Eric Corne | Kid Dynamite & The Common Man

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Kid Dynamite & The Common Man

by Eric Corne

Producer/engineer Eric Corne delivers a genre bending tour de force, packed with sonic adventure & indie rock spirit. Featuring:Greg Leisz (kd lang), Richie Hayward (Little Feat), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), Nick Urata (DeVotchKa) & more.
Genre: Rock: Album Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Kid Dynamite/Rancho Mirage
5:59 $0.99
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2. Dead End
2:54 $0.99
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3. Not Familiar
4:54 $0.99
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4. Evil Men
4:30 $0.99
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5. Blackguard
4:11 $0.99
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6. Trampolines
4:17 $0.99
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7. I Know A Girl
2:37 $0.99
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8. Nobody Plays Here Anymore
4:38 $0.99
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9. Stop & Stare
3:44 $0.99
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10. Common Man
4:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
ERIC CORNE

By Bliss Bowen

“A slate of gorgeously ramshackle roots slowburners topped with Corne's pinched, twangy drawl.” — Darryl Sterdan (The Winnipeg Sun)

"A stunning musical polemic!" — Alex Green (Caught In The Carousel)

"One of the year's most dramatic debuts!" — Lee Zimmerman (Blurt)


Eric Corne’s new album, Kid Dynamite and the Common Man, is the culmination of a circuitous journey — one that’s taken him from the thriving Toronto indie-rock scene to being mentored in Los Angeles by widely respected producer and bassist Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam) at Mad Dog Studios, which Corne affectionately calls “Roots Central.” As Mad Dog’s go-to engineer and producer — Wakeman’s handpicked successor — Corne has befriended a cast of blue-chip players who animate Kid Dynamite.

The roster of musicians who responded to Corne’s call reads like a who’s-who of LA rock and roots royalty: Richie Hayward (Little Feat), Greg Leisz (Wilco), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), Brian MacLeod (Sheryl Crow), Santa Davis (Peter Tosh), Skip Edwards (Dwight Yoakam), Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits), Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen), Freddy Koella (Bob Dylan), Dave Raven (Mike Ness), Johnny Bazz (the Blasters), Carl Byron (Michelle Shocked), Sasha Smith (Devendra Banhart), Danny Frankel (k.d. lang), C.C. White (Joe Cocker), Eamon Ryland and Brett Borges of Humdinger and, of course, Dusty Wakeman (Jim Lauderdale). Nick Urata of Denver's DeVotchKa sings backgrounds on two tracks.

As a producer and engineer, Eric Corne (Glen Campbell, Walter Trout, Lucinda Williams, DeVotchKa, Michelle Shocked, Joanna Wang) is prized for his innate musicianship, his easygoing rapport with musicians from diverse backgrounds, his intelligence and his gift for deep listening. Not surprisingly, those same qualities inform his work as an independent artist. Corne, a native of Winnipeg, began recording demos in his Toronto basement in 2004, while taking a break from his space-pop band Mysterio (The band released "Agent 000", an album of "catchy, dynamic studio pop." (Exclaim! Magazine) on Bobby Dazzler Records in 2003.) During that same period he accepted an invitation to visit Los Angeles. A fortuitous meeting with Wakeman convinced him to relocate his family to LA and accept a position at Mad Dog, where he retreated from performing and focused on sharpening his studio skills. Eventually, Wakeman encouraged him to record Kid Dynamite at Mad Dog.

Comprised of 10 thematically linked songs, Kid Dynamite and the Common Man deals with the search for a rightful place, and meaning, in a landscape of shifting alliances and absolutes. Corne, who majored in political science at Montreal’s McGill University, refrains from revealing specifics, but it’s clear that these songs, which incubated over a six-year period, are his response to global events in the wake of 9/11. Tracks like “Not Familiar,” “Blackguard” and “Evil Men” are rife with images of duplicity and paranoia, while “Dead End” and “Common Man” seek to build bridges of connection and understanding.

“Most of the songs are about conflict,” he acknowledges, “whether it’s man vs. himself or man vs. society...”

“When I was demoing tracks myself, the songs had more of an indie-rock vibe,” Corne recalls. “Bringing in all these other musicians, the songs became more expansive, allowing me to explore various styles more deeply.”

“I focused a lot on how I would ‘cast’ the songs,” Corne says, “because there are so many people on this record. I work with many of them regularly, and while it’s not uncommon to get people of that renown to play on a record, what is a little uncommon is to have so many of them playing on one record. That makes it even more interesting. You produce in a different way when you bring in musicians of that caliber. A lot of the production is in the casting, and then you’re just steering it to make sure the feel and instrumentation are right.”

Listening to the guitar-fueled title track and the relatively pastoral “Trampolines,” it’s clear Corne’s influenced by another Canadian headquartered in America: Neil Young. He also points to writers like Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and Joe Strummer as important influences. In the studio, Corne had a strong vision for the direction of individual songs but he is quick to also give credit to the musicians for their inspiration and creativity.

Two of the songs date back to his Mysterio days: the seductively lilting “Not Familiar” and “Evil Men,” which rides the tension between Skip Edwards’ rollicking piano and Freddy Koella’s nasty slide guitar. “Nobody Plays Here Anymore” throws some reggae spice into the mix, while the somewhat autobiographical “Stop and Stare” encapsulates the album’s overall theme. “It’s kind of a "Crossroads" tale but in a prairie setting. It's about the compromises you have to make to move forward, and what guides you better than anything else: your gut and your conscience. If you trust that, usually you’re OK...But we all get tempted by bigger things.”

Corne is releasing the record under his own imprint, Forty Below Records, which he plans to use as a launching pad for other artists he’s producing at Mad Dog.

