Home Read Classic Album Review: Johnny Dowd | Temporary Shelter

Classic Album Review: Johnny Dowd | Temporary Shelter

Welcome to the perfect soundtrack for a midnight drive down a deserted highway.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


“The flesh is temporary, but forever are my momma’s bones.” I’m not exactly sure what the hell Johnny Dowd means by that — and I’m not so sure I want to find out. After all, that would involve getting closer than I might like to the fiftysomething singer-songwriter, who easily ranks as the most magnificently creepy cult singer this side of Nick Cave.

Similarly obsessed with love, God, sin, death and murder, Dowd’s disquieting deadpan twang creaks like a dead hickory branch scraping against a tombstone, while his guitar howls and moans like the wind coming off the bayou on a moonless night. Factor in a backing band and a female vocalist who help him create a twisted sound somewhere between The Residents, Tom Waits and The B-52’s on serious downers, and you’ve got the perfect soundtrack for a midnight drive down a deserted highway. But if you see a craggy-faced white-haired dude with a guitar hitch-hiking, just keep on driving.