Sunday, May 1, 2016

On the turntable this Sunday...Dirty Side Down

Dirty Side Down is the eleventh studio album by the Athens, Georgia-based band Widespread Panic. The album signaled the return of John Keane as Producer and was recorded in the band's hometown of Athens, Georgia, in contrast to the previous two albums produced by Terry Manning at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas. It is the fourth album released after the death of Michael Houser and the first for ATO Records

Songs on the album range from road-tested classics like Jerry Joseph's classic NorthClinic Cynic - one of the few songs where Todd Nance sings lead vocals, and Visiting Day, to new originals like Saint Ex, Shut Up and Drive and Cotton Was King. Also included is This Cruel Thing the latest in a long line of Vic Chesnutt covers released by the band, and True to My Nature a collaboration with Daniel Hutchens of Bloodkin.

Widespread Panic’s John Bell on “Saint Ex”: My wife Laura and I are great fans of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It’s thought of as a children’s book but conveys some pretty heavy messages on many levels. A couple of years ago, my father sent me a New York Times article about an eighty-five-year-old German WWII pilot who realized he was the guy that shot down Saint Ex (a French pilot) in 1944. The plane Saint-Exupéry was flying had been identified in 2004, ending the sixty-year-old mystery surrounding the author’s disappearance. Both pilots were on simple reconnaissance missions, and it was kind of a fluke that they happened upon each other. What I found intriguing about the situation is that the German pilot said Saint-Exupéry was one of his favorite authors, and claimed if he was aware of who was flying the French aircraft, he wouldn't have opened fire. I began reading more of Saint-Exupéry's works, and even though they’re translations, his insights about “Life During Wartime” are really profound and heartfelt – simultaneously caring about all humanity, while feeling compelled to fight for his country. Anyway, that’s what the song is about.

Dirty Side Down debuted at No. 27 on the Billboard 200, and No. 6 on Top Rock Albums, selling 13,000 copies on the first week of its release.  The album has sold 72,000 copies in the United States as of September 2015.

Read more @ Wikipedia

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