After many years of back-to-back releases and touring, Dyer took a few years to winter from performing - living in St. Louis, raising a family, and writing tunes for commercials. Sensing a need to return to his roots as a musician, in 2006 he started making trips to Austin, his musical birthplace, to seek out some old friends and resume his career. Dyer quickly reconnected with producer David Boyle, whose recently restored studio on the East side functioned as the perfect backdrop to the otherworldly atmosphere he desired.
As Dyer put his story down to lyric, Boyle assembled the cast of musicians who appear on the album. Contributors include Suzanna Choffel on “Play On Little Children,” the Austin-based Mt. Zion Baptist Church choir on “Love Chain,” and John Nelson of Thievery Corporation on “Who I Am”. The album includes contributions from many other Austin mainstays, like Stephen Bruton, Scrappy Judd Newcombe, and George Reiff. The resulting compositions feel rich and complete, layered together to sound like an entirely new style of soul music.
The effort has a strong, underlying cadence that ties the album together and entices one to discover the many intrinsic subtleties. From the chain-gang inspired “Love Chain” to the gospel-tinged “I Walk On Guilded Splinters”; from the Stewart Copeland-esque syncopations of “Play On Little Children” to the Brazilian-dance hall inspired “Who I Am”, Dyer and Boyle weave a diverse fabric that extends beyond conventional musical boundaries.
Dan’s first band, Breedlove, exploded on the Austin music scene in the late 90s with their debut album Reach Out. Next, after a bit of a “New York education,” he collaborated with veteran rock legend Lenny Kravitz, who produced and released Dyer’s first solo album "Of What Lies Beneath" on Kravitz’s Reprise imprint label Roxie Records.
For the current release, Dyer finds inspiration from long-time soul artists like Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. And, after seasons spent in New Orleans and the South, Dyer’s version of “I Walk on Guilded Splinters” pays homage to Dr. John, who created an entirely new on-stage persona for his audiences. “I respect the originality of an artist like Dr. John,” says Dyer. “He created a persona to use as an agent of fearlessness.”
With this third self-titled release a similar change is taking place with Dyer’s own voodoo-centric stage persona. There is always music in the haunts of Dyer’s wandering soul: the soul of a melodious character filled with talent that is impossible to chase away.
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