MP3 Dan Smolla - Swimming in Wind (Please note: This is the 2nd edition of this CD. It is the ultra-mock indie version. No Jewel Case, no phot
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11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Americana, ROCK: Folk Rock
Please note: This is the 2nd edition of this CD. It is the ultra-mock indie version. No Jewel Case, no real https://www.tradebit.comt a cardboard sleeve with hand drawn smiley face and a funny little note inside. And music.
"...musical presence that urges you to listen. Petty and Dylan ...[were] born with this...Dan Smolla has it too."
--Jonathan Sanders,Gods of Music
"... a broad musical background that goes from Uncle Tupelo via Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones and Johnny Dowd to the territories of blues and jazz."
--Mariane Ebertowski "Roadtracks no10, 2003"
"[T]he modern embodiment of everything that singers Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Tom Waits had to offer years ago..."
--Kelly Mcclure,The Northern Star]
"Smolla has the ability to breath a separate soul into each and every track..." [writing about "Hearts in Traffic"]
--Josh Kazman, https://www.tradebit.com
Dan Smolla - Swimming In Wind CD (Orchard)
This is my current late nite drive fave... Back in December I recieved an email from Dan, who having read my ravings here in Dead Flowers, asked if I might like a copy of his new CD to review, so I popped on over to Soundclick, checked out a track, was duly impressed, and wrote Dan back asking him to send me one along, and now it's a constant companion. This is great stuff... an intriguing mix of alt-country a la Uncle Tupelo or Ryan Adams, early '70s Stones and Faces, Tom Waits, Dylan, Nikki Sudden, with some surprising and interesting musical touches (like the use of horns, flutes and sax) and intelligent lyrics.
Many of the songs are long, and what some might call rambling, but part of the appeal here, is that Kerouac-soaked freewheelin' late nite diner, boozy feeling that beckons you hitch along, becoming old friends with repeated listenings. Album opener, "Fields of Hope"is a great boozy Stonesy/Faces like number that brews along nicely, and I really dig the way the horns come in. "Maiden Of The Moon," actually conjures up Led Zeppelin a la their third LP, with it's acoustic and slide guitars, and the flute and sax work add nicely here too. "Patterns" sounds very Coltrane meets Beck with it's breakbeats, sax, and late night jazzy guitar work, and while this could be a potential musical train wreck in lesser hands, it works here. The title track is a stunner: a delicious blend of Tom Waits and Whiskeytown, the pauses holding you breathless. "Cheap Restaurant "is a rockin' Stonesy/Faces/Replacements, number with some harmonica work that at one moment sounds very "Magic Dick" (from the J. Geils Band) and at others goes off to the land of Dylan, joyous stuff indeed!
"Warm And Revealing" is told over acoustic guitars, backed with just a touch of tremelo fed electric guitar, while "Shining" uses some well-placed country lead licks and again puts the horns to effective use over another acoustic tale. Album closer "Popul Vuh" has spikey, tense and even at times fuzzy guitar work over a throbbing almost breakbeat. This is definately one of the best new albums I've heard this year... Dan and the music he has created are well worth checking out, which you can do just that by stopping by his web site at https://www.tradebit.com where you can read a bit more about Dan, check out some tunes, and purchase the Swimming In Wind CD -- you'll be glad ya did.
--MAUREEN MCCARTHY writing for Dead Flowers (4/01/03)
Brevity is not one of Dan Smolla's strong points. Of the eleven tracks on Swimming In Wind, only three come in at under five minutes, and two of those are well past the four minute mark. As Smolla's music of choice is basically folk blues with a few electric guitars and horns thrown in every so often, the songs' duration certainly can't be attributed to a need to fully examine their complexity. It's a sign, then, of how well Smolla crafts his songs (and his entire album, for that matter) that none of the tracks on here really seem to drag. "Maiden Of The Moon", for example, is nearly ten minutes long, but the only reason you notice is because of the way Smolla moans out the same line over and over again for the last minute. Until that point, the song is driven forward by Smolla's persistent strumming, along with occasional blasts of saxophone. Even the moaning doesn't sound out of place, given that Smolla leads up to it naturally. The same could be said of any song on Swimming In Wind. Smolla has a way of making his songs interesting, regardless of how long they run. In the case of tracks like "Cheap Restaurant" and "Shining", he does so by following a Dylanesque formula. For the former, this means making the song poppy, simple and bouncy, while the latter is much more akin to Dylan's seventies output.
