Dylan Walshe Take in a Stray … a review of Soul Hell Cafe

Dylan Walshe
Soul Hell Café

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Roughly two years ago, Dylan Walshe released “Blind is Blind” on Germany’s Squoodge records. It was a limited single that introduced 300 lucky listeners to the depth and craftsmanship of a musician who not only understood heart-aching song-writing, but had the skill to pull it off.

While the world moved on and people slept amongst feelings of emptiness and loss, Walshe toured, wrote, and sharpened his skill into a weapon suitable for slicing emotions and carving into the soul. Walshe cut his swathe on local gigs, ultimately earning a place on the Muddy Roots circuit, and, all the while, working under the world’s radar.

Walshe’s knowledge and voice are his keenest weapons. Scroll through his Facebook page and read his insights into Blues and Folk or just grab a copy of his recorded live performance in Bremen, Germany, at the Soul Hell Café, and his place long musical legacy rolls out like an invading army. Within the originals on Soul Hell Café, there are hints of  Billy Bragg’s vocals (“Luck is a Beggar, Luck is an Tinker”) scatterings of Springsteen harmonica slams (“Death Dance”), all centered around the controlled fury of Shane McGowan. The release a live recording over a studio effort was the only logical way to even begin to showcase the power and glory of Washe’s capabilities. Make no mistake, Walshe’s skills are razor sharp and he wields them with deadly accuracy.

It takes balls to release a live album as a freshman effort. And is if it wasn’t tough enough, it puts hair on those balls to cover one of the The Clash’s greatest songs and give it a voice of its own. There are a few Youtube clips of Walshe covering “Straight to Hell”, but they don’t come close to merging new life into Strummer’s universal concern for humanity contained in these five minutes. It’s a track of true beauty that shows, along with the acapella “Grinnin’ In Your Face”, Walshe’s comfort in the steps of those who came before him.

Bibliodiscoteque Episode 44 – Best of 2013

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Episode 44 – The Best of What I Heard This Year 2014

It was a great year for my stereo.
It quite honestly felt as though each week I was finding a new favorite album or band of the year. So, as December creeps in like a red garbed fat bastard, I leave you with a treat: a collection of some of my favorite tunes. No, they aren’t all from 2013, some are from reissues, albums released in Dec 2012, or just one’s that came to my attention in the last 330-odd days. These are the tracks that ranked highest in my playlist. In no order other than to allow for the most pleasurable auditory experience.

X-Craft on Tirpitz – Wild Billy Chyldish & CTMF
Adam & Evil – Rev. Tom Frost
The Creature from the Black Lagoon – The Monsters
I Can’t Get No – Thee Oh Sees
Apocalypse Blues – Evelinn Trouble
Blind is Blind – Dylan Walshe
Ol’ Ted’s Habits – Twin Beasts (formally The Toot Toot Toots)
Life Worth Livin’ -Uncle Tupelo
O’ Be Joyful – Shovel & Rope
Siren – Slaughter Daughters
Old Fashioned Man – Becky Lee and Drunkfoot
The Second Generation Punks – Wild Billy Chyldish
Born to Kill – The Thermals
Wasting My Time – The Jackets
Mirror Mirror – The Creeping Ivies
Social Network – Thee Spivs
Heart Healing (Part 1) – Volage

Shakin’ Your Ass – The Shit

The ‘Year in Review’ Review

My favorite releases of the past year (in no particular order).

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Tullycraft – Lost in Light Rotation
After a prolonged absence, Tullycraft return with a armload of Twee tunes for the masses. Let the hipsters rejoice! Tullycraft have been putting out amazing records since before you were ironically cool. All the same great sounds you remember from the 90’s but now with Phil Ek producing.

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Slaughter Daughters – Demo (Bandcamp)
There is an heir of Greek tragedy and religion floating around in this fantastically sweeping demo. Slaughter Daughters work that line between folk and punk  like the very Fates themselves.

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the Creeping Ivies – Stay Wild (Dead Beat Records)
Ok, this was released on Dec 12, 2012, but the rawness and fury of The Creeping Ivies actually propelled it into a Best of 2013 list.

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Wild Billy Chyldish & CTMF – All Our Forts are With You (Damaged Goods)
This year’s Billy Childish project is easily the strongest since Thee Headcoats. There is a sense of nostalgia working its way through these tracks, but not the ‘pity me’ reflective tone that haunts many great many aging artists. These are the songs most of my generation would be writing and all should be listening to.

