.
November 26, 2017
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.
October 23, 2017
Look out, Europe, Johnny is coming back! This time, he’ll be touring as part of a double bill with the fabulous Dutch musician and visual artist Melle de Boer (hear his music here and here). They’ll tour the Benelux and UK in January and February.
Melle will perform songs from his new album, “Temporary Bandage,” and Johnny will perform songs from his new album “Twinkle, Twinkle” (to be released in January). They’ll also do a set together, and behind all the music will be images.
Mike Edmondson will join Johnny with vocals and guitar; and Suzanna Ypma will join Melle with vocals, drums, and synthesizer.
This show will be unique. If you’re in any of the tour cities, don’t miss it!
September 23, 2017
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.
Have some US gigs coming up, including three opening for the fabulous Pere Ubu (see Tour page: Pittsburgh; Washington, DC; Cincinnati). Will also tour Europe this winter. That will be something a little different, but I can’t reveal the details yet.
All for now.
August 9, 2017
Big news: I have some dates in November opening for one of my all-time favorite bands, Pere Ubu. Pittsburgh; Washington, DC; and Cincinnati. (See Tour page for dates.)
Also, my new record, “Twinkle, Twinkle,” is being mixed and will be released in January. I’m heading to Europe in late January.
See you down the road.
July 10, 2017
Here is “Wages of Sin,“ from Johnny’s Neon Baptist CD for your summer listening pleasure. It was recorded live on December 1, 1990. If you’d like the whole two-volume set of recordings from 1990-92, you can order here. They’re in a cool hand-made package.
Johnny will be performing songs from current projects at Casita del Polaris in Ithaca, NY, on July 15 and the Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, NY, on July 22.
June 22, 2017
Just got back from a mini southern tour—Local 506 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown, West Virginia; and Mouthhole Festival in Nashville, Tennessee.
All three gigs were a ton of fun. Mike Edmondson and I dubbed ourselves the Muggles Brothers for this tour. Jennifer Edmondson came with us and was a great help with the merch table. In Chapel Hill, I was able to visit with my sister and her husband who gave me an awesome madras jacket from the sixties! Thanks to the clubs for booking us and the people who came out to see us. Give yourself a big hand.
One of the highlights of the tour was an out-of-the-world lunch at Mama Kay’s in Princeton, West Virginia. The food was great, and the owners really made us feel at home. If you are in the area, check it out. Tell them Johnny sent you.
June 8, 2017
Johnny is about to leave for his mini U.S. tour:
Wednesday, June 14: Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
Friday, June 16: 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, WV
Saturday, June 17: The Mouthhole, Nashville TN
If you are in any of those cities, please try to come. He’ll be performing songs from his upcoming record.
May 19, 2017
Howdy all. I have finished tracking my new record, tentatively titled Twinkle, Twinkle. All the songs are in the public domain — “Tom Dooley,” “St. James Infirmary,” “Red River Valley,” “Rock of Ages” . . . you get the picture. It features Anna Coogan and Mike Edmondson on vocals. If you ever wondered what folk music would sound like in an electronic setting, this is it. I’ll release it on my own label, Mother Jinx Records. Not sure when. I’ll keep you posted.
On another front, I am doing a very short tour in the states. Check the Tour page for dates, and please spread the word.
All for now.
March 14, 2017
Fabulous weekend for Mike Edmondson and me. We played house parties in Buffalo, NY, and Ellwood City, PA (my new favorite town). Great hosts and lovely audiences (good food also). Thanks to our hosts Mark in Buffalo and John and Marianne in Ellwood City. Thanks also to Judy C for setting everything up.
Back to work on the new record. Musically, it’s all over the map (as usual). Later, people.
February 1, 2017
Very jazzed about my new project. I’m recording versions of some of my all-time, old-time favorite tunes, such as “Red River Valley,” “Trouble in Mind,” “John the Revelator,”and “Amazing Grace.” I’m blowing my own mind. Will they ever see the light of day? Only the shadow knows. Also doing some big band jazz type of recordings. Think Ben Webster struggling to escape a bag of noise.
Here’s a short version of “Amazing Grace“ my band Neon Baptist performed in 1991. Max Ormond on guitar. This and other live recordings on the double Neon Baptist CD available on my Store page.
January 2, 2017
It’s another new year coming like a freight train.
Working on some new stuff, as usual. Going in kind of a jazzy “Bitch’s Brew” direction, I think. Hard to tell at this point. Have a new band—Mike Edmondson and myself. He’s playing keyboard drums and guitar, and I’m doing other things.
