Tinnitist TV | Episode 28: Johnny Dowd

The grizzled American troubadour on songwriting, being clever, postcards & more.

Johnny Dowd is living proof that it’s never too late to start all over again.

The 73-year-old American troubadour didn’t release his first album Wrong Side Of Memphis until he was nearly 50. Hell, he didn’t even start playing guitar until he was in his 40s. Since those humble beginnings, however, he hasn’t looked back. And this late bloomer has certainly made up for lost time, releasing more than two dozen live and studio albums in as many years. Most of them feature his rough-hewn, idiosyncratic blend of alt-country, blues, southern soul and garage-rock — all topped with deadpan hickory-twang vocals and off-kilter, black-humoured lyrics about love, lust, family, death and religion.

His latest album Homemade Pie, which came out on New Year’s Day, is no exception. Recorded in his home studio with his longtime touring band, the back-to-basics affair features a batch of ramshackle nuggets about travelling salesmen, Trump, Jesus and Jerry Lewis — along with pie, of course. A few days after the album’s release, the grizzled, slow-talking Dowd and I had a great, rambling Zoom chat about songwriting, recording, politics, his campaign to bring back postcards and plenty more. Enjoy. And while you’re at it, read my review of Homemade Pie HERE, check out some of his music below and get the full Johnny at his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Bandcamp.