Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Well Wishers - Dunwoody ep (2013) - A brief overview

When I learned that the impetus for the creation of this ep was a dream (literally) endured by Well Wishers prime mover Jeff Shelton, it immediately brought to mind similar circumstances that occurred twenty years or so ago to another musician.  In the early '90s, on the heels of their successful debut Facelift, Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley found inspiration in slumber as well.  Upon awaking one day from a dream that involved AIC recording an acoustic ep, Layne soon brought that dream to fruition with the 1992 ep, Sap.  Coincidentally, Dunwoody is predominately acoustic, and precisely like Sap, five songs in length.  For better or worse (frankly much for the better), Shelton isn't Layne Staley, rather a singer/songwriter of a different stripe, with a hankering for crunchy, straight-up riff pop, that's yielded nearly a dozen albums between his three primary delivery systems, the Spinning Jennies, the more recent Hot Nun, and of course the Well Wishers. 

The word "Dunwoody" came to Shelton completely at random, and after a little investigation he learned that it was the name of an Atlanta suburb.  The ep is a loose concept piece, but to this set of ears and established Well Wishers clientele, this is more of a detour than anything else.  Not just in the respect that Shelton stays unplugged for a good 3/5 of Dunwoody, moreover for the delicate lilt that colors "Butterflies" and "Good Luck."  The effect strikingly recalls the Posies, specifically their debut, Failure, which employed a similar sonic aptitude.  The comparatively amped-up "Open Up Your Eyes" and "Real Today," are typical of what our man usually brings to the table, albeit in a more contemplative context.  You can sample these numbers for yourself over at Bandcamp, where you can provide a modest donation if you enjoy what you hear.  Dunwoody is available from the usual host of digital peddlers: iTunes, Amazon downloads and Emusic, and physically from Amazon.  Check out Facebook too. 

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