Here’s another song I wrote and recorded for a donor to my Indiegogo campaign.
Happy New Year. — Johnny
December 17, 2016
Our friend and Indiegogo donor Michael agreed to let us share the song he commissioned for his partner. You will understand the significance of the photo above when you listen.
If you celebrate Christmas and are looking for some stocking stuffers, remember we’ve slashed prices on many of Johnny’s CDs to $5 on our store page. We also have some Zolar t-shirts and Neon Baptist CDs left from the Indiegogo campaign. Get them while you can.
Have a great holiday season, everyone!
November 30, 2016
Here’s a brand new Johnny song for you. Johnny wrote and recorded this for The Mouthhole who commissioned the song via his Indiegogo campaign earlier this year. The Mouthhole is a Nashville-based house venue run by Michael Sadler, Zac Caffrey, and Travis Caffrey. It hosts regular parties that feature live music, art, theater, and all things bizarre. It’s home to weirdo rock band The Chewers and electronic monkey man Chop Chop Chang.
Michael, Zac, and Travis created their own fund-raising campaign to raise money for their Johnny song in which they also wrote songs for donors. They wrote 36 songs altogether which are awesome! Be sure to check them out here. There’s even one written for Johnny.
We’ve added some new merch to the store page —
— Neon Baptist CDs: Two disks of live recordings of Johnny’s first band in handmade package including photo of Johnny from that era (photo below).
— Zolar t-shirts: Shirts worn by employees of Johnny’s moving company. Become an honorary Zolar employee!
— 7-inch vinyl: Johnny song on one side and Mark Lotterman song on the other.
We’ve also slashed the prices of older CDs. Maybe some of your friends and family would like Johnny music for Christmas? Or maybe Johnny’s song “Christmas is Just Another Day” would suit you? (It’s on the Cemetery Shoes CD.) All CDs will be autographed.
November 15, 2016
Just got back from a super fun tour of Europe. The crowds were great. They really opened their hearts (and wallets) to me and the Sex Robots.
I want to thank Mike Edmondson and Anna Coogan. They rocked it every night and did all the hard work behind the scenes (driving, merch sales, getting me out of bed). Also want to thank Mark Lotterman and Park Doing. They did the support on the tour and lit a fire under me every night (and also helped with the practical stuff).
Thanks to Sedate Bookings for a great job booking the tour, to Artist on the Road for supplying the van and equipment, and to Del Day of Ark PR for promo. It’s a pleasure doing business with you guys. And last, but not least, thanks to Kat Dalton, my wife and manager. Without her hard work, there would be no tour or indeed no Johnny Dowd music career.
Below are some of my photos from my instant camera which Kat got for me for the tour.
October 26, 2016
Videos from performance at Music Star, Norderstedt, Germany, on October 13. Directed and edited by Wolfgang Sedlatschek. Many thanks, Wolfgang.
October 22, 2016
Johnny and band are about halfway through their Euro tour. By all accounts, they’re having a blast. Photos are being posted on Johnny’s Facebook page almost daily — here. There are seven more shows — in UK, Belgium, and The Netherlands. You can check the schedule on the Tour page to see if any are near you.
October 11, 2016
That’s Mike Edmondson, Park Doing, Anna Coogan, and Johnny, just before they boarded their plane yesterday. They safely arrived in Amsterdam and will do their first show at Patronaat in Haarlem (NL) tomorrow. If you’re in the area, please come!
Full tour schedule here.
October 7, 2016
Johnny and band mates Mike Edmondson and Anna Coogan will be boarding a plane on Monday to head to Europe for the tour. Park Doing will be with them, because he’ll be support for the first ten days. After he leaves, Mark Lotterman will be support. Please check the dates here and come if you can. Promises to be mind-blowing shows!
Here are some snippets of reviews for the new album:
“Soaked in swirling guitars with extraterrestrial synth sounds throughout, Dowd here creates a piece which is on a par with the best of Beck.”
“Sometimes music shouldn’t be easy, and instead should be mysterious, idiosyncratic and the work of a true maverick. So we should welcome the arrival of a new Johnny Dowd album. . . . Never a man to run from the truth, if there was any justice, this guy would be a legend.“
— Acoustic Magazine (UK)
“Imagine if Hank Williams had mutated into Captain Beefheart, acquiring a bunch of primitive electronic equipment along the way, and you’ll get some idea of where Johnny Dowd is at on Execute American Folklore. . . . Gloriously deviant.“
— Andy Gill, The Independent (London)
This 14-song album is among Johnny Dowd’s best and, in an aberrant way, most accessible. Opener Unease and Deviance, which sounds like a disco single played at 33, is weirdly danceable, while the rap brag-a-thon Modern Woman is a gleeful sing-along. As well as a beatnik-hillbilly rap, there’s punk-blues too, SFX, synths, cool arrangements, and luckless characters who wouldn’t feel alone at a Trump rally.
