PK Dwyer
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PK Dwyer

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


This is *good* stuff. I know nothing of PK Dwyer, but what I've been able to figure from his press release and web site is that he's somewhat of a fixture on the Seattle music scene, and has been around playing various styles of music. Well, here he has taken to the blues, and, as they say, the blues have taken to him.

PK says in the title cut that he was told in a dream by Jimmy Reed that he's a blues guy now. Believe it or don't, but the guitars intertwining make believers out of lots of folks. One's loud and distorted, the other clean and sweet on this altered boogie. Throw in his high pitched, almost otherworldly vocals, and you've got the makings of a killer tune. That goes for a lot on this album. On some of cuts, like "Celebration Blues," Dwyer plays harp and acoustic, and with that voice sounds like somone recorded 50 or 60 years ago. But he also plugs in on plenty of cuts and lets her rip. "Please Don't make Me Beg" is a rocker pure and simple. The electric finger picked blues-by-way-of-rockabilly guitar of "$800" drives a song that has one of my favorite lyrics in a long time; "If I had $800, I'd tell you what I'd do. Buy me some whiskey and spend the rest on you." Followed closely by "If I had $800, we'd be Vegas bound. If I had $800 we'd be Vegas bound. Get married by Elvis, and then we'd settle down."

A blues lyric for the new millenium.

Speaking of lyrics, PK likes to have fun. In fact, it took a listen or two to figure out he's a unique lyricist not bound by the conventions of blues singers. He does his own thing and it makes him stand out in a world of folks trying to do this music.

All the music here is fine. Dwyer's guitar playing, whether self-accompanied acoustic guitar, or stinging electric leads and slide is hot as hell. His vocals are perfect and unique, and the songs are all good. - John Heidt
- Vintage Guitar Magazine


With a low buzzy guitar sound reminiscent of Billy Gibbons buzzsaw articulations in ZZ Top and a voice that suggests a David Lee Roth who never went to a party or lit a cigarette, PK Dwyer gives us, on Blues Guy Now, a group of songs that don't as much change our lives as they make our lives a little better. But you wouldn't expect much different from a guy who can handle the end of an affair (or is it the passing of a hangover?) with such ease ("Easter Sunday") would you?

While calling this album a blues record would probably send a purist of two on a midnight pilgrimage to Memphis just to purge their mind of such a blasphemy, regular folks will affix happy memories to Dwyer's outing, remembering the easy going nature of "Keep on Walkin," "Trouble Here At Home" and "No Longer My Girlfriend" and the filthy pleasure of "$800" and "Celebration Blues."

Backed by Pete Pendras (guitar), Paul Black (drums & other percussion pieces), and Dave Hurchison on bass, Dwyer has certainly scored a handsome prize with this mercifully short and mercifully up beat journey into the land of da blooze. - Jed Beaudoin - Witchita's F5


"Blues Guy Now" has that great rockin blues feel. PK Dwyer has his own unique way of delivering a song that will grab the listener by the ear and not let go.

This is an enjoyable listen full of twists and turns. The drummer playing a cardboard box is a special touch that not many records receive today. "Blues Guy Now" is honest, and is definitely a unique blues album. - Roots Music Report


The PK Dwyer Trio's latest album is called Up To My Balls In The Blues. Go ahead, laugh. It's funny.

The best thing about this great album's title is that PK Dwyer is right. Even if his music doesn't own soley to the blues - he incorporates folk textures into his music too - his vocals do. The atttitude of this album is so perfectly blues and the music so perfectly supportive and blues-tinted it makes you want to cry out "Why haven't I ever heard of PK Dwyer before?!"

Up To My Balls . . . is the fourth installment from an assortment of Dwyer-led combos. The release of Up To My Balls in The Blues finds Dwyer in fine form, delivering, as the album liner notes state, "guitar, harmonica, vocals, grunts and groans."

Coming from a disheveled old man with a balding backing band, it is great to hear an elder sing it and mean it. Dwyer has obviously been kicking around basements, back rooms and bottles of booze for decades, which means that he actually has something to say about growing old, being alone and having the blues. That doesn't mean that he has the blues and yells about it, it simply means he tells it like it is - calmly.

Up To My Balls . . . gets things started with "Please Tell Me," a number about looking for a woman. The next cut is the slow, more folkly "Time To Try," an outstanding ballad about a faltering relationship which simply yearns, "I don't know if there's time to turn it around/but I know there's time to try." Somehow, Dwyer manages to make this simple old story new and heartfelt, complete with great simple guitar work and nice backing vocals. The album's title track "Up To My Balls In The Blues" is Dwyer's most blues-oriented tune. Dwyer is also in excellent form in his original compositions "Better Tip My Baby" and "Mumbo Jumbo." Some of the songs don't sound as inspired as others but those that do shine among them. One of the best tracks on the album is "Lookin For A Woman," the most obviously autobiographical tune wherein Dwyer addresses ages and loneliness.

