Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP (Blue Arrow Records, 2020)

September 11, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP

Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP

Michigan-based troubadour Ethan Daniel Davidson has traveled far and wide, and has been interpreting various facets of Americana for over two decades. Come Down Lonesome is one of several records he’s made with His Name Is Alive’s Warren Defever, who co-produced the album along with Gretchen Gonzales Davidson (of Slumber Party and Universal Indians/Universal Eyes, and now Ethan’s wife). The program includes traditional tunes, original compositions, and songs penned by artists including Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Bob Dylan. The atmosphere is a mixture of the rustic and the ethereal, with numerous guest musicians and backing vocalists lending to the album’s richly textured production. Songs like the opening “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (Davis) are bleak and wondrous, and a few tracks have some noisy, droney undercurrents which adds a strange, compelling edge to them. Hurt’s “Louis Collins” sounds like it has an air raid siren whirring in the background, and Dylan’s “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” would sound gentle and inviting if it weren’t for the searing feedback and distortion lurking beneath. The traditional “Turkle Dove” is perhaps the most mantra-like track, but others are hypnotic as well. Danielson’s originals, including the near-title track, are closer to lonesome downer country. The album ends on this note with Cowboy Joe Babcock’s “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water”, which consists of little else beside Davidson’s resonant acoustic guitar notes and sorrowful vocals.

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