drunken barn dance
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drunken barn dance

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Folk Rock

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Press


"s/t LP review - Detroit Metrotimes"

"This wonderful collection of 13 airy, acoustic-driven songs incorporate footstomps, well-timed sleigh bells, hints of ambient distortion and the occasional harmonic soundscape that'd give Daniel Lanois wood. It's warm and willful; part back-porch melancholy, part open-road longing." - Detroit MetroTimes


"A Winter's Tale 7" Review"

"Cascades of acoustic strums and neatly tenored vocal story sketches, all ready for future glory." - CokeMachineGlow


"Phoning It In Radio Performance"

"Let's get this out of the way: Scott has a voice reminiscent of the Mountain Goats, and his songs are mostly about two things, drinking and geography. But as John Darnielle has made abundantly clear, the songwriting possibilities of merging alcohol with a deep sense of place (in this case the Bay Area and Ann Arbor, MI) and a knack for storytelling are nearly boundless. Which is to say that DBD, while similar to tMG, is in no way derivative, and Scott's songs are open vistas, as deeply American as they are intensely personal.

At times you'll find yourself banging your chest and stomping along, at others nodding your read and merely tapping along. Either way, these songs'll stick with ya. Superb! Rough and perfect. - www.phoningitin.net


"Lost At Sea Feature"

"With a voice that shape-shifts at every turn, Drunken Barn Dance's fantastic ability to sound so similar to so many established and revered musicians will likely be a blessing and a curse only for as long as it takes for Sellwood's material to make its own way into our subconscious, which it is sure to do in fairly short order." - http://www.lostatsea.net/feature.phtml?fid=39521569349afb032b55ec


"Ann Arbor's Transitory Son, Drunken Barn Dance"

Ann Arbor’s transitory son, Drunken Barn Dance: “The finest, most spirited and talented collection...”

“Where’s the beaten path, and how do I stay the f*** off it?”

Scott Sellwood has one of the more unique voices in the indie/neo-folk scene; seven years of banding around Ann Arbor, and we are (almost) losing him...(but, not really.) To qualify that statement, his uniqueness is not born solely from his invigorating palate — as much Cash and Dylan as it is Neutral Milk Hotel or My Bloody Valentine, born not just from the sizzle of his high range vocals, but also for his breadth of perspective, particularly for having lived/played in northern California before moving to Ann Arbor – and now, since mid-winter, becoming acclimated to his new home in New York.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about geography,” said Sellwood, who’s performed as Drunken Barn Dance for the last few years in Ann Arbor, “not only physical distance between places but emotional distance. It’s no secret the Michigan winters were murderous for me. So, despite a fiercely loyal connection to the people I’ve met here, it was time for me to end a full-time physical connection.”

And, Ann Arbor is only “almost” losing him because his band-mates, Ryan Howard (drums), Scott Deroche (guitar), Greg McIntosh (guitar) and Jim Roll (bass) are all either A2 or Ypsilanti-based. Drunken Barn Dance has always fluctuated from solo-singer/songwriter, to duo, to full band – but it will technically remain Michigan-based for now (with “official second member” Steve Middlekauf—who aided Sellwood’s first recordings, currently based in San Francisco).
Sellwood said the year’s high points included, aside from the NY-transition, a poignant performance at Keweenawesomefest in March, the digital release of his latest (self-titled) collection via A2-based Quite Scientific Records, and touring down to Austin’s SXSW festival with former bandmate (of Saturday Looks Good To Me) Fred Thomas’ new project, City Center. The debut is a blend of warm earthy folk refracted by the bitter scuff of cold urban pavement; acoustic guitars shunted with Sellwood’s recording style giving it a welcoming
wornness.

Going back to his unique perspective — geographically, philosophically, socially —Sellwood recounts, “In the throes of Mittenfest (in February at the Elbow Room), I gave a toast from the stage that has become somewhat infamous...that this is the finest, most spirited and talented collection of artists that I’ve ever been a part of, backed by an attentive and supportive audience that should be the envy of all scenes large and small. If everyone keeps offering themselves in this way, the nation will eventually tune in. Such attention isn’t necessary to make this scene special – it is already very special – but that’s an indication of how deeply I regard the musicians here.”
Drunken Barn Dance will continue to play in Michigan once a month. They record a new full-band LP in mid-July, using Sellwood’s characteristic approach: “Set up the mics and go. Couple takes. What’s good stays, what sucks goes...” See them July 9 at the Blind Pig. - http://www.ecurrent.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1624:ann-arbors-transitory-son-


"s/t LP Review - Ink 19"