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Dyan Walshe – Blind is Blind 7” (Squoodge Records)
Keep an eye on this folk troubadour: For not only is he apparently indestructible, but his sound and knowledge are timeless.

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Reissue of the Year: Reverend Beat-Man and the Un-Believers – Get On Your Knees LP (Voodoo Rhythm Records)
Released in 2000, this bad boy is now on vinyl and itching to blow holes through your speakers.

Review Dylan Walshe – Blind is Blind

Dylan Walshe
Blind is Blind 7”
Squoodge Records

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We live in an age of new-roots music. It seems like almost every other band is singing about backwoods country and trying desperately to prove they ‘get it’. But most only  come off as if their sound has been filtered through Hee Haw and a single Hank Williams track. Sure, some bands pull it off, but mostly the songs lack any feelings, emotion, or depth. They sound like cheap imitations circumventing the effort of being an aficionado for a trend: Music for scensters with one foot already  into the next big thing. So, when someone comes around who knows the score and shows reverence for those who preceded him, you’d be a damn fool to ignore him. Don’t ignore Dylan Walshe.

In “Blind is Blind”, Dylan Walshe aligns himself with no particular sound, but, instead, displays an obvious in-depth passion for composition. His songwriting aches of the early New York folk revival with a focus on showing experience rather than simply telling about it. His guitar work blankets each track in a familiar warmth that never oversteps its role, but screams of honed practice and control: There are no stray notes and each one understands its role. Dylan’s voice is smooth and haunting giving each word its own sense of value and importance. The end result is three tracks that are  comforting, new, and excellent.

There are only 150 copies of this recording in the world. It may not be enough to stem the tide of lackluster bands, but its a damn fine start.

Fan Service # 2 – Bob Dylan

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Episode #2 – Bob Dylan

Tell Us Dylan – The Sandals – Pebbles Presents: High in the Mid Sixties
(for Morgan McDannell)
HARD TIMES IN NEW YORK TOWN – Bob Dylan – The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9)
Song To Woody  – Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan
I’m So Depressed – Delaney Davidson – Bad Luck Man
A Public Execution  – Mouse – Youtube Rip (for Josh Latta)
Lay, Lady, Lay – Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline (for Steve Smith)
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home (for John Troupe)
Simple Twist Of Fate – Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks (for Susan Sward)
Look What I Made Out Of My Head Ma – Pete Molinari – A Virtual Landslide
Ballad Of A Thin Man – Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (for Danny Rollingstone)
The Ballad Of Hollis Brown – Nina Simone – Four Women: The Complete Nina Simone On Philips
Maggie’s Farm – Bob Dylan – Youtube rip (for Effin Mat)
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat – Beck – War Child
It Ain’t Me, Babe – Bob Dylan – The Essential Bob Dylan (for Brooke Hensley)
Don’t Think Twice – Mike Ness – Cheating At Solitaire
Dear Landlord – Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding (for Katie LeClerc)
Blind Is Blind  – Dylan Walshe – 7” (for all of us)
This Wheel’s On Fire – Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes
Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) – Kris Kristofferson – Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years
Masters Of War – Bob Dylan – The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9)
Like Dylan In The Movies – Belle & Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister
You’re A Big Girl Now – Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks (for Paul Lupino)
Bob – Weird Al Yankovic – The Essential Weird Al Yankovic (for Rich Marrese)
Bob Dylan’s Dream – Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Dylan Walshe

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This past week I had the absolute pleasure of talking to Dylan Walshe. Dylan is a Stummerville favorite and plays regularly between London and Dublin.

I came across Dylan’s music through the label Squoodge Records  and was immediately blown away. Some artists just grab you right off the bat and there is something universally salient about Dylan’s voice. In fact, this may be that voice that people here when that big white light shines and the tunnel opens. It is familiar and yet slightly strained as if he is both calling out and apologizing at the same time. His version of Lonesome Valley alone sets him apart from the slew of troubadours bringing folk/blues to our savage cities, but it is the original Blind is Blind which shows his chops as a songwriter as well.

Check out Dylan’ track below and reserve some pennies for when this 7″ drops. You’ll kick yourself for missing out.

art by Mark Shuttleworth