With only nine tracks, Up To My Balls . . . is effortlessly short. Dwyer's compositions are great blues numbers full of hearfelt elegance. Listen to this with a heavy heart and it just might speak to you. - Jeff Speckels - California Aggie


Discography

2006 Healed - CD
2003 Blues Guy Now - CD
2001 Up To My Balls In the Blues - CD
1999 PK Dwyer & The Lowdwon Payments - CD
1999 After All It Is 1980 - CD Reissue
1997 Get Well - CD
1994 How Can I Go Wrong - CD
1989 George Michael Jackson: King Of Gonzo Folk - LP
1980 After All It IS 1980 - LP
1976 Dandy Annie/Drawbridge - Single

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

With an eclectic career that now spans over 30 years and includes everything from folk & blues, to cow punk, cabaret, movie soundtracks, and good old fashioned rock & roll, PK Dwyer is still an innovative force on the roots music scene today with his unique style of blues and One Man Roadhouse Show live performance, Often thought of as a native of the Pacific Northwest, PK is a world traveler who originally comes from Mill Valley, California and currently makes his home in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. [Dwyer relocates to New York City in June 2006]

In the 1970s PK Dwyer was noted for writng, performing, and recording the music for Jac Zacha's hard to find cult classic film Walk The Walk; being the first to street perform at the Seattle Pike Place Market, thus spawning the Seattle busking scene; his Northwest radio hit Dandy Annie; and founding the cow punk quintet The Jitters, a favorite band of No Depression founder Grant Alden and Young Fresh Fellows/Minus 5/REM's Scott McCaughey.

Dwyer moved on to Europe in the 1980s where he found notoriety and a fan base street performing in Paris and was also the winner of the First Annual Street Performers Competition in 1981. PK then proceeded to New York and set the NYC folk scene on its ear with his infamous cabaret act The Hollywood Dick Doll Revue. Hollywood Dick Doll, a controversial act at the time, was championed by Suzanne Vega, Dave Van Ronk, and Richie Havens, who signed Dwyer to his production company in 1983.

In 1989 PopLlama released George Michael Jackson: King Of Gonzo Folk; another Dwyer alter ego project that was released to rave reviews and a nation wide tour. The 1990s brought PK back to west coast where he spent a few years living on Venice Beach and busking on the boardwalk before drifting back up to the Pacific Northwest.

The year 2000 brought salvation when PK Dwyer had a conversion to the blues.

Inspired by the sighting of the ghost of Jimmy Reed, PK went back to his roots and started writing original jump blues material. In 2001 the CD Up To My Balls In The Blues was released to world wide airplay on folk, blues, and college radio. The tracks Lookin' For A Woman and Time To Try have been featured on episodes of MTV's reality show MADE.

PK Dwyer's 2003 effort, Blues Guy Now, was released to an enthusiastic audience, world wide airplay, and critical acclaim. Vintage Guitar magazine calls Blues Guy Now "a modern blues masterpiece" (Nov. 2004). The tracks Celebration Blues and No Longer My Girlfriend have also been used on MTV's MADE and Keep On Walkin' is currently the theme song for Real Change TV, a public access television show in Seattle, Washington, that covers the issues of poverty, the homeless, and public affairs.

In May of 2005 PK Dwyer was nominated for a Seattle Weekly Music Award and as a result of the nomination was awarded a grant from Seattle's Art Patch to begin recording a new CD. Recording was completed in December 2005 at Grammy award winning Garey Shelton Productions and the end result is Healed, a raw & rip roaring acoustic take on PK's version of the blues featuring Dwyer on 6 & 12 string guitar along with his blistering harmonica and signature vocals. Healed was recorded live in the studio and has PK going solo as well as being backed by members of the original PK Dwyer Trio [Dave Hutchison/Bass & Paul Black/Percussion]. Guest musicians include Northwest Folk & Blues Legend Alice Stuart on acoustic guitar & vocals, Michael Guthrie [Banjocaster] and Larry 'Jugs' Vanover [Jug].

Healed is set to be released from King Pin Head Music May 29, 2006.

MTV is currently reviewing songs from Healed for placement on My Super Sweet 16.

To view past performances and the diverse group of artists PK Dwyer has shared the stage with just use the handy link below to PK's website and click on GIG HISTORY.