FACT: Yes, that is Don DiLego's brainscan portraying Jim Carrey's brainscan in 2004's "The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind"...just in case that mystery has always been dogging you. Further proof the world, as Don sees it, does indeed move in...
FACT: Yes, that is Don DiLego's brainscan portraying Jim Carrey's brainscan in 2004's "The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind"...just in case that mystery has always been dogging you. Further proof the world, as Don sees it, does indeed move in mysterious ways.
Currently splits his time between New York, NY and Velvet Elk City, where his crushed-velvet recording studio is located. There are banjos, harmonicas, guitars, tambourines, mandolins, basses, accordians, and a wurlitzer strewn across his studio in various states of disrepair. A Betsy Ross edition piano sits handsomely in the corner, a full and melodious half-step out of tune. A fact that doesn't sit too well with his band.
Drinks too much coffee. Talks to himself a lot. Wishes he wrote "Red-Headed Stranger" by Willie Nelson, but to this day, refuses to wear a bandana
* * * Stuff people said that make me look good! * * * “With Photographs Of 1971, Don DiLego has taken another step towards establishing himself as one of this generation's best up-and-coming singer-songwriters.” / Blogcritics Magazine
“New York City's emerging folk-twang songsmith, Don DiLego, is alt-country's next poster boy.” / Rollingstone.com
“The disc recaptures the rhythym of 70’s movies and photographs, as well as DiLego’s own distinct take on alt-country.” / David Dye from The World Café, WXPN
"Photographs of 1971 is one of those records that creep up on you, a great vibe and very strong tunes.” / XM Radio-Mike Marrone/Program Director The Loft
“’Falling into Space’… speaks volumes about DiLego's ability to craft finely written pop songs with country and folk tools that many artists might cast aside.” / The Bridge, Texas A & M
A Masterful follow up to his "Lonestar Hitchhiker" series. / The Big Takeover!
“Not since Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska has a concept album been more stirring or truthful. With a rich sense of orchestration, the album is masterfully arranged in a way that is reminscent of Smile-era Beach Boys…making Lonestar Hitchhiker a true and significant masterpiece.” / Northeast Performer
The Lonestar Hitchhiker by Northeast Performer Recorded at Electric Lady Studios Produced by Michael Mangini & Don DiLego Reviewer -AF YeagerDon DiLego ought to be incredibly proud of his road trip inspired album, “The Lonestar Hitchhiker”....
Photographs of 1971 by Pop Matters by Jason MacNeilDon DiLego got the idea for this album by looking at old photographs, deciding to bring those still pictures of bygone days back to life. While it’s often a cathartic process for...
The Lonestar Hitchhiker by Northeast Performer Recorded at Electric Lady Studios
Produced by Michael Mangini & Don DiLego
Reviewer -AF Yeager
Don DiLego ought to be incredibly proud of his road trip inspired album, “The Lonestar Hitchhiker”. Not since Bruce Springsteen's “Nebraska” has a concept album been more stirring or truthful. Like a wizened hobo troubadour, DiLego extends his incredible journey to anyone lucky enough to listen, but instead of doing such with an antiquated Americana folksiness, the songs remain appropriately modern, bringing a sense of dangerously revealing honesty. Hailing from New York, ex-Bostonian Don DiLego is probably best known around these parts for his rock band Standing on Earth, who held a fleeting until snubbed-by-Sony success. After a brief and brutal stint in California, he traveled to New York and began his venture as a solo artist, which very quickly got him a record deal with Universal. Lonestar Hitchhiker is his first solo album. “Lonestar Hitchhiker” calls to mind depressing Greyhound bus stations, strange truck stops, neon strip malls bustling with Midwestern starving culture and most of all, a sense of the down trodden romantic America that has laid in torpor since the Beat Generation. It stands as testament to a way of life we have long since taken for granted. DiLego's surprisingly twangy voice brings a heartfelt realism to his incredibly diverse soundscapes and his songs demand to be listened to due to their refreshing unpretentiousness and utter conviction. With a rich sense of orchestration, the album is masterfully arranged in a way that is reminscent of “Smile”-era Beach Boys (which to this reviewer is probably one of the highest accolades one can get). The instrumentation is more than amazing, it remains wonderfully understated and highly befitting, never distracting from whatever mood DiLego settles on. If songwriting is hard enough in keeping genuine and unique, then concept albums are down right next to impossible. Don DiLego manages both with great ease, making “Lonestar Hitchhiker” a true and significant masterpiece.
