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Dirk Hamilton


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Dirk Hamilton Meet me at the Crux - 1978 - Elektra

Dirk Hamilton's first recording for Elektra Records, Meet Me at the Crux, expands on the promise of his sporadically brilliant first two releases. This time out, with a core band providing solid backing throughout, Hamilton achieves a cohesive sound to support his material, which -- as always -- can be biting, sensitive, strange, and funny. Tales of love, culture, and society gone awry, as well as the woes of the unsung artist, had long been a staple of the '70s singer/songwriter, but Hamilton has always had the ability to bring something new to these well-worn subjects. He also possesses a soulful edge, reminiscent of Van Morrison, in his acoustic-based mix of folk, pop, rock, and R&B, which also distinguishes him from the pack. This includes instrumental, melodic, and rhythmic hooks that were scarce on his ABC work, but at the same time, the wit and insight that made the best parts of these records so special is still there. Tighter songs and arrangements also give Hamilton the freedom -- like Morrison -- to play with the words, vocally tugging and stretching them, pushing his voice and lyrics to the limit. Cuts such as the melancholy "Billboard on the Moon," the slightly twisted title track, and the closer "Every Inch a Moon" are the cream of an album filled with highlights. Though it failed to do much commercially and has been deleted for years, Meet Me at the Crux is among the finest the '70s singer/songwriter genre has to offer, and is worth looking for. © Brett Hartenbach © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/meet-me-at-the-crux-r173018/review

A wonderful forgotten album (Whats new?) of r&b, soul, country, reggae, and folk flavoured songs all written by the great Indianian songwriter, Dirk Hamilton, and HR by A.O.O.F.C. The album was once called an “unknown gem of the 1970s” by Rolling Stone magazine. Dirk's lyrics can be quirky and cryptic and often beautiful. His melodies are wonderful. Musicians include Little Feat's Bill Payne on organ, Steve Forman on percussion, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews on backing vocals and the brilliant Jai Winding on keyboards.

Steely Dan Trivia: Steely Dan producer Gary Katz was interested in Dirk Hamilton's music and helped secure a contract for Dirk with ABC Records. Gary produced Dirk's quirky 1976 album "You Can Sing on the Left or Bark on the Right". He gathered some crack session musicians to back Dirk up, including Steely Dan's occasional guitarist Elliott Randall. The album is full of great musical ideas and is worth hearing. The great keyboardist Jai Winding who plays on "Meet me at the Crux" also played with Al Kooper and Donald Fagen on Terence Boylan's 1977 s/t album

TRACKS

1. Mouth Full of Suck
2. Billboard on the Moon
3. All in All
4. Welcome to Toyland
5. Tell a Vision Time
6. Heroes of the Night
7. Meet Me at the Crux
8. How Do You Fight Fire?
9. Every Inch a Moon
10 "The Condo Rows" (recorded 1979 Venice, CA) [Bonus Track]
11 "Don't Laugh at Me Louise" (outtake from Alias i) [Bonus Track]
12 "Santa Cruz Mountain Monologue" (recorded 1979 Venice, CA) [Bonus Track]

All songs composed by Dirk Hamilton

N.B: Album also released with the three bonus tracks posted here. There is also a 17 track issue with the extra tracks; "She's Inside the Moon", "Dangerous", "Growing New You", "Dirty Money", and "Citizen of the World [Electric Version]"

MUSICIANS

Dirk Hamilton - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Don Evans - Synthesizer, Guitar, Vocals (Background), Percussion
Bill Payne - Organ
James Rolleston - Bass, Vocals (Background)
Jai Winding - Keyboards
Darrell Verdusco - Drums, Vocals (Background)
Steve Forman - Percussion
Gary Grant, George Bohannon, Don Menza, Larry Williams, Kim Hutchcroft, Jerry Hey - Horns
The Waters, Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews - Vocals (Background)

