Dean Moller
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Dean Moller

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The best kept secret in music

Press


"Shameless Nights"

Shameless Nights is a blend of blues, folk, and southern rock built on an acoustic trio sound and earthy songwriting. The music is driven by the singing, songwriting, and guitar stylings of Dean Moller, who produced the CD along with bassist Gary Siegel. While I'm not the most avid blues fan, I enjoyed the raw vibe of this recording and was impressed by the talent and musical passion that I heard.
Songwriting

Dean's lyrics are drawn from a smoky stew of love, lust, alcohol and the blues, served in a 3 A.M.-after-the-party atmosphere of reflection and melancholy nostalgia. Take the wild abandon of “3 Lane Drift”, where Dean declares “I'm driving down tonight / Cause my spirit needs a lift / I'm going to put this broken chassis / into a 3-lane drift.” This “broken chassis” persona carries through a lot of the lyrics on Shameless Nights, such as the bitter “Bloody Moon”: “You see the decent folk, each and every day / They don't know the things I've done, the things I've had to say / And they don't know the knot inside / as lovers walked away...”

Stranger by the Minute seems to float between musical extremes while staying anchored to an acoustic power-trio sound. On one end, you have earthy Delta-blues, driven by Dean's sufficiently greasy slide-guitaring and husky vocals; on the other end, you have an almost antithetical coffeehouse neo-folk somewhere between Lisa Loeb, Jim Croce, and Pearl Jam unplugged. Somewhere in between, you've got bluesy southern rock reminiscent of the lighter moments of the Doobie Brothers or Allman Brothers.

My favorites on this CD include “Bloody Moon”, a dark Southern rock ballad with haunting flute lines reminiscent of the Allman brothers; and “The Zen of Romance”, a bluesy, conversational musing on the nature of love.
Vocal
and
instrumental
performance

Dean is a great singer, with good pitch control and an easy, natural tone. He's got a good grasp on the blues and a charisma in his singing that blends well with his lyrics. There are moments, particularly on his non-blues tunes, where I wish he had a bit more character in his voice – a little more rasp, or growl, or honk, or something – but for the most part he does a good job of being expressive and communicating the material emotionally.

His guitar work is really a cut or two above average. I really dug his slide blues work which graces several tracks on this CD, either slow and hypnotic as on the title track or “Just around the Bend”, or honky-tonk rockin' as on “Sink Down”. His less bluesy songs are backed by creative finger picking and solid rhythm work that doesn't miss a beat.

Bass (Gary Siegel) and drums (various drummers) on Shameless Nights are solid and competently played, but mainly take a back seat to Dean's guitar. The flute and harmonica are also excellently done in a very atmospheric way.
Production
and
recording
quality

Three of the songs on this album were recorded in a studio, the rest in Dean's PC-based home studio (boat studio? see the studio notes...). Honestly, without very close listening you'd be hard pressed to tell which was which. The production quality of this CD is great, perhaps owing in part to the simplicity of the arrangements and the excellent performances. The drums sound a bit distant and cheesy on a few tracks, but the fact that they're played well and mixed somewhat low keeps them from being a distraction.

The mixes are nicely balanced, though I'm tempted to say the guitar is a little more overpowering that I might have chose;. as I mentioned before, the bass and drums play an almost subtle role on Shameless Nights, leaving it to Dean's guitar to drive the songs. It's a bit of a risky move mix-wise, but the performances make it work.

I have to applaud the use of flute on Shameless Nights, adding a Jethro Tull or Allman Brothers flavor to an otherwise rather conventional acoustic ensemble.
Packaging

Shameless Nights is professionally pressed and packaged, with full-color cover art and basic black printing on the CD itself. The eight panel insert features a full set of lyrics.
Summary The pros: Great performances, vocally and instrumentally.

The cons: Guitar is a hair overpowering at times, the drums could have been recorded better.

