Tom Dyer – I Ain’t Blue Anymore
Tom Dyer is a gruff multi-instrumentalist blues man from Seattle who’s been around the for block long enough to have honed his craft and cut his teeth into sharps of pure effectiveness. As if playing music weren’t enough he also is president of Green Monkey Records where he records and masters most of the labels releases, including his own. His eighth album, I Ain’t Blue Anymore, marks a bit of a departure from his previous rambling bluesy ways, not that this isn’t an album thoroughly steeped in some of the blues tradition, although I Ain’t Blue Anymore is a different kind of monster.
Playing every instrument from top to bottom and for the most part writing every hook you hear, Dyers music is varied and far bigger than just the blues. I’d venture to say that It would fall more under the category of quirky Americana gypsy folk blues and then some. It’s like he’s taken all the roots and seeds of American music, made them his own and then painted them several shades of blue.
There are times when his songs swerve into an odd sort of crazed place where the guitar is all warped and song structure is tossed out the window. Then just when you think he comes back to being blue he throws down a tune like “John the Revelator” that reminds me of some old time chain gang chant. Or take “Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or the Big Dig)” which has a Louisiana mud stomp feel that puts the shine back into moonshine, while the instrumental “Pass The Jug” has a deep backwoods flavor that is both odd in charm and telling as to how deep Dyers musical influences and output run.
It’s a bit unavoidable to hear shades of Tom Waits while listening to this music. Not so much Tom Waits of the 70’s and 80’s but more of the stuff he’s done in the last 15 years or so. That stuff you hear that makes you think that somewhere along the line he drank a cup of crazy water and it just happened to meld well with his musical ability and genius.
Tom Dyer’s music not only has spirit, it is rooted in tradition, ripe with potential and different enough to bring a pause for thought, and that to me is worth it’s weight in gold.
~ Nathan Pike
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