Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Soylent Lucidity

"While the Allman Brothers Band... defined the Southern Rock genre, Kevin Dunn destroyed it," Tony Paris writes in his excellent review of No Great Lost, the CD anthology of Kevin Dunn's solo recordings from the 1980's. It's an impressive collection of music that sheds light on an overlooked oeuvre.

Eno's solo albums of the early Seventies are an obvious touchstone, but Kevin Dunn is his own Fripp (or Manzanera, if you prefer): a crafty guitarist as well as a clever and subversive songwriter. Like Jeff Calder (of the Swimming Pool Q's) and Glenn Phillips (of the Hampton Grease Band), Kevin Dunn is a significant figure in Atlanta's Hidden Reverse: a secret league of super-guitarists who were neither part of the Southern Rock canon, nor were they members of the burgeoning Athens scene.

The detachment from his peers may have been deliberate. Dunn seems uninclined to cater to his listeners, or to adopt the style of his times:
Got a toy that lights up, got a plan that works:
Got to keep surprising all the younger turks.
Got my reservations as regards the horde
(Got my reservations on the next Concorde)

Buy No Great Lost from the Casa Nueva label. Kevin Dunn will perform on the opening night of Athens Popfest (August 10) at the Caledonia Lounge, with Mitch Easter and others!


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