The simple fact that Dan Reeder's self-titled album is on John Prine's record label speaks volumes for this disc right off the bat. From the first song all the way through to the 18th, and several glorious trips later, the listener is still captivated by the intelligence and wit contained in these relatively short, yet very complete, vignettes. Reeder wrote all the songs, produced the disc, played all the instruments, did the art work, did all the vocals, recorded and mixed this, and it seems, made some of the instruments. It is a powerful maiden disc and one that is complete in every way in itself, and yet leaves the listener hungering for more. It runs the gamut, from the folk of "Three Chords," to the sly blues gospel sound of "My Little Bitty Pee Pee," to the field chant of "Work Song," to whatever else enters Reeder's head and he decides to put down on this magnificent disc. It is a disc that grows to full appreciation with every listening. The songs are well put together and contain some wonderful word play, and there are some very good intelligent lyrics without sounding the least bit contrived, cute, or forced. This is one that is not going to get a lot of airplay, because it is not going to fit anywhere, yet it should not be missed. A few of the songs here are destined to become staples of the folk scene, which song will depend on the singer because the work done with lyrics (some of which do make liberal use of four-letter words in explicit context if you are easily offended) and arrangements are stunning and hilarious.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bob Gottlieb