Saturday, 26 May 2018

Dirk Hamilton “Meet Me At The Crux” 1978 US Classic Rock,Folk Pop Rock


Dirk Hamilton “Meet Me At The Crux” 1978 US excellent Classic Rock,Folk Pop Rock..recommended..!
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This is the third major label album from poetic genius, Dirk Hamilton. His extensive music career began in the early 1970s. He quickly caught the attention of influential producer Gary Katz–at the time working with Steely Dan. Katz arranged a deal with ABC Records and produced Dirk’s first album, You Can Sing on the Left or Bark on the Right using elite session musicians that included Elliott Randall, Jeff Porcaro, Victor Feldman, and Larry Carlton. Katz wanted to continue producing Dirk and Steely Dan almost exclusively, but after co-producing his second album, Dirk had his own vision about the way he wanted to make his music. He put together his own band, left ABC for Elektra/Asylum, and made 1978’s Meet Me at the Crux, which was called hilarious and chilling by Ken Tucker in the Rolling Stone Record Guide. Years later (1990), respected music journalist Steve Pond named it as one of the essential albums of the 1970s in an article also published in Rolling Stone. Dirk toured with Warren Zevon and produced one other album for Elektra, but his adamant stance on making music for those who wanted to hear it–not for the money it would make, ended his affiliation with the company. After leaving the business for a number of years, Dirk realized that his life was one of making music, and he embarked on a career of his own design that continues to this day. Dirk has been called “A true American master” by well-known producer Dusty Wakeman (who produced his 1996 album Sufferupachuckle), and he has been compared over the years to Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. Music reviewers have also been quoted as saying that Dirk’s music is one of the few legitimate poets on the scene (Los Angeles Times), and lucid, intelligent, and distinctive (New York Press). Dirk Hamilton is all that and more, and he continues to hold true to his stance that his career be conducted without compromise…..by…. L. Andres-McCabe…~


Great lyrics - Jackson Browne with equal parts Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and early Springsteen. Rocking sound - think early Van Morrision crossed with John Prine and John Hiatt. I love all of these artists, but they still don’t adequately describe Dirk’s music. 
They’re only reference points for you - this is a wild ride thru some unique territory, from the opener “Mouth Full Of Suck” (about the vampire-like people we all know and hate), through the bite of “Tell-A-Vision Time” (“You don’t really wanna talk, ya just want friendly monkey noise”) and the insanity of the battle tune that is “How Do You Fight Fire” to the bliss of self-awareness in “Every Inch A Moon”. 
Check out the lyrics on Dirk’s website … or listen to a sound sample on this page … but this album can only be properly experienced in its entirety, over time, as it grabs you with constantly unfolding new delights. Long unavailable on cd - grab it if you like Van or Bruce or great lyrics or … pleasant surprises. You say there’s no good music anymore? Hey, it all comes down to you!….by….Brickbats…~


Long overdue for a re-release, Dirk Hamilton’s “Meet me at the Crux” is easily one of the best albums of 1978 (and my personal favorite). Hamilton’s writing is quirky (Egg a duck?), soulful and at times profound. His vocals are all his own. His unique delivery sells every song - his way. 
The standouts for me are “How Do You Fight Fire”, “Meet Me at the Crux”, “Billboard on the Moon”, Mouth Full of Suck, and the beautiful “Every Inch a Moon”. The deluxe addition of this CD includes several tracks that were not included in the original release. One of these, “Santa Cruz Mountain Monologue” appears to be a personal reflection and is really an excellent inclusion. 
All of these will stand the test of time. The album is 28 years old and still sounds as fresh as the day it was released. “Meet me at the Crux” is back. There is a God!…by…Admit One….~


Dirk Hamilton’s first recording for Elektra Records, Meet Me at the Crux, expands on the promise of his sporadically brilliant first two releases. This time out, with a core band providing solid backing throughout, Hamilton achieves a cohesive sound to support his material, which – as always – can be biting, sensitive, strange, and funny. Tales of love, culture, and society gone awry, as well as the woes of the unsung artist, had long been a staple of the ‘70s singer/songwriter, but Hamilton has always had the ability to bring something new to these well-worn subjects. He also possesses a soulful edge, reminiscent of Van Morrison, in his acoustic-based mix of folk, pop, rock, and R&B, which also distinguishes him from the pack. This includes instrumental, melodic, and rhythmic hooks that were scarce on his ABC work, but at the same time, the wit and insight that made the best parts of these records so special is still there. Tighter songs and arrangements also give Hamilton the freedom – like Morrison – to play with the words, vocally tugging and stretching them, pushing his voice and lyrics to the limit. Cuts such as the melancholy “Billboard on the Moon,” the slightly twisted title track, and the closer “Every Inch a Moon” are the cream of an album filled with highlights. Though it failed to do much commercially and has been deleted for years, Meet Me at the Crux is among the finest the '70s singer/songwriter genre has to offer, and is worth looking for…..by Brett Hartenbach….allmusic….~


