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Joe West | South Dakota Hairdo

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Rock: Americana Country: Americana Moods: Mood: Quirky
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South Dakota Hairdo

by Joe West

Santa Fe's Joe West's Alt. Country Masterpiece of Roots Americana from Rock to sweet twang Joe West is a master storyteller / songwriter / performer.AWESOME. South Dakota Hairdo was a New Mexico "grammy" Best Mainstream Rock Album of 2004 New Mexico Mu
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. intro
1:10 $0.99
2. South Dakota Hairdo
4:57 $0.99
3. Reprimand
5:31 $0.99
4. Frank's Jealous
4:57 $0.99
5. 21st Century Garbage Man
4:35 $0.99
6. Cold Canadian Love
4:38 $0.99
7. Sometime Lovers
2:47 $0.99
8. Jamie III
4:10 $0.99
9. intro#2
0:49 $0.99
10. Well Laid Plans
3:56 $0.99
11. More Than You'll Ever Know
4:06 $0.99
12. Video Taping Our Love
3:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Proves once again that he deserves to be a cult figure, if he isn't one already."
Dirty Linen Feb/March 2005

"A visionary slice of Americana...joyously weird and transfixing"
An Honest Tune Spring 2005

"Catchy, witty and subtly sinister."
No Depression Mar/Apr 2005

Joe West is a true story teller and a perfect character in this American dream. With deep roots in New Mexico, he paints this landscape in song with a familiar ease and a comforting grace. At the same time, he employs outrageous fiction to create a world almost more life like than the real one.

more press:

Dirty Linen #116 Feb/March 2005 pg 90

JOE WEST SOUTH DAKOTA HAIR-DO (frogville fv-00015)

Joe West is such a class act that he even wears a white Colonel Sanders-type suit, although it seems a little inconguous considering the proletarian, white trash images some of his songs convey. If Lou Reed's roots were in New Mexico and Texas, he'd probably sound like Joe West. There's a sparse, economical quality to West's songwriting style. The lyrics often deal with alcohol and drug-laden characters. As with West's past albums, the production allows the singer's melodies and intriguing lyrics to stand out; the rythem section is funky and the electric guitar understated but sharp. "Cold Canadian Love" is a haunting song that features very effective use of dobro. "Reprimand" and "Jamie III" seem to be sequel songs to "Jamie Was a Boozer" the title song of a previous West album. Jamie also shows up in "More Than You'll Ever Know" a song that alludes to the hey day of the Sex Pistols, and in "Video Taping Our Love" . With SOUTH DAKOTA HAIRDO. Joe West proves once again that he deserves to be a cult figure, if he isn't already one.


Joe West: South Dakota Hairdo (Frogville Records fv00015)
Just how many great singer/songwriters are there out there? I'd never heard of Joe West before but he seems to be at least three records into his career and it really shows: there's ten songs here written and performed with complete assurance, hopping from one style to another so that other reviewers seem to have given up trying to categorise him. How could you, when on one song he could be Lou Reed. on another Mike Scott in the early 90s, and on another, Kinky Friedman? And each of the other songs are different again? He sings about real life, enjoying the humour, the sadness, the strengths and weaknesses of people's lives; the lyrics are intelligent and literate and the music is beautifully structured and played, varying from a fairly sparse arrangement of guitar, fiddle and harmony vocals to a fairly full on band sound driven by electric guitar and piano. On the first few hearings I wasn't sure I could go with a whole album of his vocals, which are a bit nasal and querulous, but I seem to have got past that as the songs have grown on me. There's just so much to listen to in this album, snatches of lyric and background details in the music, that it's still a growing pleasure and I've probably played it 20 times. And he namechecks both North and South Dakota, and I challenge anyone to tell me of another album that does so. And the Santa Fe Reporter said: "God bless Joe West and his countrified freak show". Amen to that. This album available at the frogville website above.

