Dawn Landes had a mentor on her mind when she wrote Sweet Heart of The Rodeo: her grandmother, Vera, who’s in her 80s and immortalized in the album’s title track.
A Louisvillian, Landes collaborated with percussionist Ray Rizzo at Landes’ Saltlands, the Brooklyn, N.Y. studio where she is partner, engineer and producer. She wrote most of the songs on a unichord she bought at a flea market.
“This one’s mostly wood. I’m always attracted to brown instruments,” she says. “And people tell me I make unicorn noises when I’m happy.”
Rodeo begins with the Balkan cabaret of “Young Girl,” transitions into dark-corner pop with “Romeo,” then onto the funky freak out of “Love.” The title track has the feel of a “Deadwood” scene.
“I feel like I stretched out,” she says. “Some of the songs I hadn’t finished lyrically, and that was exciting. The song called ‘Wandering Eye,’ the last verse of that I was ad-libbing. I know Dylan used to do that.”
Before Landes heads out on an opening stint with Justin Townes Earle, she and her band The Hounds, perform Monday, Jan. 25, at Zanzabar (2100 S. Preston St., 635-ZBAR). Tickets are $10. The show starts at 9 p.m. and Tyrone Cotton opens. “The first time I ever saw him was last year in a graveyard,” she says. “His voice kills.”
Survival Kit 2K10
SonaBLAST! Records and Crash Avenue Publicity have partnered with Forecastle Festival to present “Survival Kit 2K10: The Path to Relevance in the New Decade.” Modeled after panel discussions at CMJ Music Marathon in New York and South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, the networking event takes place before the second annual Halfway To Forecastle at The Pointe (1205 E. Washington St.).
The idea is to bring together media, musicians and industry insiders to discuss issues pertaining to the ever-changing landscape of music industry. Survival Kit 2K10 is Saturday, Jan. 23, at The Green Building (732 E. Market St., 561-1162) from 5-7 p.m. The free event starts with a meet-and-greet, then panel discussion and Q&A. Appetizers and cash bar with drink specials will be available. Seating is on a first-come basis.
Yardsale (www.yardsaleband.com) is back with new album Knock Alley West (see review, pg. 26), and the band joins us in the office. Listen at Bluegrass Catastrophe, bluecat.leoweekly.com.