June 4, 2009

Michael Dean Damron - Father's Day (2009)

I'd be surprised if fans of the Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood and Lucero's Ben Nichols aren't immediately drawn to Portland's similarly scratchy-voiced Michael Dean Damron and his barroom folk songs of heartbreak and regret. I also hear a lot of Steve Earle's simultaneously world-weary and rebellious attitude. He seems to aspire (and fit) Earle's definition of a "Hard Core Troubadour", a song referenced on "I'm A Bastard". Damron's soulful vocals on "Dead Days" mix acceptance and reflection and allow the electric guitar to provide a touch of optimism. Like early Bottle Rocket's albums, black humor runs throughout Father's Day, evident in songs like "Boy With A Car" and "SOS", which could be country punk if he picked up the pace. As usual, I tend to favor the electric guitar and harmonica driven tracks like "Tornado Song", but he does justice to the slower acoustic numbers as well, like a couple of covers of Townes Van Zandt and King Harvest.


Nightrain said...

Some of this also sounds like the band California.