DEADMAN
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DEADMAN

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"DEADMAN: OUR ETERNAL GHOSTS"

Paste Magazine
Issue 19 Dec. 2005
DEADMAN: OUR ETERNAL GHOSTS
FOUR STARS
by Andy Whitman

DEADMAN, sclupt austere country-noir songs filled with nightmarish visions, Biblical imagery and apocalyptic dread. But there's hope and compassion too. Unlike the similarly minded Handsome Family, The Collinses eschew the macabre in favor of a moving, eloquent call to human connnection and relationship.

Steven Sounds a bit like Bono in full Rattle and Hum Gospel mode, especially on the bluesy "Won't Be Long," while Sherilyn's sweetly hused soprano recalls latter-day Emmylou Harris, paticlularly on the ruminative waltz "Slow Dance." The secret weapono is producer Mark Howard, a Danile Lanois diciple, who lsathers on the reverb, coaxes atmospheriec coos ans sighs out pedal-steel guitarist Todd Pertll and creates a genuinely spooky, windswept Western landscape.

Steven Collins claimes his band is called Deadman because it's a reminder that we're all going to die, and a challange to do something worthwile in the face of mortality. He's met the challange this time by creating a shimmering, iridescent album. As befitting eternal ghosts, these songs will haunt you long after they fade from the speakers. - Paste Magazine Issue 19 Dec. 2005


"DEADMAN - Our Eternal Ghosts - 4 STARS"

UNCUT Magaizne
DEADMAN - Our Eternal Ghosts - 4 STARS

" Deadman are equally haunting on sophomore release Our Eternal Ghosts. Adrift on gentle washes of synths, weeping steel and harsh twang, Steven and Sherilyn Collins’ songs hark back to a world of clapboard churches and baptist hymns, but there’s a smouldering paranoia to this music too, that reeks of Woody Guthrie and Springsteen’s Ghost Of Tom Joad." – UNCUT - UNCUT Magazine


"DEADMAN - Our Eternal Ghosts - 4 STARS"

POP MATTERS MAGAZINE
DEADMAN
Our Eternal Ghosts
(One Little Indian)
Rating: 8
US release date: 2 August 2005
UK release date: 4 July 2005
by Jason MacNeil
After releasing their recent EP, 2005's In the Heart of Mankind, Deadman have returned with an album that will challenge some listeners but leave others rooting for their old country duet compilations. The tender and graceful opener "When the Music's Not Forgotten" ensures you that this song will not be forgotten. Not for a long, long time. Whether you think it ranks up there with Gram and Emmylou or Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary, this gentle, hypnotic tune has a great yet sparse production and feel that brings to mind a Daniel Lanois-produced tune. A lithe keyboard accent starts it off but it's basically the honest harmonies of the Collins two which make it soar. The lyrical content is also potent, speaking of how the discipline is seen as a commercial accessory more than a precious craft. The fact it was also penned after the passing of June Carter Cash only gives it greater credence. Perhaps Emmylou Harris' recent work is the best comparison stylistically. And while it's a fantastic opener, it's not the blueprint that Deadman subscribe to. Not by a long shot.

"Won't Be Long" is such an example, as it comes off a tad soulful with some R&B feel. Steven Collins sings the song as if trying to pass on a top-secret message in a telephone booth, bringing to mind the Twilight Singers' Greg Dulli. Airy and at times atmospheric, the song scampers along without a care in the world as he speaks the lyrics as much as he does sing them. "Brother John" returns to the opener's glory with the sweet, gorgeous duets and the laidback groove that glides the song along. "Well it's hard to believe, but that's how it goes / One year just bleeds into five", they sing effortlessly prior to a harmonica chiming into the bridge. However, they venture into a darker, dreary frame of mind during "Werewolves" that sounds like Deadman trying to cover a possible collaboration between Eric Andersen and the Doors. Spacey at times and not that promising, the song gets going somewhat in the chorus.