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Reviews


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Lee Zimmerman

One of the year's most dramatic debuts!
Having emerged from the same Toronto indie-rock milieu thatspawned Broken Social Scene, Feist and various other well-regarded operatives, Eric Corne boasts an ample resume all his own. His production and engineering credits boast such luminaries as Lucinda Williams, Michelle Shocked, Glen Campbell, DeVotchKa and Walter Trout, helping him acquire a list of contacts that's paid off in more than platitudes. So when he opted to step out solo with Kid Dynamite and the Common Men he had access to an illustrious support crew, one that includes such notables as Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward, pedal steel player Greg Leisz, piano player Skip Edwards and bassist Dusty Wakeman. Credit that all-star ensemble with a sound that's both timeless and resilient.


Still, it's Corne that deserves the bulk of the kudos, given a set of songs themed to the modern malaise. It's an album borne from desperation and disillusionment, a response to the shifting political landscape that's engulfed the nation and the planet in the seven years since 9/11. The Lennonesque "Evil Men" - a song similar in sound to the ex-Beatle's "Isolation" - and Americana entries like the dusty yet determined "Dead End," "Blackguard" and "Stop & Stare" convey a weary resolve and a frayed world view. Corne's sound has frequently been compared to a cross between Elvis Costello and Neil Young, but his compelling delivery elevates him beyond any tell-tale constraints. That said, he isn't reticent about laying bare his influences; the slinking reggae rhythms of "Nobody Plays Here Anymore" and the sprightly Buddy Holly-like lope of "I Know A Girl" show the debt he owes his forebears.


Consequently, Kid Dynamite and the Common Men leaves an enduring impression. As we approach the waning months of 2008, it earns its place as one the year's most dramatic debuts.


Standout tracks: "Dead End," "Stop & Stare," "Blackguard" LEE ZIMMERMAN

Lee Zimmerman - Blurt (Nov 5, 2008)
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Alex Green

A stunning musical polemic!
Armed with the lippy snarl and literate, lyrical smarts of Joe Jackson, Eric Corne’s solo debut is an exhilarating listen. The first solo album from the leader of space pop heroes Mysterio, Kid Dynamite And The Common Man covers some vast musical terrain: “Stop & Stare” is a slow, rootsy burn; “Nobody Plays Here Anymore” brings to mind Graham Parker’s successful forays into reggae and “Dead End” and “I Know A Girl” come across as sung by a young, tough Marshall Crenshaw. Flanked by a guest list that includes legendary pedal steel player Greg Leisz, percussionist Danny Frankel (k.d. Lang), drummer Richie Hayward (Little Feat, Eric Clapton), upright bass expert Johnny Bazz (The Blasters), guitarist Eamon Ryland (Happy Mondays) and Nick Urata of DeVotchKa, Corne’s compositions are rich and textured, flecked with marimbas, reed organs, accordions, ukulele and upright bass. Steeped in Americana, new wave and the blues, Kid Dynamite is a ruminative album of tremendous sensitivity, subtly weaving together these ten numbers to reveal a discomfort and unease about the current state of the world. Such as it is. That being said, “Common Man” is a protest song that suggests Peter Case’s early work; the Band-influenced “Blackguard” confronts personal and geographical loneliness, while the apocalyptic “Evil Men” urges, “Gather ‘round my plastic men/Prepare yourselves we’re near the end.” Tuneful, melodic and smart, Kid Dynamite And The Common Man is a stunning musical polemic that uses a light touch to make heavy points.

Alex Green - Caught In The Carousel (Dec, 2008)
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Don Zelazny

One of the most interesting cds I've received lately!
One of the most interesting cds I've received lately is Eric Corne's new cd Kid Dynamite and the Common Man. This is a very diverse collection, from the Dali-esque cd artwork to the music within. Eric has been one busy guy, with his hands in many different projects, as musician, engineer, producer and even teacher (at the Musicians Institute in L.A. where he is located). His engineering and producing credits include Lucinda Williams, Glen Campbell and Walter Trout. The native of Canada was lured to L.A. in 2004 to work at Mad Dog Studios, run by Dusty Wakeman.

The new cd is a very diverse collection of tunes; obviously Eric has been influenced by a wide range of artists. The opening cut, Kid Dynamite/Rancho Mirage starts off will all the rock energy of Neil Young's electric work, while the instrumental second section reeks of vintage Pink Floyd. One of the older tunes on the disc and one of my favorites is Not Familiar, which dates back to Eric's days with his "Space-pop" band Mysterio. You may swear you're listening to The Clash! John Lennon's solo work comes to mind while listening to the lively tune Evil Men. Don McLean's Everyday seems like it must have influenced the bouncy, whimsical I Know A Girl. He adds a reggae beat to the cd with the tune Nobody Plays Here Anymore. No doubt this is a talented dude. He also adds some nice Americana tunes with the songs Dead End and Stop And Stare.

I don't think there is any music lover who wouldn't find something satisfying on this collection; whether it be the musicianship from the star-studded collection of musicians who lend a hand on the disc to the expected fine production and sound, and finally to the music itself!

Don Zelazny - Americana Roots (Nov, 2008)
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Darryl Sterdan

A slate of gorgeously ramshackle roots slowburners
There isn't much common about former Winnipeg kid Corne's life. Or his impressive debut CD. Thanks to his job as a staff producer/engineer at an L.A. studio, the singer-songwriter's co-stars include members of Little Feat and Lucinda Williams' band. More importantly, it also features a slate of gorgeously ramshackle roots slowburners topped with Corne's pinched, twangy drawl.

Darryl Sterdan - The Winnipeg Sun (Feb 14, 2009)
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