Terry Glasenapp Reviews Eric Dahl's 2022 Release, 'Three Pawn Shops'
Eric Dahl is a singer-songwriter with a musical palette from acoustic folk Americana to “country eastern” to anthemic ballads and more. From his start in the Green River Valley south of Seattle to Walla Walla, in Eastern Washington, to Oxford in England, with stops in Austin,Texas, in Athens, Georgia, and other points in between, he has absorbed many inspirations and influences. His songs are distilled with depth and precision, lyrical grace and shades of the European Renaissance writers he studied on the way to his doctorate.
Eric’s keen observation skills infuse his songs with details: “Wisteria growing all twisted against the wall“ in Blackbird about the Cajun south from an LA perspective or in an eastern Washington ballad Break Through and Shine with rural religious imagery from the wheat fields: “I saw her carrying a round loaf of bread in a biblical episode. Her shoes were anointed with oil, black like the unpaved road.”
My favorites on Eric’s new CD, Three Pawn Shops, are Kingdom Come, a rousing ballad with an anthemic chorus, and Jimmy Day, a tribute to the man who pioneered pedal steel guitar playing in recordings with Hank Williams, Patsy Kline, Elvis, Willie Nelson (and many others who called on Jimmy to play live with them and on their records). How about these fine words from that song; “A spice wind from the desert in the steel ringing true -- one murmur, sweet goddess would do, one murmur Blue Darlin’ from Jimmy Day and you.”
The CD has other powerful songs, including “Diamonds on the Texas Dew” with these lyrics: “You know he believed being linked together makes us sane, And he was the kind who loved to build that chain, He always had some shining idea breaking through, Gentle and real as diamonds on the Texas dew.”
And to close out, I share these wise lines: “This is not about eternity,
It’s a moment in your mind . . . “ from Eric’s song Texas Nightingale. The grace of Eric’s stories and music bring me to a longing for that one eternal moment. Perhaps a visit to one of the Pawn Shops will provide something like that. -Terry Glasenapp, Host of ‘Wholly Bozos’ for 38 years,
KDNK Community Radio , Carbondale, Colorado.