Lo-fi pop being an increasingly barren playing field with the advent of Garage Band and Protools, it's almost an event when a musical act opts to put note to tape the old-fashioned way. Scott Sellwood, the songwriter behind Drunken Barn Dance, is a firm believer in this organic and freewheeling recording style. Hell, when banging out arrangements for his compositions he keeps the whiskey flowing for the short-lived pre-recording sessions. The resulting collection of songs is gorgeously roughshod with wildly varying levels of sonic quality and stellar jamming.
Sellwood's decade-long stint as keyboardist for the indie pop band Saturday Looks Good to Me has given him ample time to hone his skill at melody and that's what really shines through on this disc. With an acoustic hook that consists of four barely shifting chord changes he makes "Fireworks (Never Tell)" practically anthemic -- of course, his John Darnielle-soaring vocals aide in solidifying this greatness. The same stripped-down simplicity threads through the excellent "Ain't No Weather Fouler" and "Seagulls (No Fantasies) (Fading Bones)" while the country/folk/pop breathless heaven of "Leaving Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin..." rocks a dusty bass and drumbeat and a harmonica solo that feels like a circuit bending experiment.
As many musical doors as there are opened by advancement in technology, there's something to be said for songs that can shine brightly even in their rawest form. This album is the best example of this beauty to come down the pipe in a long time. - http://www.ink19.com/issues/june2009/musicReviews/musicD/drunkenBarnDance.html


"Only Great Band Names Need Apply - Slowcoustic.com"

"A combination of freak folk, indie singer songwriter and barn burning hoe down (no pun intended) - eclectic to say the least. A lo-fi winner." - http://slowcoustic.com/2009/02/18/only-great-band-names-need-apply/


"s/t LP review - Real Detroit"

"The fuzz-folk, shoegaze-leaning, alt-country-ameliorating styling of this dynamic songsmith [find] smooth vocal tones [and] melancholic fables framed by ambient feedback cascades and spilled-out indie-country charm. Literate lyrics treat an illusive loneliness for the world with stylized provocation." - Real Detroit


"Impose Magazine Brooklyn House Show Review"

Saturday night Drunken Barn Dance played an acoustic set in a Clinton Hill backyard space called “The 50/50.” Drunken Barn Dance is Scott Sellwood, a singer-songwriter who, after eight years of sharing bills with the rest of Michigan’s fertile folk community, has escaped to New York. In Michigan, Sellwood most notably befriended then-labelmate Fred Thomas (of City Center), eventually touring and recording extensively with Thomas’s (now dormant) Saturday Looks Good To Me.

Drunken Barn Dance has been working on recording their new full-length album (with a full band!) in Michigan and the “coming home” show at the 50/50 was the perfect space to house Sellwood’s tunes. Sellwood told stories of following girls with friends from California to Alaska, and of firefly counts in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and wove them into rich ballads that rang through the humid Brooklyn night hopefully and honestly. Joe Scott of White Pines (previously of Canada) joined Sellwood with nostalgic harmonies which brought me straight back to growing up in Michigan.

You can catch Sellwood play again with White Pines, This is Deer Country, Due Diligence, and Dorit at Sidewalk Café this Saturday, July 25. - http://www.imposemagazine.com/drunken-barn-dance-at-the-5050/21758/


Discography

2006 - "Circle the Wagons" - Ypsisongs Compilation (Cerberus Records) - out of print
2007 - s/t lp - self released
2008 - "Winter's Tale" 7" (Leroy Street Records)
2008 - First State, Non-Tour EP (self released) - out of print
2009 - s/t digital release (Quite Scientific Records)
2009 - K-Fest Tour EP (self-released) - out of print
2009 - (coming November) Starry-Eyed 12" + digital download (Leroy Street Records)
2009 - (coming November) "Honey High" - It Takes A Village To Make Records Compilation

Photos

Bio

Dear lord, another bio. Sellwood is a journeyman indie musician (Saturday Looks Good to Me, David Dondero & the Entire State of Florida, Nomo, Dykehouse). This is his solo project, which quickly sprung from drunken midwest basement shows to become one of the most adored bands in Michigan - just in time for him to move to New York.

While compelling solo, Sellwood is best when backed by an all-star band featuring the best of the Ann Arbor / Detroit indie music community:

scott deroche (saturday looks good to me, dykehouse)
ryan howard (satruday looks good to me, city center, canada)
greg mcintosh (great lakes myth society)
jim roll (michigan folk legend)

If Crazy Horse went shoegaze and played Mountain Goats songs...

DBD has recently played with notable like-minded acts such as Magnolia Electric Co., Shearwater, the War On Drugs, Impossible Shapes, Danielson, Cryptacize, the Watson Twins, David Dondero, among others.