Patrick Dunn is of and from the places he has called home; he is all at once a product of New York, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New York, California, and New York (Brooklyn, currently). What does this have to do with the music? For one, the songs trace the American landscape with a connection to its long line of storytellers. In this tradition, we find the old soul, the rambler, the traveling singer and songwriter finding his place in the ever-growing timeline of honest music.
You want to talk genres? You’re into that sort of thing? Well, some folk call it folk or folk-rock; some use terms like Americana, alt-country, or roots that imply a continuation of and reaction to traditional music. Still, others say it’s all just rock & roll. A few even call it soul because of the place from which it comes. In reality, there are no clear boundaries between any of these and many other musical ideas. However, if defining genres is a useful tool and you feel the need to categorize further, go right ahead.
And what of this new record? "Unnatural Disaster" sounds like mixed tracks of acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins, harmonicas, harmonies, and a hodgepodge rhythm section. The songs involve a cast of characters in scenes that play out over the course of the record. Some would call this a concept album or a record with a story. This story tells of Addie Greene, her husband, a flooding L.A. River, a burning house, a serial arsonist shot dead in a motel, and a paranoid grandfather.
Is this an antiquated idea? Why release a themed story album in 2012, when the iTunes digital single is the supposed new ideal? Well…maybe it’s better not to think too hard about how some people say other people should listen to music. Maybe this record just happened that way. Maybe all of this doesn’t matter much because a song is only as good as the connections it makes, and sometimes it’s just better to listen. [+]