Indiana-born singer/songwriter Dirk Hamilton possesses a distinctive, raspy tenor, along with a rock & roll passion, stinging wit, and keen eye for the peculiarities of life. After leaving Indiana and relocating to L.A., he gained the notice of Steely Dan producer Gary Katz, who helped him get a deal with ABC Records. The subsequent album, the acoustic-based You Can Sing on the Left or Bark on the Right, produced by Katz, was released in 1976. The record, which quickly distinguished itself artistically, if not commercially, from the ‘70s singer/songwriter pack, was honest and insightful, yet with a quirkiness all it’s own. With his next couple of releases, Alias I (1977) and Meet Me at the Crux (1978), Hamilton’s songs drifted even further to the left of center, which helped garner positive press but did little for his commercial appeal. If lyrically Hamilton was hard to pigeonhole, musically he probably had more in common with an artist like Van Morrison than most ‘70s singer/songwriters. And though his earliest work lacked Morrison’s musical direction and gift for hooks, he gained focus with Meet Me at the Crux, which is considered by many to be a minor classic. After five years of critical praise failed to translate into sales, Hamilton became disillusioned and left the music business following 1979’s Thug of Love, eventually becoming a counselor in California for emotionally disturbed adolescents. A few years later, after playing for fun in a local cover band in Stockton, CA, he was inspired to start writing again and released two self-produced cassettes (Rough Takes (Rough Times) [1986] and Big at the Blackwater [1989]). He entered back into the music world full-time with three records between 1990 and 1994 for the Italian-based Appaloosa Records (Too Tired to Sleep [1990], Go Down Swingin’ [1991], and Yep! [1993]), and Sufferupachuckle, a 1996 release for Core Records, all of which showed his singular talent still intact. Shortly after the release of Sufferupachuckle, Core declared bankruptcy, leaving Hamilton without a U.S. label. An unofficial live recording, The Road, the Light, the Night … (1998) and Orphans (2000), a collection of demos from the ‘80s, were issued in the interim. His first record of new material in five years, SEXspringEVERYTHING followed in January of 2001. ~ Brett Hartenbach….~


If the world had been a fair place, and sadly we know it’s not or at least we can identify justice only in the vest of a spoiled lady, the recent reissues of the first three record by Dirk Hamilton would have benefited of a wide echo on papers and they would have been printed in luxurious remastered SACD formats with HDCH. But, as far as we know, things went different and the three albums just mentioned - You Can Sing On The Left Or Bark On The Right (1976), Alias I (1977) e Meet Me At The Crux (1978) - saw the digital enlightenment only thanks to an Italian label. 
Meet Me At The Crux, originally issued by Elektra, is the last excerpt of the trilogy and it’s also Hamilton’s best record. Dirk abandoned the scenes after the commercially unsuccessful Thug Of Love (’79) and came back only several years after, at first with some self produced cassettes and then with three records issued, starting from 1990, by the label Appaloosa. This, however, is another side of the story. Today, I want to invite you all to buy an album - Meet Me At The Crux – that Rolling Stone simply defined as “unknown gem of the 1970s” and, maybe, it is even something more. 

If previous works outlined the basic references of the artist, capable of moving on the same lines of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan or the Stones adding touches of gospel, r&b (tons of r&b) and even reggae (and all these influences merge into some visionary frames worth the most genuine Van Morrison), Meet Me At The Crux represents the squaring of the circle, thanks to a bunch of songs that have never been so organic, complete and enthralling. 
In the speedy shuffle of Mouth Full Of Suck there’s also Bill Payne’s organ directly from Little Feat, although the greatness of this album doesn’t pay a fee to the appearances of it guests. 
The harrowing poetry of Billboard On The Moon, the overwhelming r&b of Welcome To Toylan and Heroes Of The Night, the fabulous How do You Fight Fire?, the Springsteen-alike rock of the title track, the limping soul goodbye of Every Inch a Moon and the doo-wop epic of Tell A Vision Time only deserved a public less vacantly absorbed by the punk explosion and more disposed towards a bunch of sublime songs, so vivid and shrill to resemble more a little concert than a studio record. 

Who will give a shot to this reissue will enjoy also the mid-tempo between country and Stones of The Condo Row, the semi-acoustic beating of the wonderful Dylan-esque Santa Cruz Mountain Monologue and a “tour-de-force” in Van Morrison style of the burning Don’t Laugh At Me Louise, an outtake of Alias I that it would be a pity not to know. Better late than ever, as they say, and I really hope that this way of saying this time can become true also for the ones that either don’t know Dirk Hamilton or have always underrated him…..Gianfranco Callieri …..~


Credits 
Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Words By, Music By – Dirk Hamilton 
Backing Vocals – Clydie King, Darrell*, Dirk*, Don*, James*, Sherlie Matthews, The Waters 
Bass – James Rolleston 
Drums – Darrell “Big Dog” Verdusco* 
Horns – Don Menza, Gary Grant, George Bohanon, Jerry Hey, Kim Hutchcroft, Larry Williams 
Keyboards – Jai Winding 
Lead Guitar – Don Evans 
Percussion – Dirk*, Don Evans, Steve Forman 


Tracklist 
A1 Mouth Full Of Suck 4:43 
A2 Billboard On The Moon 4:46 
A3 All In All 3:25 
A4 Welcome To Toyland 3:14 
A5 Tell A Vision Time 4:10 
B1 Heroes Of The Night 3:16 
B2 Meet Me At The Crux 5:16 
B3 How Do You Fight Fire? 6:32 
B4 Every Inch A Moon 5:47 

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