— Oor (Netherlands)
September 9, 2016
Thanks again to all the Indiegogo campaign donors who made this release possible.
Here’s a nice review that came out today:
“Imagine if Hank Williams had mutated into Captain Beefheart, acquiring a bunch of primitive electronic equipment along the way, and you’ll get some idea of where Johnny Dowd is at on Execute American Folklore. The songs, narrated in Dowd’s ornery, fatalist drawl, feature his usual cast of hapless characters adrift in a world of mordant ill-fortune, but this time they are driven by mutant funk grooves crafted with buzzing, quacking synthesisers. ’Unease And Deviance’ sets the tone, harsh drum-machine driving its account of ’twisted terror, vicious pleasure’; before the protagonists of ’Sexual Revolution’ and ’Rhumba In The Park’ suffer their below-the-belt blows. But balancing this is the maniacal glee with which Dowd recounts the detriments of booze and drugs in ’Whiskey Ate My Brain,’ climaxing in the album’s most wonderfully tortured burst of guitar noise. Gloriously deviant.“ (4/5) —Andy Gill, The Independent (UK), September 9, 2016
September 3, 2016
The final batch of perks were shipped to Indiegogo donors last Thursday. Whew. About 200 packages went out all together. Thanks again to everyone who made Johnny’s campaign a success.
“Execute American Folklore“ will be released on September 9. CDs will be in stores and at Amazon in Europe (distributed by Cadiz Music), on this site, and at iTunes and other digital outlets worldwide.
A few reviews have been coming in, such as this one:
“Sometimes music shouldn’t be easy, and instead should be mysterious, idiosyncratic and the work of a true maverick. So we should welcome the arrival of a new Johnny Dowd album, which is like opening a case of gelignite. Whatever lurks inside, you know it ain’t going to be an easy ride, and this is no exception. ’Whiskey Ate My Brain’ comes on like some crazed ZZ Top out-take, before Mr. Dowd goes on to rail about his ’Modern Woman,’ and the demented title track does just what it suggests. Never a man to run from the truth, if there was any justice, this guy would be a legend.“ — Acoustic Magazine (UK)
Had a fabulous time at Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, New York, a couple of weeks ago. That’s Anna Coogan and Mike Edmondson there with me, and here’s an excerpt from Amos Perrine’s report at the No Depression site:
“Johnny Dowd was a firebrand last year playing very late on Saturday night. This year he did two sets—both special in their own distinct ways. Even when the material is much the same, as any Dowd fan knows, no two performances are alike. Such was the case here as he geared up for a European tour. The first night was vintage Dowd, hard edged as if he were William S. Burroughs with a guitar; the second afternoon set, as one dedicated follower put it, was more accessible. But I think clarity may be the more apt observation. In any event, both performances were spellbinding, as you never quite knew where this pre-/post-punkster tightrope walker, with a touch of insurgent alt-country, would take you. I even saw him smile a time or two.“
It indeed was a nice warmup for the European tour (dates here).
Indiegogo donors: The perks are almost ready to be shipped out. We picked up the Zolar t-shirts this week, and they look great. You Zolar Moving Company honorary employees will be stylin’!
The new record, “Execute American Folklore,“ will be released on September 9. Thanks again to Indiegogo donors for helping to make it happen.
July 15, 2016
Moving ahead with the new record and looking forward to the October European tour.
Perks for Indiegogo donors are being manufactured—Zolar t-shirts, Neon Baptist CDs—and will be ready to ship in August. Thanks again to everyone who contributed.
Perks are still available at Indiegogo in case you still want to order something.
Be sure to check out the songs The Mouthhole recorded (here) to raise money for my campaign. Very cool stuff. The one for Jade is a good one to start with.
July 3, 2016
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to Johnny's Indiegogo campaign for his new record, “Execute American Folklore.“ It was a huge success because of YOU.
We were getting requests for the Indiegogo perks—the new CD, Neon Baptist CDs, Zolar t-shirts—after the campaign ended, so we put the campaign into “In Demand“ which makes the perks available again.
Funds raised over goal will go to costs connected to the new record and the October tour to support it.
