Exclusive Daily Download: "House of Pain," Johnny Dowd

The tale of a cowboy whose "troubles came from that thing between his legs"

Published August 11, 2006 7:01AM (EDT)

Johnny Dowd's latest, "Cruel Words," out last month from Bongo Beat Records, opens with this twisted tale of a cowboy who "realized his troubles came from that thing between his legs" and decided to shoot it off: "He pulled out his pistol and fired six warning shots/Five of them missed their targets but the sixth one did not." The sound is spare but raucous, just drums and guitar with Hammond organ on almost every track, but all the potency comes from Dowd's voice and bile-filled lyrics, some spat out with a Nick Cave-like sense of portentous dread, others with the more benignly creepy and sneakily humorous Southern Gothic tone of Dowd's friend and collaborator Jim White. Also available for free download is "Ding Dong."


By Salon Staff

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