We are pleased to partner with Alex Dunn to premiere his latest video ‘Me and the Lady’. This is beautifully produced Americana, with melody, musicianship and a rare lyrical poetry, blending to form an effective song that remains with the listener long after the experience. Like the rest of the songs from Dunn’s second record ‘Southern Star’, ‘Me and the Lady’ is refined and graceful, the sort of music that gives a nod to musical styles from the past but also feels immediate and fresh. He brings all his real, lived experience into his songs, from his childhood on the border of Colorado and Wyoming to his fifteen years as a fisherman on cold Alaskan waters. There’s an authenticity, here, that is illuminated by a talented band. Bryant Moore’s upright bass hums with a deep warmth, over which Cameron Peace’s electric guitar and Dunn’s clean but characterful vocal float and fly, twisting and dancing together, driven on Sam Esecson’s lightly insistent high-hat and snare. The combination of players is tight and effective throughout this finely crafted song. Dunn is a storyteller, whose songs are populated by characters and have a strong sense of place. In this respect, ‘Me and the Lady’ is absorbing and we lose ourselves in the language and familial references, at once intimate and universal.
Dunn says of the inspiration behind the song: “‘Me and the Lady’ is a sort of J.J. Cale inspired, adaptation of a poem my father wrote for my grandmother Norma in 1973. He had been living and studying medicine in Guadalajara, Mexico at the time and couldn’t make it home for Mother’s Day, so he sent her this poem in the mail. Years later the poem surfaced while going through Norma’s belongings after she passed, and I had to turn it into a song. The video for ‘Me and the Lady’ showcases this unique familial tapestry, woven across three generations. The music itself is a nod to the soulful sounds of early 1970’s country roots/rock, in an effort to pay respect to the era the poem was written.”
With the clever transformation of Alex Dunn into his father at the beginning, looking out over the vast unchanging landscape, and the collection of old photographs in a suitcase, Greg Kramer’s gorgeously produced video for ‘Me and the Lady’ evokes a real sense of time passing far too swiftly, of lives lived and connections across generations that touch us as we pass through fleetingly. Our ephemeral selves move on but Wyoming’s big sky and open spaces remain. Dunn says of the video’s concept and the appearance of his father: “That was the videographer’s last minute editing choice and we decided to keep it. It was really meant to show the familial connectivity – how much I look like my father I suppose, but also to continue with the theme of genealogical transference, how it’s all one big thing really, one greater unified soul and we are each just different individual tendrils. It was meant to show continuation too, from one life to the next. That’s the house I grew up in, in southern Wyoming, my favourite place on the planet, and all the nature scenes are very personal to me – places I’ve been going to my whole life.” The visual symbolism mirrors the lyrical narrative, full of fine details and references through which generations flow: “So everything goes slipping, sliding, just // a quick life and you can’t hardly hang on // You pick something and you go for it // then it’s gone, it doesn’t matter what // I can’t believe I was ever small…All bundled up on the ice, there was a // girl there about as old as I am now.” As specific as his words are about the Montana winter and the personal sweep of his family’s story, Dunn captures something truly universal in the way he connects past and future, memory and the loss of innocence. And just like Dunn and the lady who taught him softness, we all end up on a star somewhere with our loved ones.
And that beautiful piece of art you see towards the end of the video? That’s the cover for the new album and is one of the multi-talented Alex Dunn’s own paintings, featuring one of his father’s friends on horseback. ‘Southern Star’ has grown naturally from the acoustic folk of Dunn’s debut ‘Scattered Poems’, itself an excellent record; it’s a more layered and varied take on Americana and absolutely worth checking out. ‘Southern Star’ is already available to stream but you can pre-order the vinyl here and own that artwork for yourself. In the meantime, check out ‘Me and the Lady’ and lose yourself in timeless human story.