Silas J. Dirge - Tales of Woe - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Silas J. Dirge - Tales of Woe

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2018-12-01
Silas J. Dirge - Tales of Woe
Silas J. Dirge - Tales of Woe

Well, well, well, somebody here in the Lowlands or The Netherlands, whichever way you want it, has certainly done their homework to a tee! I mean, picking up on gothic Americana and the palette of death and woe themes, picking up a name such as Silas J. Dirge, naming your album Tales of Woe and picking up an adequate black & white drawing for your cover. In essence, what more do you need?

Actually, quite a few things. First of all, some good music that go beyond pure copy of old folk tunes or Will Oldham style lyrics, although it is quite evident that good ‘ole Dutch Silas (anything to do with the book Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu?) has quite a few of Oldham’s records in his collection (after all, the choice is quite limitless). And although from every sound on this album it is evident where Mr. Dirge (“Tender Eyed”, does get close to a dirge, in a good way) is coming from and where he is headed, whatever influence he has picked up on his journey, he has been able to fit it in and not be really obvious where it came from.

Silas J., whatever his real name is, has actually been able to come up with some really good stuff, like “On The Train of Aches” and “Bellow and Above”, that throws in quite a few Americana clues. And if anybody is to complain that he cannot be called an original purveyor of the style, what about Ennio Morricone, whose chops Mr. Dirge is also able to spray here and there into his songs. Still, he saves his best for last and there it is all Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, or if you want your modern versions, Phosphorescent and Oldham rolled into one.

If there is a complaint, it is that you still don’t get to know much about Silas J. Dirge. Maybe he likes to keep it a mystery, maybe he will reveal it later, but try picking him out in the “rural part of The Netherlands”, as his five-line press release says. Good luck with that one.


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