The centerpiece (if there can be in a 10-song record) has to be "The Monsters of Goya", another deliberately paced gem devoid of any padding or polish. What you have is a great song, greater performances, and fantastic musicianship all around, resembling the likes of Knife in the Water to some extent. Drummer John Scully sets the tone with the other players subtly adding color to the track. The closing refrain builds the song up but not to the point of overkill. Would've been perfect to close Ryan Adams' Gold, but oh well... And by now the listener will probably come to realize that the country or Americana ebb will now morph into a darker, eerie flow with "Sad Ole' Geronimo" that has some edgy guitar riffs initially prior to the chorus, always brimming under the surface but never breaking through the hazy, psychedelic fog. The lullaby ballad-ish "Slow Dance" is just that as this time Sherilyn Collins takes the wheel, whispering her lyrics in the vein of Grey DeLisle with a childlike innocence.

Deadman use every ounce of their talents to make this seem so easy, especially on the solid alt.country-oriented "Absalom! Absalom!", which ends up winding itself around a carefully created bluesy sway. If you think that puts you to sleep, try the ethereal, hymnal "Love Will Guide You Home" that is basically the icing or perfect dessert on this album.

— 2 September 2005 - POP MATTERS MAGAZINE


"WHO THE HELL IS DEADMAN?"

The Irish Times
WHO THE HELL IS... //CD Reviews
Kevin Courtney
Web Link: http://www.ireland.com/theticket/articles/2005/1202/3383842523TK0212WHOHELL.html

Deadman?

Yoko? Oh, no: As anyone who's heard John Lennon's Sometime in NY City will testify, it's not always a good idea to let your wife sing in the band. But what if your wife's voice has the harmonic twang of Emmylou Harris and the sultry purr of Hope Sandoval, and it perfectly matches your own Bono-meets-Gram Parsons-at- Asbury-Park growl?. Back in 2001, Texan singer-songwriter Stephen Collins was searching for his own musical place in the heart, somewhere between The River and The Joshua Tree, Mexico and Mississippi, grunge and gospel. He was still working his day job at an airline, but had left his band, The Plebeians, and was on a mission to rediscover "real" Texan music and reclaim it from the good ol' country'n' western boys. He recruited former Plebeians bassist Britton Beisenhersz, and drummer John Scully, but when Stephen's wife Sherilyn joined in on keyboards and vocals, the sound of Deadman took a beautiful, melodic shape.

Scary move: Stephen sent a demo of Deadman's songs to producer Mark Howard, well-respected for his work with Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Marianne Faithfull and Daniel Lanois. When the couple finally got the call-back, they packed up their gear and drove to LA, ending up at a creepy old mansion high in the Hollywood Hills. It was the perfect place to record the haunting, echo-laden sounds of their debut album, Paramour. Soon, Stephen and Sherilyn were being likened to Low and The Handsome Family, and their songs were being described as "Where the Streets Have No Name crossed with Streets of Laredo".

Hill of beans: A lucky break came when Paramour was entered for a Mercury- style music contest sponsored by Billboard magazine. The album beat 1,700 other entries to nab the top prize, which included 35 grand's worth of recording equipment. The couple decided that now was the time to quit the corporate jobs and go full-time with the music. They moved to the country, where Stephen set up his own studio, producing other bands to pay the bills. The music for their new album, Our Eternal Ghosts, was inspired by transience and transcendence, the understanding that life is short and if you want to create something that lasts, you have to rise above the petty and pedestrian. The duo hired Howard again to lend his skills to such songs as The Monsters of Goya (about trying to stay out of the gutter while reaching for the stars) and Where the Music's Not Forgotten (dedicated to the greats who have passed away, including Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and Ray Charles).