BIO

Singer-songwriter Dirk Hamilton was born in Indiana and raised in Northern California. He picked up a guitar as a youth and was writing songs and playing live performances by the time he was in high school. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 70s and recorded four critically acclaimed albums: two while at ABC Records, and two while at Elektra/Asylum Records. A poet and musician known for his uniquely intelligent lyrics and passionate performance style, Hamilton creates music that can't be pigeon-holed into one genre or another, so indie rock, alt-rock, roots music, americana and folk-rock are often used. For his lyrics and performance style he is most often compared to Dylan, Van Morrison, and John Hiatt. Hamilton took a hiatus from music in the early 80s, during which time he took a position counseling troubled teens in Northern California. Eventually though, music began to call to him anew. He formed a band and returned to entertaining audiences with his particular brand of live music. Before long, his inspiration to write resumed as well and he began recording albums again. In the late 80s, Hamilton was told his music had a large following in Italy. He accepted an offer to do some concerts there, and ever since then, he returns to Italy every year doing concert tours for his fans there. In 2004, he was introduced to musicians in an Italian band called The Bluesmen, which led to their performing and collaborating on new music together. They tour Italy as Dirk Hamilton and the Bluesmen usually during the summer months. Hamilton also takes his American rock ensemble, The Dirk Hamilton Band, out for tours of Italy as well as America. Members of this band are long-time collaborators on stage and in the recording studio with Dirk. Concerts featuring this line-up promise a particular soaring creative energy — the kind that is only achieved by musicians who have worked together a long time. The ensemble includes Don Evans on lead guitar, Eric Westphal on bass, and Tim Seifert on drums. Dirk is just as comfortable playing solo and often tours by himself, singing and playing guitar and harmonica. In more intimate settings such as these, the wit and humanity of his music shines through in a way that only solo performances can provide. Recently he has also enjoyed popularity as a house concert performer, and is happy to arrange those as he travels to do concerts at larger venues. He plays live most often in California, Texas and Italy, with regular venues hosting him in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Austin and Dallas. Dirk Hamilton is a prolific artist who has released a total of 16 albums under various labels, including his own, Acoustic Rock Records. The latest is The Ghost of Van Gogh, released in December of 2007. A new CD is already recorded and is planned for release in 2008. Hamilton's vast catalogue is a veritable treasure trove of original songs that lend themselves perfectly for use in soundtracks for film and television. For a promotional kit, please contact info@dirkhamilton.com. ©2010 Dirk Hamilton. All Rights Reserved http://www.dirkhamilton.com/02bio/bio.htm

MORE

Indiana-born singer/songwriter Dirk Hamilton possesses a distinctive, raspy tenor, along with a rock & roll passion, stinging wit, and keen eye for the peculiarities of life. After leaving Indiana and relocating to L.A., he gained the notice of Steely Dan producer Gary Katz, who helped him get a deal with ABC Records. The subsequent album, the acoustic-based You Can Sing on the Left or Bark on the Right, produced by Katz, was released in 1976. The record, which quickly distinguished itself artistically, if not commercially, from the ‘70s singer/songwriter pack, was honest and insightful, yet with a quirkiness all it's own. With his next couple of releases, Alias I (1977) and Meet Me at the Crux (1978), Hamilton's songs drifted even further to the left of center, which helped garner positive press but did little for his commercial appeal. If lyrically Hamilton was hard to pigeonhole, musically he probably had more in common with an artist like Van Morrison than most ‘70s singer/songwriters. And though his earliest work lacked Morrison's musical direction and gift for hooks, he gained focus with Meet Me at the Crux, which is considered by many to be a minor classic. After five years of critical praise failed to translate into sales, Hamilton became disillusioned and left the music business following 1979's Thug of Love, eventually becoming a counselor in California for emotionally disturbed adolescents. A few years later, after playing for fun in a local cover band in Stockton, CA, he was inspired to start writing again and released two self-produced cassettes (Rough Takes (Rough Times) [1986] and Big at the Blackwater [1989]). He entered back into the music world full-time with three records between 1990 and 1994 for the Italian-based Appaloosa Records (Too Tired to Sleep [1990], Go Down Swingin' [1991], and Yep! [1993]), and Sufferupachuckle, a 1996 release for Core Records, all of which showed his singular talent still intact. Shortly after the release of Sufferupachuckle, Core declared bankruptcy, leaving Hamilton without a U.S. label. An unofficial live recording, The Road, the Light, the Night . . . (1998) and Orphans (2000), a collection of demos from the ‘80s, were issued in the interim. His first record of new material in five years, SEXspringEVERYTHING followed in January of 2001. © Brett Hartenbach © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/dirk-hamilton-p83704/biography

10 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

p/w aoofc

drfeelgoed said...

Thank you, I had never heard of this guy before...

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,drfeelgoed! How are you? The guy released a few albums but is very obscure.The album here is arguably his best. He's a great lyricist and has composed some great songs that nobody's heard! Pity! Thanks for comment. TTU soon

n8w8 (nightwatch) said...

If this one is as nice as Alias I than it's a very enjoyable album. Thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,n8w8. Thanks. Let me know what you think of album. Cheers!...P

Anonymous said...

If there was any justice he should be rich and famous....he still keeps on writing good songs, anyway

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,A. That's in problem. There is no justice in this crap, commercial music scene today. Plenty of dosh for major innovative musical artists like Jedward, etc. Things will change slowly. It can't get much worse. Thanks, & check back soon..P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this one. Had the vinyl many many moons ago (like, when it was released) and went out in search of it yesterday. I can't say I'm surprised to find it here. I always yell "FINGAL...!" when something comes up here.

Heh heh...

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,A. I hope more people are opening up my little treasure chest to find a few obscure gems! Thanks, & keep in touch...P

Sergej said...

Did anyone have Alias I?
I will love to hear it.
Thank you all!