+ David Nance
Simon Joyner is a storied Americana singer-songwriter and guitarist who was mentioned by Beck in the early 90’s as one of his favorite 10 artists, when asked by Rolling Stone. The legendary dj John Peele once played Simon’s album «The Cowardly Traveler Pays His Toll» straight through from beginning to end. Noteworthy also are his collaborations with Mountain Goat’s John Darnielle. He’s learnt from the best, like Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan he says, while carving out a space uniquely his own. He doesn’t tour that often anymore, he’s taking a time-out with his family, taking things easy or tending to his antiques store. Tonight though, Simon’s introducing his latest, 13th and double album he recorded with his 9-piece backing band, The Ghosts. Titled «Step Into The Earthquake» it’s an expansive work that features subtle arrangements that tandem with his masterful lyrics, exploding with ideas. Words that have things to say and critically comment on the current and failing American experiment and the anxiety it’s creating. «Where do we go from here?» he’s asking. Repeating an eternal question Gauguin also asked but couldn’t answer.«Omaha has given us the reigning heir to Henry Miller's dark emotional mirror, Townes Van Zandt's three-chord moan, and Lou Reed's warehouse minimalism: His name is Simon Joyner.» – Gillian Welch
«Some songs were unused for half a decade, some songs were changed the day before recording and some songs recycled and reinterpreted from the last album leftovers.» Sounds pretty sane to us. But then you listen to his insane lyrics, uh-huh, and you’re safely back in that other part of David Nance’s brain. Like in «DLATUMF Blues» (Don’t Look At This Ugly Mother Fucker Blues). Crazy Guy? It’s the loosey-goosey «Negative Boogie».
Two from the road at El Lokal. Where the unexpected is to be expected. You can bet the farm on it.