I'm the Man for You
catalog-no. tx 2046
rock - 2000
I'm the Man for You
The return of Jon Pousette-Dart has been long overdue. At least
those familiar with the music of the original Pousette-Dart Band have been waiting
for him to put out new music for a long time. I'M THE MAN FOR YOU rectifies
this and makes up leeway. But it's not a return to form per se – the man has
never lost his gifts! It's just that Jon Pousette-Dart likes to do things his
way and on his own terms. From the mid to late seventies, the Pousette-Dart
Band had released four wonderful albums on Capitol, all of which featured music
of astonishing finesse and refinement. Listening to this New York City-born
and based singer, songwriter and master guitar-player today, it becomes only
too clear that not only have all his skills remained intact; they have blossomed
into something even more beguiling. Jon Pousette-Dart remains a class act of
great individuality, impeccable taste and unwavering integrity. An artist who
has stayed true to his musical vision. He also has a couple of not-so-nice things
to say about the ways of the music industry....
"I hope that it's only amnesia..." – that's a hookline from one of Jon's older tunes from the days of the original Pousette-Dart Band. Amnesia would certainly be one of the key characteristics of the mainstream music business when it comes to their attitude towards older artists, who refuse to adapt the latest trends and fads. Jon Pousette-Dart has had his share of this kind of attitude. When punk and disco ruled the airwaves in the late seventies, his music was swallowed by the cracks and neglected by the industry. A career that had been moving steadily for more than 10 years already, was in danger of collapsing. The guy had paid his dues:
Starting out with the teenage pop combo Tony & the Tygers in the late 60s, Jon Pousette-Dart was already playing music at the age of thirteen. The band's line-up also included the brothers Tony and Hunt Sales (of David Bowie's Tin Machine fame), making waves on the legendary "Hullabaloo" TV show, where they performed alongside the likes of the Young Rascals or Peter & Gordon. They were even supporting the Animals on a US tour. It wasn't the real big time, but it also wasn't bad for a thirteen-year old! But as early as 1971, the young kid had turned into a talented young singer-songwriter, roaming the Northeastern coffeehouse circuit with his Martin D-18, presenting his songs to appreciative audiences. The intensity and melodic strengths of these songs – and Jon's good looks – seemed to promise something to hook onto for manager Don Law. After a gig supporting John Hammond, Law jumped aboard the P.-D. train and soon thereafter Jon Pousette-Dart signed a recording contract with Capitol Records.
The career of the Pousette-Dart Band crossed paths with almost every big name of the seventies rock and pop scene. They were touring relentlessly, supporting everyone from the Eagles, Bonnie Raitt or Peter Frampton to Little Feat, James Taylor, The Band and Hall & Oates. From 1975 to 1980, the band put out four brilliant albums, mostly produced by "Nashville Cat" Norman Putnam: "Same", "Amnesia", "3" and "Never Enough". The records and shows presented a fantastic unit of great homogeneity. The fluidness and lightness of touch of the band's music was one of a kind and still ranks among the most accomplished rock/folk/pop sounds of the era. Centered around the songwriting, singing and playing skills of the bandleader, their music was a combination of intense harmony vocals, tight guitar-based arrangements and a distinguished sense of interplay amongst the four band members. The music had intensity and soul. But facing the new trends by the end of the decade, this highly individual stylistic mix of harmony with a shade of blues and intense folk/pop atmosphere fell out of favor with the industry. The movers and shakers turned their backs and the Pousette-Dart Band took a break. Jon went back to New York City where he was able to establish himself as a player in the well-paid business of commercials. But he never did lose sight of his true destiny – songwriting and performing. He kept following his vision.
Almost inevitably, I'M THE MAN FOR YOU is a direct musical successor to Jon's former work with the original band. The central qualities of the music are still the same. Jon Poussette-Dart is a guitar-player from heaven. He can play everything from refined fingerpicking lines to funky strumming, from bluesy slide licks to distinct leads. But all of his vocal and technical abilities are meant to serve the songs. His intensely melodic tenor voice is still the same, and one can tell that some more years down the road have resulted in more expressive strength. Recorded in Massachussetts with a circle of close friends, I'M THE MAN FOR YOU possesses the flair of a classic American album with many influences from rock, pop, blues and westcoast styles. But this is not an old sounding record. The music is fresh and authentic, strong and soulful. Jon Poussette-Dart is a man who is very close to the US singer-songwriter tradition, has studied the blues, and who knows a classic pop hookline when he hears one. He is also a maverick kind of person with a distinct credo – see below. "There are no limits except the ones you place on yourself" - another quote that sums up his attitude. I'M THE MAN FOR YOU, a wonderful record by a great artist.
"If you feel strongly that music is an essential part of you, then you have to make a lifelong commitment. The notion that you can put together a band, be discovered and wind up on MTV with a fat bank account is a pipe dream. While every once in a while this happens, it is a fluke. Your love of music must be your motivation. Nothing else will substitute for that. Music is the expression of virtually everything that happens in your life. If you are honest, caring, perservering and faithful to music, music will find a place for you. If you want to write a bunch of songs, make a million and be a star, you'd be better off buying lottery tickets.
You cannot be everything to everybody. In order to find out who you are and what you have to offer the world musically you must come to terms with what you are and what you are not. Everybody has a special voice that is theirs alone. Find that voice. Discover who you are by backing up and identifying what you are not. If you do this it will help you immensely in finding a musical voice that is yours alone. Once you find that voice, you will have found the key to a joy that will be with you the rest of your life. Music can lift you up through the most difficult periods of your life. If you let making music be its own reward, you will be repaid a thousand times."
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