The bottom line: This is an album worth checking out for just about anyone who digs acoustic music, blues, and good guitar playing. It does contain some light profanity and mature themes, so sensitive listeners be warned. The rest of you – get this CD; you have no excuses. - Loves Labor Music


"Percy Hilo for VICTORY MUSIC"

Long a mainstay of the local acoustic singer/songwriter scene, Dean Moller now re-emerges with an electric trio in which he features the classic folk instruments of guitar, dobro, harmonica and percussion in partnership with bassist Gary Seigel and a trio of drummers (John Rockwell, Bob Flamitiatos, and Vance Nurkala) on various cuts. This combination coupled with tight arrangements results in an intense, penetraing and good-timey excursion through the portals of sensuality, soul seaching, choices and consequences and survival in hard times. And it's delivered by a band that can get it on with pancache, or kick back in contemplation as dictated by the material. But your enjoyment is formost in their minds and the opening title cut establishes this with Dean's aggressive dobro and infectious harmonica plowing through an earthy blues-rocker. "Eyes of a Dancer" tells of one who can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'; "Phantom Lovers" is about taking a chance on life; "3-Lane Drift" wonders if some good times are really worth it; and "Bloody Moon" reminds us that life will keep on fooling us, so we better be ready. These are all feelings we can relate to, and in this case, dance and drink to. "The Moon and Mexico" and "Sink Down" are blues-rock boogies that'll get you on your feet, and the disc closes out with Dean soloing with guitar and vocal on "The Zen of Romance," A relaxed song of good lovin'. This is fun music played with true soul by a trio of fun guys who'd rather brighten up your life than remind you of how bleak the world can be. They definitely suceed.


- Victory Music


"Stranger by the Minute"

Well you’ve got your Rockin’ roll bands, and then you have Stranger by the Minute, Seattle’s (And maybe the worlds) only “Bluerockfunkgrass” Band. They call it that because their music has aspects of Blues, Rock, A funky element, and even a touch of Bluegrass. There are no electric guitars in this band. The singer/songwriter Dean Moller plays a bluesy resonator guitar and an acoustic while still adding enough upbeat and grit to make you not miss the electric. These guys make for a comfortable, yet upbeat, show in ANY venue.
It was while Dean was living on his 40’sailboat at Shilshole Bay Marina that he met Bass player Gary Siegel. The two became fast friends and found that their musical tastes matched. Add to the mix Vance “Romance” Nurkala, or Mr. Meter as the band calls him. Vance teaches drums by day and plays at night. With the addition of Nurkala the band progressed into the “Bluerockfunkgrass” band they always wanted to be.
The unusual thing about Stranger by the Minute is......the songs. These are not your standard observational songs of the 2000’s. Moller writes songs wrought from many hard miles traveled and lessons well learned with Siegel the driving low end and Nurkala keeping the beat.
The new release by Stranger by the Minute is titled “Shameless Nights” an eclectic mix of all the above genres mentioned above. From the Resonator on the front of the CD to the lyrics inside, this is a very different CD.
When asked where the band wants to go with their music, Moller answers “ What we’d really like is respect, we’ll be playing anyway, some respect and enough money to keep on going would be nice.”
Check out www.strangerbytheminute.com for More information and song samples, or go to the merchandise page and buy your first “Bluerockfunkgrass” CD.


- Seattle Press


Discography

Stranger by the Minute’s new CD is: Shameless Nights available at: www.strangerbytheminute.com

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

What sets Dean Moller apart from most of the bands you hear these days are the words. Forged out of the debris of too many miles and life experiences, he seems to strive to sum up this human experience we call life in his music. On top of that, with his band he’s become a seasoned performer playing near 100 shows in Seattle this last year, with more scheduled this year. He recently opened for John Lee Hooker Jr. in Tacoma, and has openings for national acts coming up.
His new CD “Shameless Nights” has sold near to 2000 copies in the last 12 months.