Dorothy Brings “28 Days In The Valley” To Austin For SXSW THOUGHTS, PHOTOS & INTERVEW: DOROTHY @ THE TOWNSEND | SXSW 3/13/18
AUSTIN, TX- On March 16th, 2018 singer-songwriter Dorothy Martin p/k/a “Dorothy” released her sophomore album “28 Days In The Valley”. But prior to her fans swooping in upon its release to make the album chart to #2 on iTunes on March 16th, 2018, a handful of lucky fans in Austin who were willing to seek her out got the chance to catch her in intimate settings to hear her perform her new music live. At midnight on March 13th, in the 98 person capacity music room at The Townsend, I got that chance.
It was fierce performance that embodied the same kind of attitude and confidence that I recalled from the last Dorothy gig I attended when she was touring in support of “ROCKISDEAD”. During her 40 minute performance, she focused on her new material, and while her single “Flawless” was the only track I could recognize, there was a certain classic familiarity to all of the compositions that she ripped through late that evening.
I think a lot of that has to do with how the songs from “28 Days In The Valley” came about. The album was produced by the inimitable Linda Perry (who also happened to introduced Dorothy’s performance to the adoring crowd), was recorded in 28 days in a studio in “The Valley”, and every song was co-written by Dorothy and Linda. When I caught up with Dorothy the following day she explained how that relationship came about.
“I actually sought Linda out. I just kind of had a feeling about her and she came into my mind one day and I thought I would really love to write with her […] I wrote a few songs with her like a long time ago and we then stayed in touch, ya know, and she checked in with me, and she’s like, ‘How ya doing kid?’ and I go, ‘kind of trying to figure out where my career is going to go next’ and we got to talking and […] it turned into ‘I think your career needs a little change in direction and let’s talk about making an album”
Together, they’ve created an album that really seems to dive deep into emotions and personal states of being, using Dorothy’s raw and visceral vocals as the tool to tell the stories. I suggest to Dorothy that “28 Days In The Valley” has a different tone than “ROCKISDEAD”, stating that it felt a bit more earthy and grounded, and Dorothy agreed, classifying her sound as something akin to honest, psychedelic desert rock:
“The path kind of revealed itself to us, it was more of just getting into the studio and coming together and getting really grounded and centered and allowing these songs to happen, so as a writer it was a great experience to open up and get out of my head, and you know, write things from the heart from an honest place and yeah it has a more earthly, mother earth, feminine energy to it.”
During her performance, prior to singing “Mountain” she mentioned that song was her favorite song to sing. I followed up on that statement during our talk and she explained that her “favorite song” could change from week to week.
“It’s just so emo. There is just so much emotion in that song, [but] my favorite song to perform changes all the time because once you performed a song a bunch of times, it becomes like an Andy Warhol painting, you kind of become numb to it, ya know, and then at that point, it’s really in the hands of the audience and their energy and how that influences you. So right now it’s “Mountain” and next week it might be “Philadelphia”.
When I asked her if there was any particular song from the album that really spoke to her- a song that she found particularly meaningful- while she stressed that the whole album was personal, she singled out “Black Tar and Nicotine” (a song written by Linda that Linda asked her to sing) stating:
“It’s personal because I really relate to the struggle that’s in that song, but also this for me was a deeper foray into songwriting and self-discovery so all of it’s very personal.”
During our conversation she also spoke about how positive the experience was working and writing with her band. As she described how she was able to connect with her bandmates through the sharing of stories about their own struggles and participating in meditation sessions, I realized that that interconnectedness was what really made the performance I witnessed so flawless.
Having recently wrapped up a domestic tour, Dorothy shared her excitement about the possibility of doing an international tour later in the year. I have no doubt that she and her band will be delighting audiences around the world with her soulful classic rock sonics, giving more fans the experience of being “28 Days In The Valley”.
— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) March 27, 2018
— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) March 27, 2018