Editor’s note: well I can now die a happy man as this is the best Song:Illinois post ever. Not for anything I’ve written (my heads not that big) but for the music – for both it’s obscurity and beauty (and just plain brilliance)(oh yeah and for the You Tube video of Johnny Dowd and band covering T. Monk’s “In Walked Bud”).
I’ve been waiting for about a month to post the music of Hellwood. I guess you could say it was leaked to me with restrictions. But unlike the Thom Yorke and Joanne Newsome leaks, I don’t think the RIAA is going to come down very hard on me. The reason is each guy that’s part of this group is an outsider (not a faux-indie-outsider like Thom Yorke, Ryan Adams or Ben Lee) but a real honest to goodness lost soul with no ties to the recording industry’s corporate hootenany or to the multinationalists behind radio play or to the national press publications which are in bed with both their sponsors and their parent companies best wishes.
Hellwood is roots-rock-goth supergroup comprised of Jim White (here), Johnny Dowd and Willie B. They have recorded an album together titled Chainsaw of Life and are playing select European dates in October. The most interesting aspect of this record is to see how the minimalist approach of Johhny Dowd would gel with the wall of sound approach preferred by Jim White and also how that duo would integrate drummer Willie B (Neko Case, Sally Timms) into the mix. They’ve done a great job, at times there’s a sparcity that reminds me of Johnny Dowd’s solo music and at others a rich swampy feel that is more like the atmospheric americana of Jim White’s work. I could go on and on about these songs but just listen below.
Buy the new record here or at the live dates both in Europe and eventually in the states.
Bonus song from Johnny Dowd’s 2006 release Cruel Words
Ding Dong (worth the price of admission alone!)
Plus the aforementioned cover of “In walked Bud” with Mike Stark, Johnny Dowd, and Willie B recorded in Vancouver on August 6, 2006: