Michael Dean Damron, Devon Stuart, Dean Johanesen
100 E Adams St.
Jacksonville, FL, 32202
Here's the short story. Matt has been a figure in the East Tennessee music scene for the past ten years. Located in Knoxville, TN, he has performed in several bands as well as working as a solo artist. Matt has shared the stage with the likes of CAKE, Drivin' n' Cryin', Will Hoge, Kevn Kinney, Roger Clyne (of The Refreshments), Garrison Starr, Tim Lee, Mic Harrison (of the V-Roys and Superdrag), Doug Gillard (of Guided By Voices) , Two Cow Garage, Col. Bruce Hampton & the Code Talkers, Zac Brown, Graham Colton, Brian Vander Ark (of The Verve Pipe), The Features and a seemingly never-ending list of talented independent artists who aren't getting the widespread respect they deserve from points around the globe. Matt spent his earliest years with a band called Magpie Suite, which received a bit of notoriety around the southeast and produced three albums. Until recently, he worked devotedly with his latest band Plan A, where he wrote songs, sang, played guitars, played cards, drank beers, and often drove from show to show along the east coast in a big, brown van named Daisy. Plan A released and supported two full length albums between 2004 and 2009. Through solo performances and band appearances, Matt has averaged over 200 shows a year for the past few years, an average that would be higher if it weren't for a very unfortunate thumb-wrestling accident in the spring of '06. At home, Matt also performs in a duo called Adapted Wood with long time friend Tod Sheley every Monday night, and in several other projects featuring a number of talented musicians. He can also be found sitting in from time to time at random shows in the Knoxville area.
Michael Dean Damron
A giant, this Michael Dean Damron. Musically and physically, I saw on YouTube. Damron gave us intense, heartstopping rock with I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House, but after four cd's Damron said it was enough and he continued solo. That brought him to Rosa Records, for his second solo album Bad Days Ahead. Giant Damron delivered, with Bad Days Ahead a monster of a rock album. Think of those exceptional punkrock albums by Johnny Thunders -So Alone- and Richard Hell - Blank Generation, but also of Alex Chilton's Like Flies On Sherbert. Madness, chasing the devil, rambling rock. What else can you ask for? I love it! Heavy rootsrock songs comprise the first part of Bad Days Ahead; I Love The Rain, Bad Days Ahead and the super heavy Swear To God - which reminds me of John Cale's Mercenaries. Dangerous, that's what Damron is, but he also shows his mild/soft side when halfway through he takes the foot of the gas; but the intensity doesn't diminish. Cello and pedal steel are added to the base of guitar, bass and drums in dark, slow classy songs as Hallelujah, Ghost Moonshine and Baseball Season Ends Early. Rocksong Andy Gibb, that discusses the excessive use of coke, deserves a special mention. Michael Dean Damron doesn't make it easy on himself with this collection of intense rock songs, with this exiting musical diary. He also doesn't make it easy on the listener, but that listner will ultimately triumph. So, just like me, dive into this monumental rock album
Dean Johanesen is a storyteller, a craftsman and a touching performer. "There is a saying about only being as good as your last gig that sticks with me", Johanesen insightfully recollects, a saying he applies to his performing and songwriting. His powerful work ethic and craftsmen like musicality has quickly pushed Dean through the throngs of would be songwriters, solidifying his position as one of Sarasota Florida's finest musicians. Even his previous band, The Human Condition had a hard time keeping up with him. The silver lining is that Dean has the rare personal charm of a young Bruce Springsteen, able to touch many walks of life with a musical vision that paints a similarly compelling portrait of America.
With a single mom on the move, Dean traveled around a lot when he was young and has vivid memories of sitting in the backseat listing to 8 tracks of Dolly Parton, James Taylor and The Eagles while driving through the deserts of Las Vegas into the boroughs of New York. It wasn't all peaceful easy feelings however and after a number of step fathers and and name changes, Dean decided to acquire his grandfathers last name; Johanesen, as that was the one consistent male figure he could look up to.
After Dean landed in the Florida area, he sowed his musical oats with The Human Condition but soon realized through the stripped down storyteller songwriter shows that his music was having a more powerful effect on his audience when they could hear the meanings behind the songs and the lyrical delivery along with the intricacies of his guitar work. There was also a symbiotic yearning from the audience to hear more from the soft spoken troubadour and after some specified requests for solo acoustic sets, the ball began to roll. Since then Dean has toured Europe and found himself opening for Donovan Frankenreiter, Mason Jennings and Martha Wainwright. He has hit SXSW for three consecutive years and exposed his music to the entire east coast via FM radio.
Cutting out on his own enabled Dean the space to maintain the emotional integrity of the stories he yearned to tell, channeling his trials and tribulations into earthy tales that resinate at the same frequency as pop folk leaders Andrew Bird and The Civil Wars. The songs were intentionally tracked slower allowing the lyrics and delivery to breath. Thorugh themes of hurt and forgiveness, Johanesen keeps his loved ones alive by telling their story through song. A heavy handed honesty pervades on the upcoming release titled A Time and A Place, imparting the listener with the feeling of be being counseled by a good friend.
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