Trampled By Turtles’ Dave Simonett is no stranger to solo work – he’s put out several records under the name Dead Man Winter. With Red Tail, though, Simonett is releasing new music under his own moniker, and it’s an output well worth putting your name on.
There’s a subtle TbT undertone to a lot of the tracks on Red Tail, but sonically a vast difference. Songs like “Revoked” and “In The Western Wind and the Sunrise” have the same tendencies as some Turtles songs – think “Life is Good On The Open Road” or “Thank You, John Steinbeck” – but with different instrumentation. The reverb-drenched electric guitar on “Revoked” and the delicate piano and closing static noise on “Western Wind” provide stark contrast to anything the Turtles really offer.
Simonett shows off his more Americana-leaning side often on the album; “Silhouette” and “You Belong Right Here” are both stellar, salt-of-the-earth tracks that would fit in well on any Son Volt or early Wilco album.
The album ends with the sing-a-long “There’s a Lifeline Deep in the Night Sky,” a song that almost serves as Red Tail’s encore. Nearly every concert closes with the audience singing along to a band’s biggest hit, and that’s the vibe this track give off.
At the end of the day, most of the songs here would be right at home on a TbT record with different instrumentation, no shock given Simonett’s at the helm of both. But, Red Tail shows that Simonett doesn’t want to pigeon-hole himself into one genre, and it’s the listeners that reap the benefits.
Dave Simonett’s Red Tail is out March 13 on Thirty Tigers