An American in the Faroe Islands
Birgir Kruse BLOGGER
In mid August I received an email from someone from the village Vági on Suderoy, about an American that should have a concert in their village. I checked the link that came with the email and then replied: This man is too good to Vági !
Now I've heard him live with Stanley Samuelsen. They played at the Irish Pub in Tórshavn, and when I say together, I mean really together. Their playing together was so flawless and melodious that one would think they were childhood friends. For full houses they rolled out with songs by Dickie Lee Erwin and a few classics in between. Regardless of what song it was, Stanley's guitar playing sounded as a full orchestra, plus Chet Atkins, mind You! It was a pleasure listening to excellent arranged riffs, fills and interludes. There was fingerpicking bluegrass as if we were at The Station Inn in Nashville. A classic of Lefty Frizzell, one of the Carter Family songs from the 20s and then again an Americana style song by Dickie Lee Erwin from Austin Texas.
An entire songbook of the Americana wave. All songs with chorus and also some ‘singalong’ songs. There was a song about a man who wanted a new large TV; ‘Big Screen Color TV’. The song was a spontaneous singalong song. Wonderful! Then a song about peasant life in Texas and the longing for California.
A bit of Robbie Fulk and Robert Earl Keane, one sensed in Dickie Lee's songs and it is not surprising since it is Americana. It was great to hear so many good songs that I did not know before.
And then there's Stanley. A whole one-man orchestra! Was the American unexpectedly good! Then I was totally flabbergasted by Stanley. – “He owns the show" said my neighbour about Stanley. Yes, I agree. Stanley was enthroned up in new clothes, or at least different from what I've heard him before. A true musician. From Silly Boys (Stanleys 60’s group) in Fuglafjord… to Janus Djurhuus (Stanleys solo performance) and Trio Acoustica (Stanleys guitar and vocal trio), and now - Americana with Dickie Lee Erwin.
So I want to tell the people of Vági to look forward to this show with Stanley and the American, who lives as far as one can from the sea and now has been taken on board the ship Smyril and is sailing southward. Good gig for all of you!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 06:21PM BY STEVE RAPID FOR ‘LONESOME HIGHWAY ( lonesomehighway.com )
A Texan who has been around the music business a long time Dickie Lee Erwin is a part of the Texas songwriter tradition playing songs that come from his heart and from his day to day experiences and situations that he can see all around. The album opens with I Remember That a song that still sees soldiers heading out from train depots to oversees wars. It highlights Erwin’s warm and natural voice and his equally lived-in and lived with songs. The musicians who play on the album serve these songs well and mention should be made of Gary Newcomb’s guitars, acoustic, electric and steel which sit above his relaxed rhythm section to give these songs depth and movement. Moving On is a song that shows that how words can cut deep and unresolved resentments can lead to a person moving on rather than facing such problems. Warm Summer Night takes on a more funky groove with Erwin’s banjo and Richard Somers mandolin playing on top in the instrumental Barnyard Stomp. Warm Summer Night is the sort of song that one could easily see as a part of a Willie Nelson album. Dickie Lee Erwin is the chief songwriter here with a couple of co-writers involved on two tracks but he has rung the changes here to bring different perspectives to the music so that it has more than one perspective to the musical direction. He has the voice to do that to give each vocal the right sense of the songs underlying story. I’m So Glad’s understated acoustic tone is very different from the tale of how a man went from riches to ruin in Time Alone or from croon of Stranger In Blue. Dickie Lee Erwin is a versatile musician who brings his personality into his music which makes it a worthy addition to those names of Texas musicians who may not be that well known outside if as select circle but should be.
DICKIE LEE ERWIN Austin Monthly
SWAN by Ward Lowe
Dickie Lee Erwin unwittingly sums up my thoughts of his latest
Release. ‘Swan’, on the country waltz "Little Pieces": "Seems like everything we’ve said has been said." There’s nothing horrible about ‘Swan’, but it lacks anything to differentiate it from many other acts. Sure, there’s some musical variety- the samba of "Diamonds and Tears" and the nifty instrumental "Ouspenski’s Dream"- but those are exceptions on an album filed with bland offerings. Erwin’s musical history suggest more talent than he displays here.
.Dickie Lee Erwin
Swan album: Buddy: the original Texas magazine (Dallas)
SWAN IS A MOODY COLLECTION
of ten traditional country songs caressed
in a rural, simple, direct, authentic
voice of Dickie Lee Erwin, fitting
seamlessly with four instrumentals. He
sometimes slides smoothly into the
lounge side of country.
The veteran musician Erwin
grew up in rural Hobbs, New Mexico,
hit the booming Austin scene in the mid
1970s, and was part of the awardwinning
Erwin Prather bluegrass
band and Ronnie Lane’s original Austin
acoustic band Seven Samurai in the
1980s. He also was part of the Texas
Connection, Killbilly, and others before
releasing his first two solo CDs.
The songs on Swan, his third,
are mostly solid and traditional, dealing
with seemingly simpler times, filled
with love, cheating, broken hearts, too
much time in the fast lane, and the
disturbing “Diamonds and Tears,” a cowrite
with Danny Jacobus that tells
the story of a Chinese woman who got
rich running an unscrupulous adoption
Erwin plays banjo, banjola,
acoustic upright bass, acoustic guitar
and percussion. He’s joined by Billy
Doughty (drums), Olivia Erwin (fiddle),
Jennifer Jackson (backup vocals),
Chris Mietus (bass, acoustic
guitar), Gary Newcomb (steel guitar,
electric and acoustic guitars), Richard
Somers (mandolin), and Laura Scarborough
There’s also, as a bonus track,
an instrumental version of the title
song. It’s all an easy, relaxing listen.
— Tom Geddie