Thanks again for supporting Johnny!
June 30, 2016
Here’s another live recording of my first band, Neon Baptist — a punk version of “Presbyterian Wedding Bells,“ with Jennifer Edmondson tearing it up on vocals. Recorded at The Nines, Ithaca, NY, in September 1990.
The two-CD Neon Baptist package is available until this Saturday, July 2, 11:59 PM, PDT, on my Indiegogo page HERE.
June 28, 2016
Thanks to everyone who contributed to my Indiegogo campaign for my new album, “Execute American Folkore“—we reached our goal last evening. You had opened your hearts to me, and when I asked you to open your wallets, you really came through. I can’t thank you enough.
The campaign will stay open until this coming Saturday, July 2, at 11:59 PM, PDT. Perks are available until then, so if there was something you meant to get, you can do so through Saturday. Funds over the goal will also go to costs connected to the album.
Here’s a sample from the Neon Baptist CD package (at Indiegogo). It was recorded on April 27, 1991, at The Nines in Ithaca, New York. Besides me, you’ll hear Dave Hinkle, Jennifer Edmondson, Mike Edmondson, Cally Arthur, and Max Ormond. Hope you enjoy.
Thanks again for your support!
June 23, 2016
Indiegogo campaign extended
We were so close—89% of goal last night when the campaign was going to end. So I decided to extend the campaign ten days.
Indiegogo lets you extend just once. So I have until July 2 to get that final 11%.
I’ll be adding a new perk or two tomorrow. Will keep you posted on that.
Thanks to everyone who has brought me this far—I’m blown away by your kindness!
If you know anyone who might be interested in this project, please spread the word. It will help if I can reach new people. Remember there’s a sample from the album just below (“World Without Me“).
June 17, 2016
Hello everyone. Thought you might like to hear a song from my new album, “Execute American Folklore“ (at right).
If you like it, please make a donation to my Indiegogo campaign, so I can get this album into your hands! Lots of cool perks for donors:
Many thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.
Also. . . please help spread the word in these last days. Thanks.
June 14, 2016
Thanks, everyone, for your continuing support of my Indiegogo campaign. As of today, I’ve reached 64% of my goal.
In the past week, one fabulous donor chose the song perk, so I’ll be writing and recording a special song in July. That will be fun.
Remember, the song perk is still available. I’d like nothing better than to write a song for you, you, and especially YOU!
We reduced the donation necessary for the framed painting (below). It’s really a cool piece of art which has been hanging on my living room wall and was reproduced on the cover of my “A Drunkard’s Masterpiece” CD. It’s a vibrant watercolor by Kurt Herrmann and comes matted and framed.
Thanks again, and please help spread the word. There are only 10 days left in my campaign.
May 30, 2016
Big THANKS to everyone who has contributed to my Indiegogo campaign so far. Totally overwhelmed with your great support. Also appreciate all your nice emails.
I’d be grateful if you would spread the word. There are Facebook and other links on the Indiegogo page. About three weeks left. Here’s the link again:
May 23, 2016
I just launched my Indiegogo campaign for my new album. I think you’ll like the perks: the new album, Neon Baptist CDs, t-shirts, and more. Please check it out here:
There are a couple snippets from the new album in the video.
Will be grateful for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, emails to friends.....
May 17, 2016
I just finished my new album, “Execute American Folklore.” I’m really happy with it. I think it’s the most danceable one yet.
I’ll launch an Indiegogo campaign next week, because I need your help to get this album into your hands. There will be lots of cool perks for supporters (hint: Neon Baptist fans will be pleased). Will post the Indiegogo link next Monday or Tuesday.
My October European tour is booked. Just have a couple dates to fill; all the other shows are confirmed. Band members Mike Edmondson and Anna Coogan will be coming, and Park Doing will be support for the first half of tour and Mark Lotterman for the second half. Looking forward to seeing my friends on the other side of the pond! You can check out the schedule on my tour page here.
Remember, you can get the latest Johnny news sent directly to your inbox by signing up for my newsletter here. Just type your email address in the “Subscribe” box at top of page.
April 13, 2016
Johnny’s October European tour is almost all booked. We’ll announce the dates soon, when all the shows are confirmed. But, for now, we’re excited to announce Johnny’s support for the tour: Park Doing (above) for the first two weeks and Mark Lotterman (below) for the final week.