John Davy

South Dakota Hairdo... (Frogville Records)

You'll want to fasten your seat-belts for this one, because South Dakota Hairdo is one hell of a ride down the incredible highway of Joe West's imagination. Wonderfully literate and musically impeccable, West and his band present a high-energy vision of that other life that exists somewhere on the fringes. They say that true artists look at life through a different lens than the rest of us, and that must be true; how else can a song titled "South Dakota Hairdo" be accounted for? And that's only the first song; trust me, it gets better. I can't shake the notion that this guy was an English major at some point, because his lyrics contain so much more than initially meets the ear. Listen to "Reprimand", for instance, and figure out who he's really singing about. Is it his love life, or is it Jesus? Your choice. Behind the cutting guitars of West, Derek Zelenko, and Ben Wright (of Mary & Mars), there's the irresistible bottom end of Jennifer West and Jim Palmer, bass and drums respectively. Embellish that with some fine piano, pedal steel and dobro work, (I can't make out some of the names, because Joe scrawled the info in black pen across an old black and white photo?!!??), and you've got a Ten Best candidate, for sure. Do yourself a favor, check his schedule at his site, and catch the show. I know I will, if he ever heads North.
Joe West's web site (http://www.joewestmusic.com). Available at Frogville Records (http://www.frogvilleplanet.com), thay have a few song samples too. Released early 2004, reviewed by Don Grant.


Joe West
True West Magazine Jan/Feb 2004 pg.84

Not Just Another Pretty Voice
Joe West is all for underdogs, boozers and lovers

New Mexico is home to many legends: Billy the Kid, the Roswell Alien and a hometown kid whose real name actually happens to be Joe West. This guileless, irreverent, social satirist rivets audiences at local stages, such as the Mineshaft Tavern in Madrid and the Cowgirl Bar in Santa Fe.

Recent refugees from the Austin, Texas, scene, West and his original band, The Sinners, quickly attained cult status with their driving beat and angst-ridden lyrics, referred to by one reviewer as "country-punk singer-songwriter based rock."

Two years of onstage experimentation with alternate musicians in Santa Fe at the Cowgirl Bar (known as The Lamp Sessions) pushed his evolution into its latest incarnation. His new group, the South Dakota Hairdo band, takes his original sound even further, but with less bluegrass. The recently released CD, SOUTH DAKOTA HAIRDO, from Frogville Records, is dark, haunting and filled withsarcasm.

Often defigned as "undefignable," West's wicked mix of pathos and humor is laced with a deep respect for humanity's vulnerabilities and weaknesses, especially its addictions. West finds no subject unworthy, no tunnel too dark. Luckily, his respect for life and his brilliant sense of humor reassure us that there's always a light at the end , even if it's just a naked bulb.

"I may be working out my own demons here," West explains. "My subjects have a kind of spiritual desperation, and they try to find salvation in all the wrong ways, through drugs and alcohol. I make fun of our own failures as humans; our pretenses, our greed, our dependency. But personally, I have an optimistic outlook."

A contradiction in terms? Hardly. Joe's subject matter and musical style somehow unite the good and the bad. And he's paid his personal dues. After studying art and theatre in New York, he moved to Austin to pursue music. The varied scene there allowed him to explore traditional country sounds with a bluegrass feel. Early critics of his upbeat sound called it quirky " American honky-tonk."

"My music's really not all that new," West says. "It's narrative. I come from a tradition of folk artists, in my own family-but grew up loving rock."

Intrigued most by the down-and-out and the deprived, West sings about life's alluring losers who nevertheless fall in love, strive to be better and often live in trailer parks. "I get my ideas from the people I'm around and from my own personal identity," he says.

His album , JAMIE WAS A BOOZER, is a cult favorite, and Jamie, one of his favorite musical antiheroes, has become his alter ego. West believes his future songs will explore Jamie's continuing saga.

What makes Joe West a Western musician is his faultless ability to reflect what the West is all about - behind the scenes. At heart, it's the indevidual, the maverick and the hard lovin' loser. Whether he's singing a tribute to the "Can Man," a treasured local character who collects cans for a living, or songs like "Trip to Roswell, N.M." or "Trailer Park Liberal," you know this guy's not kidding around. Where there's satire, there's usually great wit and sensitivity, not just cycicism. Joe West is a rising star in a world that hasn't seen this much originality since Wayne's World. And each time you listen to his music, it makes you laugh, weep or grab another beer. ###
True West Magazine Jan/Feb 2004 pg.84



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