Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Not Fade Away - Reissue Review from Issue #27 May-June 2000

Steve Wynn

Dazzling Display: Deluxe Edition / Kerosene Man: Deluxe Edition (Prima)

Danny & Dusty

The Lost Weekend (Prima)

Los Angeles’ Paisley Underground scene faded long ago, but some of Dream Syndicate leader Steve Wynn’s back pages are back in print on ex-Long Ryder (and Gram Parsons biographer) Sid Griffin’s Prima label. Both are now L.A. expatriates — Griffin is in London fronting the Coal Porters and Western Electric, while Wynn is between record deals while living in New York, playing Europe regularly and planning new solo and Gutterball projects.

Wynn’s first two solo albums for Rhino showed a clever, dark pop songwriter on the way to creating his own urban folk anthology. 1990′s Kerosene Man gets an excellent remastering, the better to hear its all-star lineup; six added 1989 demos include Memphis Slim’s “Mother Earth”. The just-reissued Dazzling Display from 1992 adds live tracks from 1990-93, two Wynn tunes, and covers of Sonic Youth, Paul Simon, Lou Reed and Bob Dylan.

The Danny & Dusty record, from 1985, qualifies as a lost classic. Wynn (Dusty) and Green On Red’s Dan Stuart (Danny) sing original duets of misery and damage in loose, roots-rocking style, like a young Willie & Waylon on a bender. True to the title’s namesake, a film portrait of alcoholism, most of these anthems for losers were recorded in a drunken marathon session over two nights, with Sunday taken off to nurse hangovers.

The sessions featured Green On Red’s Chris Cacavas on barroom piano, Dream Syndicate drummer Dennis Duck, and three Long Ryders — bassist Tom Stevens, Griffin, and Wynn’s Gutterball mate Stephen McCarthy on guitars, harmonies and lap steel. The musicians kept things traditional and credible, while sacrificing neither Wynn’s melodic angst nor Stuart’s taste for the gothic.

Playing a total of three shows and two recording sessions, Danny & Dusty were compared to Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue at the time, thanks in no small part to an entirely characteristic cover of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. But with its sloppy vibe and suffering characters, the real model for the album was Neil Young’s Tonight’s The Night.

McCarthy’s steel adds atmosphere throughout and takes a lead role on the one added track, “Bend In The Road” (a song probably too hopeful for the original release). All else has been lost of this genre exercise, and reunion plans have never been realized, but fortunately more than a hangover remains of that lost weekend.

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108

Discuss

Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Originally Featured in Issue #27 May-June 2000

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »


From the Blogs

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!


Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter