Country Music People December 2017 - Page 24

we did somewhere between 50-60 shows across North America. I then moved into a fairly bleak apartment in Fenwick, Ontario with his current bassist Roddy Kuester where we never saw each other much because our touring had parted ways. I spent the winter north of the border and then moved back down south the coming summer to where I currently reside in Fayetteville, Arkansas. “So it’s fair to say that those 11 months I spent on the road and frozen over in Canada were wonderful. I enjoyed Fenwick immensely. Dan showed me a different way to look at my own songs. He and his crew were a pleasure to tour and play with; they backed me almost every night. It was a wild ride, one I won’t forget. Ask Roddy about the tattoo he got in San Francisco.” Earl’s latest release is undoubtedly ‘pedal steel drenched’ and the singer’s own influences are mainly as traditional as one might expect. “Dwight Yoakam, Thin Lizzy, Merle Haggard, Lee Hazlewood and Blaze Foley are the first five that pop out,” says Earl when asked to name his favourites. “Dwight has always pushed the boundaries and been a maverick in the country scene. And maybe that’s just how I see it. He’s got the starched shirts so entranced with his music, kind of like he’s slipping one by them. That’s not to say he doesn’t honour tradition and take his craft seriously, the important thing is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s one of my favourite performers. “My momma had me listening to Merle from birth. And it goes without saying there were Willie, Waylon, Kris, George and Randy Travis tapes galore floating about our ’89 Ford. But Merle is momma’s favourite. She took me to see him at the Ryman for my 25th birthday. He played 2 and a half hours straight. It was the best show I’ve ever seen. Some dweeb named Chris Janson opened, arguably the worst show I had ever seen as well. What a turnaround, thanks Merle. “Blaze Foley’s songwriting is almost unmatched in my book. There’s a reason folks like Prine, Townes and countless others were doing his songs. He could write a novel in just a few words. “As for Hazlewood, I just hopped on that train about three years ago. His production and interpretation of country music is incredibly inspiring to me. His albums and the albums he produced for other artists are some of the most interesting and timeless. Sanford Clark’s They Call Me Country is my favourite record.” Earl adds, “And Thin Lizzy simply fucks the hardest!” Despite embracing a traditional country sound, Dylan Earl’s approach to songwriting helps to lend an ‘alternative’ edge to his music, one sure to hit home with hipsters as well as fans of the old school. “I dislike obvious lyrics about as much as I dislike a cutaway on an acoustic guitar or all these unwanted new residents from Dallas suburbs in my town. The challenge to me is maintaining the simplistic style of traditional country/folk writing while also saying as many things 24 cmp - DECEMBER 2017 as I possibly can. I’m a huge fan of the double entendre. Sometimes that’s a device I use to make the subject matter more relatable to the modern listener. “I can’t really say I have a songwriting process. Some come in 15 minutes, others may take a year or two. I draw from experience as anyone does with writing. Sometimes that experience is shared with others or maybe it could be an interpretation of someone else’s experience entirely. It’s usually something personal. I have a hard time imagining singing someone else’s song like it’s your own. Songs are much more than a performance. “I first started forming bands when I was a teenager. But it wasn’t until college that myself and some friends put together something that would become what I’d consider sort of career worthy. We started playing together in our student apartment at Front Street in Conway, Arkansas. It was loud, sweaty and crude. We called ourselves Swampbird, a name that could only come from the despicable behaviour w ݕɔᡥѥ]ݕɔ)ͽѡݕɽչչ䁅'eՕ̸)Qɔ݅́͡܁ȁɅѥ]eЁɸ)ȁɥ́ݽձѡɔͥɽչѥ)ѱ́ݡͭ䁅ѡЁݽձչѥѡݕ)ѡݥݕ+q=ȁЁ́͡ݕɔ͕́ѡ́)͍䁉̸%d͔ٕՔݔ]є!͔)х́Ёѡи%Ё݅́ɽ́ѡɕЁɽ)ѵи!呕ٕѡɔȁɥ) 協5ѥ݅́ѽѽɥչɽ)ɥх́ѡɽ՝ѡɔѡѥ 協)ݽձЁѡȁM݅ɐ́ȁȁɥ́)չЁ́̃͡aӊdQЁո)́͡䁱ݕɔѡЁ͔Qȁݽձ)ͼՍѡЁȁ́ݽձѡѡ)ɽѡѡ͕Ёɽ䁍ٕɕ)́ݡЁ͔)]ɥѡЁѼȁɱ䵵́ݡ)٥1ѱI%Ё݅́ѡЁѽɥ$ٕȁ])хѕ她ȁٕՕ̰ͽѥم́)ͽɕЁ́͡ȁ́ݔѼ5)͔ɥAє ́́ɕͥȁՍѡи)!éхЁȁ1ѱÍݕ́ɽѡȁ)ѽȁѼ]ݕɔѥȁ́ѡЁ݅)䁙ЁхєЁɥЁ̰ѥ̰є)͔́ݽt居̰qQЁЁЁ)tɔѥեq Ёɽ䁉锁х)ѵа$܁$݅ѕѼ́͡ɕٕȸQЁ)ѥɕչѕٕ́䁽ݡ$݅́ٔиMѥ)ѡЁ܁啅́ٔхɕЁɅѽ)ѥɕ䁅$ձeЁɔЁ$ѽȁݥѠ)ɕЁɥ̰Ёɽхѥаٕȁ)չɕ́͡啅ȁݔЁѼЁͼ䁵ɔ)́ѡ݅今t)居ɰ́ՔѼ䁄܁͕ЁU,́͡))ՅݥѠձѽȁͱѕȁ)ձ䁹Ё啅ȁ)́፥ѕѼɕɸ