Park uses looped live vocals and guitar, beats, atmospheric sounds, morse code, and other samples to create a very cool experimental folk music. He started out as a punk rocker, playing at the famous CBGB and Bowery Ballroom in New York. His current musical project is the space folk opera, “Woody Guthrie Meets the Sun.“
Our good Dutch friend and talented songwriter Mark Lotterman is one of our favorite musicians, too. Check out his current multimedia project, “Holland,“ here.
March 19, 2016
Johnny and the band had a blast at Lincoln Center. There was a good crowd, and the show went well. Thanks again to Martin Folkman and his lovely wife and business partner, Jude Folkman, of the Independent Music Awards, for making this happen. A night to remember!
March 2, 2016
This to remind Johnny’s fans in the New York City area that he will be performing at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center next week—Thursday, March 10, at 7:30 PM. The show is an Independent Music Awards (IMA) event. (It’s not an awards show, only performances.) Band members Mike Edmondson and Anna Coogan will be performing with Johnny, and Bent Knee is also on the bill.
The show is free, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for more information at the Lincoln Center web site. The Independent Music Awards Facebook page for the event is here. The David Rubenstein Atrium’s Facebook page is here.
It promises to be a fabulous show. Catch it if you can!
Many thanks to Martin Folkman and the Independent Music Awards for organizing this show and for their ongoing commitment to indie artists.
Ithaca-area folks can catch Johnny at the Rongo in Trumansburg this Saturday, March 5.
February 16, 2016
Johnny has a new band member: the talented Anna Coogan (shown above with Johnny). She’ll be performing with Johnny and Mike Edmondson at the Lincoln Center show on March 10 and will also be on the European tour in October.
If you’re in the New York City area, do try to catch the Lincoln Center show—Johnny doesn’t get to New York very often. It’s in the David Rubenstein Atrium and free. It's one of the Independent Music Awards’ (IMA) two shows a year at the Atrium. Thanks again to Martin Folkman at IMA for inviting Johnny to do this. Click here for more information about the show.
January 19, 2016
We have exciting news: Johnny will be performing at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in New York on Thursday, March 10, at 7:30 PM. Our good friend Martin Folkman of The Independent Music Awards invited Johnny to perform as part of their semiannual program at the Atrium. Also on the bill is Bent Knee, an art-rock band from Boston.
The show is free, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for more information at the Lincoln Center web site. The Independent Music Awards Facebook page for the event is here. The David Rubenstein Atrium’s Facebook page is here.
Many thanks to Martin for asking Johnny to do this! It should be a fabulous show.
December 16, 2015
In the spirit of the season, we’d like you to have this free download—Johnny’s version of “Jingle Bells.“ This was recorded live. We aren’t sure where or when! Besides Johnny, you’ll hear Kim Sherwood-Caso (vocals), Willie B (drums), and Justin Asher (guitar).
Above is a photo taken on Christmas morning, a long time ago—Johnny, photographed by his father, in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
The “Best of 2015“ lists are starting to appear. We see that Johnny’s That’s Your Wife on the Back of My Horse made the Here Comes the Flood list (here).
Best wishes to you all for a happy and musical holiday season.
November 7, 2015
Here’s a little treat for you: a free download of Johnny’s song “Testify,” performed by his band Neon Baptist on January 11, 1991, at The Haunt in Ithaca, New York. Band members, in addition to Johnny (vocals/guitar), were Dave Hinkle (bass), Mike Edmondson (guitar), Jennifer Dowd (drums/vocals), Cally Arthur (vocals), and Max Ormond (guitar).
If you would like Johnny to put out a CD of live Neon Baptist recordings, please let us know via the contact page. He has a lot, possibly enough good ones for a double-CD release.
We have reduced prices on CDs on the store page. Maybe you have friends or family who would like recordings by a scary troubadour for Christmas.
October 12, 2015
Many thanks to Louk Voncken for the video (above) he created for Johnny’s song “White Dolemite,“ from That's Your Wife on the Back of My Horse.
October 7, 2015
Johnny and Mike Edmondson performed on Anna Coogan’s front porch at Porchfest, Ithaca, New York, on September 27. Anna joined them on some of the songs, such as the one shown in this video shot by Johnny’s sister, Jennifer Edmondson.
Anna and Willie B are currently on tour in Europe. If you are in any of the cities they’ll be in, be sure to check them out. Their tour dates are here.
Johnny will be touring Europe himself in October 2016. He’s working hard on his new record which will be released in September 2016.
September 11, 2015
Here's a free download for you. It‘s a new song I wrote called “Walk Away.“ This recording is from my show at El Lokal, Zurich, Switzerland, in April of this year.
