Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Tallest Man On Earth

*MP3: The Tallest Man On Earty - "The Sparrow and The Medicine"
*MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth - "Pistol Dreams"

Since people seem so drawn to compare any man with a gravelly voice, acoustic guitar, and evocative, poetic, surreal lyrics to Bob Dylan, I figured we could just spare a description from the present moment for this jewel of a songwriter, The Tallest Man On Earth.

Instead, let us approach his music through the early reviews of Dylan. We will replace Dylan's name with TTMOE (the tallest man on earth), as needed.

"In his serious vein, TTMOE seems to be performing in a slow-motion film. Elasticized phrases are drawn out until you think they may snap. He rocks his head and body. He closes his eyes in reverie, seems to be groping for a word or a mood, then resolves the tension benevolently by finding the word and the mood. But if not for every taste, his music-making has the mark of originality and inspiration, all the more noteworthy for his youth. TTMOE is vague about his antecedents and birthplace, but it matters less where he has been than where he is going, and that would seem to be straight up." - Robert Shelton, New York Times 1964

"The Peter, Paul and Mary recording of TTMOES "Blowin' in the Wind"is, according to Warner Bros. Records, the fastest selling single the company has ever cut. "Blowin'" is young TTMOE at his lyrically honest best. It sounds as country-airy as Turkey in the Straw, but it has a cutting edge." -TIME, July 1963

Hmm...this guy has been around a while! Well, here is a more recent review, from the decidedly devisive Pitchfork Media. TTMOE's recent release "Shallow Grave" made their Top 50 of 2008 list;

"Matsson's melodies are remarkably pliant, and while it's understandable to be skeptical of another skinny dude with a mustache, a guitar, and a worn-out copy of The Anthology of American Folk Music, the more time you invest in Shallow Grave, the more you'll realize how unusually memorable it is. Ultimately, Shallow Grave transcends comparison-- which is saying an awful lot, given the popularity of its prototype-- and Matsson is a natural-born folksinger, earnest, clever, and comforting." -Pitchfork Media

You can sort this time-bending mystery out for yourself, on the upcoming US Tour.

Playing April 2 at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Minn.

The Tallest Man On Earth on MySpace

(Bill Caperton)



Blogger Oded said...

What a great idea to reverse the Dylan-TTMOE roles in the music reviews! TTMOE is a wonderful gem of an artist, poetic lyrics are just one of those things he's great at. The overall honest and refreshing presentation is also important, I think. Here's my impression of him:

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