Dietrich Gosser
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Dietrich Gosser


Band Folk Acoustic


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Still working on that hot first release.



Dietrich Gosser’s songs are emergency cigarettes discovered in the back of your dresser drawer, fixes for cravings you didn’t anticipate but somehow planned for.

He’s the best kind of storyteller--one who knows the tales you’ll remember are grounded in the recognizable but torqued to the edge of disaster or the edge of escape.

This new record is next level.  But if you call it a departure, he’ll tell you that you’re wrong.

He’s right, of course. The same ingredients are here. Same writer, same voice. The same strange landscape of a curious heart. So, fine. It’s not a departure. But I’ll be damned if it’s not an evolution.

On 2008’s What the Buzzsaw Sings and its more austere followups The Man who Invented Gold and Somewhere in the Night, Gosser began each song with one foot planted firmly in some dusty and forlorn folk tradition. A few of the songs even stayed there, but most utilized their dynamic arrangements and elusive lyrics to inhabit a more sweeping and romantic landscape; with big lakes, long drives, political scandals, and imaginary radio stations rising from the cornfields.

Gosser’s new full-length Oh to Begin! does not exactly eschew his earlier works folk trappings, but it is not overly concerned with them either. Metallic washes of synthesizers and deep resonate bass pulsate around the acoustic guitars and layers of vocals at the center of the title song. “Oh to begin...your life again!” Gosser delivers the line with a sense of resignation and a hint of wistful reverie. Repeated, it becomes a mantra. The narrative is like a hazy science fiction hangover, but those three words, “Oh to Begin...” offered up to the churning melody of the keyboards and strings, resonate like a moment of clarity.

Recorded over the past year with Jeremiah Nelson, Oh To Begin! is bigger and brasher than anything Gosser has attempted before, but it is also more precise. Gosser’s voice is the focus here and Nelson ornaments it nicely. Jazzy guitar solos, breathy harmony vocals, rumbling bass and circuitous piano melodies add color and draw meaning out of Gosser’s elliptical and mysterious storytelling.

There’s an expansiveness to this record that will sweep you up, thanks to the gorgeous supporting vocals from Monica Martin and Paul Otteson, the romantic and sometimes sinister bass of Ben Willis, and the always expressive drumming of Gosser’s longtime collaborator Dan Kuemmel. Not to mention Dietrich’s full ownership of these songs. Full steerage of his course into a blurred horizon of opportunity and regret, despondency and hope.