Equally impressive is "Popul Vuh", in which Smolla tries his hand at swamp-blues rock a la the Rolling Stones circa 1972. While he's certainly no competition for Jagger or Richards, Smolla imbues the tune with a certain swagger that wouldn't have sounded out of place had it been released 30 years ago. Obviously, then, this isn't the most modern-sounding album -- or, to approach the point from another direction, it won't sound dated within months of its release. Swimming In Wind illustrates the fact that if you pick your influences right and take a longer-term view of the music you make, the results will be something worth revisiting again and again.
--Matthew Pollesel Matthew Pollesel, https://www.tradebit.com
DAN SMOLLA hails from Dekalb, Illinois, and writes joyful (sometimes), emotional (always) and thought-provoking songs with elements of Alt. Country, folk and (I think) loose echoes of early '70s Stones flowing through their veins.
It doesn't surprise that Dan has performed at a number of open mics on his home turf, as most of the songs on "Swimming In Wind" (his second album) are warm, acoustic-based things, often embellished with spasms of electric/ slide guitar, sax or double bass.
There are 11 songs on "Swimming In Wind", and most of 'em are pretty damn engaging and just the right side of oddball. Smolla's songs are rarely obviously linear, though opener "Fields Of Hope" does swing with a nagging, old skool rock'n'roll feel and a joyous horn arrangement.
Other tracks, meanwhile, often veer off at unlikely tangents. "Patterns," for instance, kicks in with skittering breakbeats and a sonic stance not dissimilar to Beck circa "Odelay", while the ensuing "Swimming In Wind" itself reminds strongly of Jay Farrar (circa Uncle Tupelo's acoustic spell), with a distinct downhome feel and Dan taking his time in bringing on the chorus.
Repeated listening is recommended, as tunes like "Lucky One" and "Heaven Through The Woods" really begin to impinge the more air you allow them. This reviewer also applauds the fact Dan's open-minded enough to mix back-porch acoustics with unusual textures (like the shot of drum machine on "Lucky One"), or include a full-pelt bar-room rocker a la Replacements in "Cheap Restaurant" slap in the middle of the hickory-smoked mellow vibes.
Viewed clinically, some of the tunes here ramble somewhat (few songs clock in under the 5-minute mark), and probably most would-be label suitors might want to tighten Smolla up comprehensively. That said, let's hope they don't go too far, because Dan's slightly ramshackle vibe is an important part of his inherent charm.
Dan's own bio suggests his music is "Kerouac soaked" and "Swimming In Wind" suggests he shares a similar freewheelin', freestylin' anything-goes attitude. Crucially, though, "Swimmng In Wind" promotes this liberation without sacrificing decent tunes. Make sure to search for this guy, folks.
--TIM PEACOCK WRITING 4 Whisperin & Hollerin
Dan Smolla is from Illinois, US, and despite an earlier album "Hearts in Traffic", he's not widely known. All that may change.
Swimming In Wind is a great collection of songs that perhaps have there origin in folk, but also have a very contemporary rock element too, which overall produces an appealing musical base. On top of the music is a layer of rich vocals and on most tracks a lot of harmonic backing vocals adding both originality and depth to the arrangements. Add to this, some excellent melodies and intelligent lyrics and you get yourself an album that is worth a second listen.
The album opens with "Fields of Hope" which has a funky feel with catchy chorus and nice Sax. One thing that stands out is the length of tracks the opener is over 7 mins and there are no many less than 5 mins.
"Maiden of the moon" has undulating lyrics and again with atmospheric backing vocals throughout. After the first two tracks you can get a distinct feel for the style of the album and some of the underlying influences such as Dylan and Spingsteen, but the album really does sound fresh too. "Swimming in Wind" has a sort of drunken feel - I don't know if it's supposed to - but it sounds like the sort of voice and lyrics that can only be achieved with copious alcohol, but whatever the influence the end result is great.
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