Dead letter day: Deadman will be supporting The Proclaimers on their Irish tour, starting at Castlebar tomorrow night and visiting Galway on Sunday, Limerick (Monday), Carlow (Wednesday), Dublin (Thursday) and Belfast (Friday 9th). - THE IRISH TIMES


Discography

1999 - DEADMAN: "Cuatro Canciones" EP
2001 - DEADMAN: "PARAMOUR" Full Length Album
2005 - DEADMAN: "OUR ETERNAL GHOSTS" Full Length Album
2006 - DEADMAN: "New Orleans" single for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund
2010 - DEADMAN: Live at the Saxon Pub

Photos

Bio

DEADMAN can best be summed up by the mythological story of the Phoenix; a great bird that burns fiercely to ashes from which a new, stronger life emerges.

But let's start at the beginning....

At the turn of the century, acclaimed producer Mark Howard (U2, Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois, Lucinda Williams), signed on to produce the first two of DEADMAN's records, "Paramour" (2001) and "Our Eternal Ghosts" (2004). The Dallas based band, included lead singer, Steven Collins' then wife, on harmony vocals. Steven recalls, “Mark focused on expanding the sound into a soundscape.

Traditional production was replaced by sonic exploration in the realm of the traditional song structure. We never thought about “singles” or “radio songs” we just concentrated on making a unique piece of art.

On Eternal Ghosts, Mark gravitated toward the softer, hymn-like songs that gave the record its unique identity. We might have missed that without him being there.”

The band has garnered critical acclaim and industry attention, including such honors as Billboard's Independent Music World Series Award as well as radio tastemaker support from stations including KCRW: Morning Becomes Eclectic and KEXP in Seattle. The band has also performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Having received outstanding reviews and having toured the UK, the US and Continental Europe in support of the album "Our Eternal Ghosts", Steven Collins returned home to face what would seem to be the destruction of the band and what would ultimately be the end of his marriage to his wife and band-mate.

DEADMAN went quiet, in the beginning of it's rise. But much like the Phoenix, Steven Collins, with the support of his current band
mates, arose from the ashes of the former DEADMAN and with a blazing fire in his songwriting, he never lost sight of faith, and he slowly rebuilt his vision of the perfect band.

Enlisting powerful Austin veterans, Jacob Hildebrand (Miranda Lambert, Tommy Shane Steiner) on electric guitar, Kevin McCollough on acoustic guitar and backing vocals (George Devore, Matt Powell), Lonnie Trevino Jr. (Monte Montgomery, Mike Zito) on bass, Kyle Schneider (Roky Erickson, Ian Moore) on drums, and Matthew Mollica (Chris Brecht, Rock Bottom Choir) on Hammond B3 Organ, the band's chemistry accompanied by the songs, personal pain, and faith turned DEADMAN into musical steel.

The Saxon Pub is considered to be much like a musical church by the six-piece band. All band members agree, the historical venue's strong spiritual nature was a key factor that brought back DEADMAN's lead singer and primary songwriter Steven Collins' faith in the music again. “When I started to reform DEADMAN, I did so with very little expectations. The guys that were joining had more passion than I did at that time. When we secured a small residency at The Saxon Pub, Ididn't think much would come of it. But people started showing up, and they stayed and each week the audience was getting larger and they seemed to really be listening and taking in what we were doing. After a while, I realized that what I was doing was not in vain, but was giving people, including myself, an indefinable hope.”

The club was the anchor of the band's rebuilding period. Where souls were healed, stories of faith were shared, and the belief of the music was resurrected. It would make sense that this band would find comfort at The Saxon Pub. The reputation that the venue and its owner, Joe Ables, have for developing and nurturing true talent is preserved in musical history today. These live recordings caught the magic of DEADMAN at a very special moment in their career. It's honest, it's full, it's inspirational, and it just makes you feel like you've been reborn.

Look for the Deadman's new studio album in 2011, Take Up Your Mat And Walk.

For Deadman Media Elements, Music, Video and Artwork resources:
www.deadmanonline.com/epk
www.deadmanonline.com
www.myspace.com/Deadman
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