Dieselhed – Tales of a Brown Dragon (Amarillo, 1995)

Tales of a Brown Dragon

CD Amarillo Records ACM-601 (USA, 1995)

01. Brown Dragon
02. Butcher Boy
03. Wedding Song
04. Gravy Boat
05. Wipe Down the Vinyl
06. Pizza Box
07. M & M
08. Fork Lift Test
09. Aladdin’s Lamp
10. Baby Song
11. Snow Blind in the Liquor Store

Dieselhed formed in 1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area playing a blend of country, punk, and pseudo-classic rock. Drummer Heifetz spread his time between Dieselhed and the genre-bending experimentalists Mr. Bungle. Singer-songwriter Virgil Shaw previously played in Arcata outfit Brent’s T.V. Bassist Ellis had been a founding member of the local disbanded funk rock band Psychefunkapus, and Jonathan Segel was a former member of local indie-faves Camper Van Beethoven.
The band signed a recording contract with independent label Amarillo Records in the early 1990s. Dieselhed released three full length albums for Amarillo while maintaining a national touring schedule throughout the 90s, often accompanied by road manager John Tynan.
Dieselhed’s self-titled 1993 debut was received well, leading to a modest spurt of college radio airplay. The band wound up selling out Amarillo’s first two pressings of the album. Their second album, Tales of a Brown Dragon, came out in 1995 and helped to expand their growing fan base. Dieselhed became regulars at the SXSW music festival held each year in Austin, Texas. Their third album, 1997’s Shallow Water Blackout, was produced by Dwight Yoakam engineer Dusty Wakeman. Dieselhed followed their 1997 release with two U.S. tours opening for Link Wray. For these dates Ellis and Heifitz would return to the stage after their opening set each night to back Wray. The two would go on to become Wray’s regular backing band from 1997 to 2003.

The hillbilly punk-rock explorations of Arcata, CA.’s Dieselhed get even stronger on their sophomore effort, Tales of a Brown Dragon. The band has wisely cut back on the meandering (and sometimes overlong) compositions that prevented their self-titled debut from being a complete success. Dieselhed has also focused and improved the quality of their songwriting, which makes Tales possibly their best and most consistent album. From the guitar chicken-pickin’ of « Brown Dragon » and « Butcher Boy » (both contain rambunctious choruses that provide a sharp contrast to the rest of the song) to the speedy hoedown « Pizza Box, » this is simply alternative country at its finest. The soothingly experimental « Baby Song » is a new sound for the band (a horn is heard blowing in the background), showing that they refuse to stay put and rehash old ideas. The group has been known to include some witty lyrics in their songs, and on Tales of a Brown Dragon, the album closer « Snow Blind in the Liquor Store » lives up to expectations. Music for the alternative cowboy. (Greg Prato, All Music Guide)

FR Seuls les retardaires se demanderont ce qu’un machin estampillé alt-coutry vient foutre ici. Ce serait oublier ma passion pour le faramineux label américan Amarillo. Ce titre est plus conventionnel que le terrassant Tender Places Come from Nothing de U.S. Saucer (qui reste au passage parmi les disques les plus cruciaux postés par ici), mais demeure tout aussi indispensable que tout ce que sortait cette maison (de fous).
ENG Back to the almighty Amarillo. U.S. Saucer’s Tender Places Come from Nothing is one of the five best albums ever posted here (seriously, yes), this one is a bit more conventional but I don’t care. Amarillo rules, period.


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5 commentaires pour Dieselhed – Tales of a Brown Dragon (Amarillo, 1995)

  1. docteurorlof dit :


    …and the U.S. Saucer is still here :

    (and there’s more in the archives, follow the tags as usual)

  2. any chance of a new dl link for this ? (big Amarillo fan here)

    • docteurorlof dit :

      Dès le départ j’avais écrit ‘there will be no re-ups once the files have gone’ (parce que pas que ça à faire de mes journées non plus), mais pour Amarillo je vais faire une exception. Mais c’est bien parce que c’est Amarillo
      Pas tout de suite non plus (faut pas pousser, et de toute façon rien ne presse, je crois).

      (I guess there’s no need to translate in english)

  3. okidoki je croise les doigts 🙂
    …c’est le mec de Festen, ce blog, non ?

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