July 31, 2015
Just finished four fantastic gigs with the fabulous Mekons. What a great band—and good folks. Mike Edmondson and I were warmly received by the audiences. Makes me want to start gigging more in the good old USA.
I’m just getting started on my new record and have a good feeling about it. If you don’t have my latest, That’s Your Wife on the Back of My Horse, it’s not too late to buy it.
Please check out my friend Andy Weaver’s posthumous record, Sometime Man, released on English Electric Records. You can read a very nice review here. “It’s raw, intense, vital, and uncompromising—just like the man.”
We lost Andy much too soon. He was a great songwriter and musician from Sheffield, UK, with whom I had the pleasure of working over the years. His wife, Joi Rathbone, asked me to help with the production of Sometime Man. It was an honor. Matt Saccuccimorano did an amazing job on the mixes.
June 8, 2015
Tested out my “concept” last night at Felicia’s (Ithaca): Mike Edmondson playing the Korg Wavedrum and yours truly on the baritone guitar. A few kinks to work out before we hit the road with The Mekons, but, overall, we made a glorious racket. I’ll be posting some examples soon.
The 7-inch vinyl I made with Mark Lotterman is now available on the store page. Sending to U.S. addresses only because shipping it to Europe is very expensive. But if you are in Europe and really want one, please send us a message via the contact page, and we can let you know the cost. Only have 15 copies.
A lovely Romanian woman, Ruxandra Stoian, interviewed me for her blog. You can read the interview here.
May 12, 2015
Oh, boy! Mike and I are opening for rock ’n’ roll legends The Mekons for four dates in July. Don't miss this. (See tours page for schedule.)
May 5, 2015
Tour report from Johnny
Things lost: toothbrush and toothpaste, two beautiful egg holders (gift from Pim and Niek), eyeglasses.
A tour is kind of like a rabbit’s tail, too short or too long. Depends if you are coming or going.
Stayed with Pim and Niek Hoogland after the show in Krefeld, Germany. Potters. They live on the grounds of a monastery. The nuns dress in pink and have taken a vow of silence. The priests do the shopping.
I met a blind Kung Fu master in Brighton. He used to manage bands, talked like a pirate and offered to manage me. Wonderful fellow. Irish, I think.
Did a bunch of shows with Mr. Mark Lotterman, a Dutch singer, songwriter, and extraordinary talent. He is a prince of a fellow. We may do an album together about a woman from Denmark who came to Holland and killed her landlord. She was hung—Rembrandt made a drawing of this.
My sister Jennifer Edmondson and her husband Mike were on the tour with me. Jennifer handled the merch. Mike drove and played guitar. They did a fantastic job and taught me a lot about plants (their usual business is landscaping).
Played an alt-country festival in Hengelo, Netherlands. Cleared the room in two minutes. I guess I still have the magic touch.
At the Guitar Bar in Nottingham, we all wore funny hats.
In Lille, France, and Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the shows were on boats. A French girl said my blues name should be “Gin Apple Johnny.”
Spent a couple of days at the end of the tour with my buddy Rik van Iersel and his lovely wife Agnes. Rik and I did some recording and made a dance video.
Thanks to Jair Hoogland at Sedate Booking and to Kat Dalton for all their hard work on this tour. Thanks also to all the people who came to see us.
On the last day of the tour, I was eaten by balloons.
—If you haven’t already, please subscribe to Johnny’s email list (go to contact page, scroll down).
April 18, 2015
Welcome to Johnny’s new site. He’s in Europe right now, on tour to promote his new album, “That's Your Wife on the Back of My Horse,“ and having a blast.
He asked me to thank everyone who has come to his shows—he really enjoyed seeing and talking to you. Some of the shows in the UK were sold out, and the response in general has been phenomenal. There are still some shows left. Please check the tours page to see if there will be one near you.
Mike Edmondson has been accompanying Johnny on some of the songs, and the talented songwriter/musician Mark Lotterman was on the bill for all the UK shows, as well as the Eeklo and Lille shows. Be sure to check out his music if you haven’t already. If you like Johnny, you will like Mark—they’re kindred spirits. Mark will be catching up with Johnny again for the Zeist show.
We hope you like the new site. Our plan is for Johnny to regularly upload interesting little audio clips—music he’s working on, recordings from shows, verbal meanderings. . . who knows what. Feedback is always appreciated. You can email Johnny via the form on the contact page.
April 23 update: There are some nice photos of the V11 show in Rotterdam at the Zinesters site here.