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MP3 Eric Corne - Kid Dynamite & The Common Man

A genre bending tour de force packed with sonic adventure & indie rock spirit from this producer/engineer whose credits include Lucinda Williams & Glen Campbell. Features: Nick Urata (DeVotchKa), Greg Leisz (kd lang), Richie Hayward (Little Feat)

10 MP3 Songs in this album (42:11) !
Related styles: ROCK: Album Rock, ROCK: Americana

People who are interested in Neil Young Wilco Elvis Costello should consider this download.


By Bliss Bowen

“Sounds like Neil Young and Elvis Costello had a baby
and asked Tom Waits to be the godfather.”
—Brian MacLeod (Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley)

Eric Corne’s new album, Kid Dynamite and the Common Man, is the culmination of a circuitous journey — one that’s taken him from the same Toronto indie-rock scene that spawned Feist, Stars and Broken Social Scene, to being mentored in Los Angeles by widely respected producer and bassist Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam) at Mad Dog Studios, which Corne affectionately calls “Roots Central.” As Mad Dog’s go-to engineer and producer — Wakeman’s handpicked successor — Corne has befriended a cast of blue-chip players who not only animate Kid Dynamite, but are also helping him realize his dream of establishing a musical stable akin to Stax or Motown.

The roster of musicians on Kid Dynamite and the Common Man reads like a who’s-who of LA rock and roots royalty: Richie Hayward (Little Feat, Eric Clapton), Greg Leisz (Dave Alvin, Wilco), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Ray LaMontagne), Brian MacLeod (Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley), Santa Davis (Bob Marley & the Wailers, Peter Tosh), Skip Edwards (Dwight Yoakam, Chris Hillman), Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits, Mavis Staples), Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen, the James Gang), Freddy Koella (Bob Dylan, Willy deVille), Dave Raven (Mike Ness, Lowen & Navarro), Johnny Bazz (the Blasters, Ryan Bingham), Carl Byron (Anne McCue, Warren Zevon), Sasha Smith (Jesca Hoop, Devendra Banhart), Danny Frankel (k.d. lang, Victoria Williams), C.C. White (Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker), Eamon Ryland and Brett Borges of Humdinger and, of course, Dusty Wakeman (Jim Lauderdale, Michelle Shocked). Nick Urata of Denver''s DeVotchKa sings backgrounds on two tracks.

As a producer and engineer, Eric Corne (Glen Campbell, Walter Trout, Lucinda Williams, DeVotchKa) is prized for his innate musicianship, his easygoing rapport with musicians from diverse backgrounds, his intelligence and his gift for deep listening. Not surprisingly, those same qualities inform his work as an independent artist. Corne began recording demos in his Toronto basement in 2004, while taking a break from his space-pop band Mysterio. During that same period he accepted an invitation to visit Los Angeles. A fortuitous meeting with Wakeman convinced him to relocate his family to LA and accept a position at Mad Dog, where he retreated from performing and focused on sharpening his studio skills. Eventually, Wakeman encouraged him to record Kid Dynamite at Mad Dog.

Comprised of 10 thematically linked songs, Kid Dynamite and the Common Man deals with the search for a rightful place, and meaning, in a landscape of shifting alliances and absolutes. Corne, who majored in political science at Montreal’s McGill University, refrains from revealing specifics, but it’s clear that these songs, which incubated over a six-year period, are his response to global events in the wake of 9/11. Tracks like “Not Familiar,” “Blackguard” and “Evil Men” are rife with images of duplicity and paranoia, while “Dead End” and “Common Man” seek to build bridges of connection and understanding.

“Most of the songs are about conflict,” he acknowledges, “whether it’s man vs. himself or man vs. society...”

“When I was demoing tracks myself, the songs had more of an indie-rock vibe,” Corne recalls. “Bringing in all these other musicians, the songs became more expansive, allowing me to explore various styles more deeply.”

“I focused a lot on how I would ‘cast’ the songs,” Corne says, “because there are so many people on this record. I work with many of them regularly, and while it’s not uncommon to get people of that renown to play on a record, what is a little uncommon is to have so many of them playing on one record. That makes it even more interesting. You produce in a different way when you bring in musicians of that caliber. A lot of the production is in the casting, and then you’re just steering it to make sure the feel and instrumentation are right.”

Listening to the guitar-fueled title track and the relatively pastoral “Trampolines,” it’s clear Corne’s influenced by another Canadian headquartered in America: Neil Young. He also points to writers like Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and Joe Strummer as important influences.

Two of the songs date back to his Mysterio days: the seductively lilting “Not Familiar” and “Evil Men,” which rides the tension between Skip Edwards’ rollicking piano and Freddy Koella’s nasty slide guitar. “Nobody Plays Here Anymore” throws some reggae spice into the mix, while the somewhat autobiographical “Stop and Stare” encapsulates the album’s overall theme. “It’s kind of a "Crossroads" tale but in a prairie setting. It''s about the compromises you have to make to move forward, and what guides you better than anything else: your gut and your conscience. If you trust that, usually you’re OK...But we all get tempted by bigger things.”

Now that his “baby” has arrived, dressed up in colorful packaging ready to meet the world, Corne is figuring out where to take it. His goals have changed a bit over the past few years.

“Initially, I was thinking that it would just be a really good calling card for me as a producer and engineer, because it showcases my work and the type of musicians that I can bring in on projects,” he says. “I wasn’t really over thinking it; I was just recording the songs that I had written and having fun with my friends. I was tired of trying to work a band — I love working in the studio because you’re always building something, like a sculpture. That’s really exciting to me — documenting performances. But at the same time, my background is more as a performer.”

He’s been studying the example of artists-cum-producers Daniel Lanois and T-Bone Burnett.

“Lanois and Burnett are artists in their own right, but their focus is in the studio. I would never put myself in their league, but I really admire what they’ve been able to do, and if I can approach something like that, that would be my dream, my goal. … I’d love to do a record every three to five years, and have just enough of an audience, like those guys have, that it’s worthwhile. But at the same time I want to be able to produce or engineer 10 records a year.” He’s releasing this under his own imprint, Forty Below Records, and plans to use this as a launching pad for other artists he’s producing at Mad Dog.

“So I’ve got this record now and I really want people to hear it. I think if you can get people to hear music, it’ll take on whatever life it’s meant to have.”

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