Wynn broke up Dream Syndicate in 1989 (although they did reunite for a series of concerts in 2007) to define or «un-define» himself artistically as he put it. He has since released an array of solo efforts in various and often surprising musical styles. His first solo album was «Kerosene Man», which featured an inflammable mix of artists like bassist Mark Walton from Dream Syndicate, a duet with Johnette Napolitano from Concrete Blonde, backing bass by Fernando Saunders, drummer D.J. Bonebrake (uh-hu) from the L.A. punk band X, Howe Gelb of Giant Sands and saxman Steve Berlin from Los Lobos. At one point, he was also a contributing member of the notorious and legendary indie supergroup Gutterball. Then there was Baseball Project and Miracle 3 and another formation was Hazel Motes, a band he debuted in 2007 and which was named after the main character in Flannery O’Connor’s novel Wise Blood. The American classic that was put on film by John Huston, starring snakeyed Brad Dourif in the lead.
He’s an artist you won’t run into in the middle of the road. «Here Come The Miracles»(2001) has been his most successful solo-album to date. With the winds of more change in his back, Steve recorded «Live in Bremen» and «Crossing Dragon Bridge», both in 2008 and the latter in Ljubljana. Recorded ways away from home and the familiar, it even tantalises with ambient sounds and the use of drum programs. On his website he explains 2014 has been a busy year and mentions over 80 projects involving Dream Syndicate, Baseball Project and Miracle 3. But maybe he’ll «un-define» himself once again tonite because he predicts «It will be me, a hollow-body Gibson, a small amplifier and a pedal or two. I’m not a folkie , I want to r o c k , my musical history is tied to dynamics, volume and adrenaline. So come on out. I might be alone on stage but I’ll be looking forward to seeing a lot of friends, both old and new.» You hear?
«I don’t want to be a rock star, I want to be a legend» said Freddy Mercury. Actually, Dan Stuart became a legend the old fashioned way: He earned it and did he ever. Music-historically, look who’s into his work in more than a passing or referential way – avant-guardists like Wilco, Ryan Adams and Calexico and illustrous artists like Manic Street Preachers, Richmond Fontaine, John Dee Graham and Vivian Girls have covered his songs. Last year with Chris Cacavas and before that with the other half of Danny & Dusty he was present right here on our stage where legends have been known to be born, sometimes.
«The Deliverance of Marlowe Billings» from 2011 remains his comeback and most outstanding solo work which he recorded with the here not entirely unknown Sacri Cuori. (It’s named after a character in a novel by the misterious B. Traven). There’s now a double CD «Arizona 1993-95» that includes songs from his first solo effort «Can O’Worms», from «Retronuevo» (with Al Perry) and a to this date unreleased EP. He’s also known to have written an autobiographical down-and-dirty slice of life, again using his alter ego Marlowe B., and it supposedly contains descriptions of prodigious, wonderfully debauched drug use and the subsequent embarassments and an account of an escape from a notorious New York mental institution. Analyze this but the whole thing might just be about what Jim Harrison, no stranger to Southwestern life himself, wrote: «Some people hear their inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy…or they become legends.»
Any plans for the future, Dan? «Just to wake up interested. That’s the key. Oaxaca makes it easy». Que milagro and gracias a dios that this legendary artist stays interested and on occasion decides to leave his desert home to stop by us. Yes, what a miracle. You believe in that sort of thing, dontcha?