Photographs of 1971 by Pop Matters by Jason MacNeil
Don DiLego got the idea for this album by looking at old photographs, deciding to bring those still pictures of bygone days back to life. While it’s often a cathartic process for some, it’s just as often mired in self-pity and melancholia. Fortunately, Don DiLego bypasses all that “woe is me” feeling for the most part, especially on the smart kick starter “Dreamin’”, which sounds like a classic Sloan album cut. A lot of these tracks would be perfect road music, especially the slow-building but catchy “The City or the War”. However, he can’t escape the dour moments with “At the Texaco”, which has some fine guitar accents offsetting the piano. This is quickly forgotten about with a tender “Automatic” that would have Chris Isaak jealous. DiLego chooses an interesting cover for the album with the Kinks’ “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”, giving it a darker tone. But DiLego is at his best with an Americana flavoring, as is the case with the title track, and the weary alt.country nugget “My Misery Is a Fairy Tale”. The breezy, David Gilmour-tinged pop of “Rosemary’s Suite” is another keeper. Tender and thoughtful, DiLego has made a very good album of audible Polaroids.
RATING: 7 out of 10 Stars!
Photographs of 1971 by Blogcritics Magazine Written by Dave Lifton
I kinda have a 'thing' for the art of the 70s," Don DiLego writes in the liner notes to his third album, Photographs Of 1971. "There was a particular sense of style and rhythm in what we saw on the movie screen and in still photographs." DiLego's affinity for that much-maligned decade doesn't stop there. With its compressed acoustic guitars and flat snare drum sound, Photographs Of 1971, firmly establish him as a disciple of the singer-songwriter movement of the early-to-mid-70s, and there are plenty of references to that genre throughout the CD. The intro to the gorgeous "At The Texaco" references John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," "Falling Into Space" uses the rhythm from Tom Petty's "American Girl" as a starting point, and the chorus "Rosemary's Suite" contains harmonies that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Badfinger classic. Finally, there's also a blistering cover of The Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everybody Else.
DiLego even breaks the 16-track, 59-minute CD into two sides, as if it were an LP. That old-school method of sequencing gives him the opportunity to showcase the lovely "Dreaming" as the opening track. Side Two opens with the title track, the album's emotional centerpiece, and then moves into a sort of suite, with three self-written hymns interspersed throughout the remaining songs to provide a sense of continuity as the arrangements grow sparser and more experimental from the straightforward tracks on Side One.
Yet for all its evocations of thirty-five years ago, DiLego is not a nostalgia act determined to recreate the greatness Late For The Sky or Sweet Baby James. Rather, he's drawing upon their influence to remind us of what can be achieved by emphasizing introspection and creativity in his music. His musical sensibilities are rooted in the current Americana/alt-country sounds of Ryan Adams and the early Wilco albums, as baritone guitars, pedal steels and feedback enter in and out of the mix to provide tasteful coloring without adding clutter. But most impressive of all is DiLego's voice, an emotional versatile instrument that can go from a whisper to a soaring falsetto in an instant.
With Photographs Of 1971, Don DiLego has taken another step towards establishing himself as one of this generation's best up-and-coming singer-songwriters. Highly recommended.
Email this • Subscribe to this feed Dave Lifton is a writer whose take on pop culture can be found at Wings For Wheels. He also covers D.C. United on the Screaming Eagles Podcast.