Monday, October 03, 2011

Dwight Twilley

The saga of Dwight Twilley is the classic story of the right guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. It would have never been easy for a man from Tulsa, Oklahoma to bust into the rock 'n roll mainstream, but Twilley also happened to arrive on the scene in the mid-'70s, a time when Anglophile power pop was in disfavor. Just ask Alex Chilton and Big Star. Twilley and songwriting partner Phil Seymour delivered two superb albums -- 1976's Sincerely and 1977's Twilley Don't Mind -- experienced barely a ripple of critical acclaim, and disappeared from view.

He's resurfaced with new solo albums periodically, and the past five years or so have seen a resurgence of interest in his music. Nada Surf covered Twilley's "You Were So Warm" (from Sincerely) on last year's very fine If I Had a Hi-Fi (a case of the criminally unappreciated covering the criminally unappreciated?), and he's now the subject of a rock 'n roll documentary. The resulting soundtrack for the film (called, appropriately enough, Soundtrack) has just been released, and it's a wonderful reminder of all that is special about his music. The songs, all written and performed by Twilley, are rueful, funny, and deeply personal, and if his voice is a little weathered and frayed around the edges, he's lost nothing in the way of memorable pop hooks. Take a listen, explore the back catalog, and revel in the wonders of one who slipped under the radar.

No comments: