The Dead Tongues supports Mandolin Orange next February18-12-2017
For the last 6 years, songwriter, guitarist, and producer Ryan Gustafson has been making music as The Dead Tongues; building his own corner of the new American musical landscape with twangy garage jams, bohemian country shuffles, opened-tuned meditations, and melancholy love notes.
While spending time in the studio or on the road with Hiss Golden Messenger, Charlie Parr, and Phil Cook, Ryan and longtime collaborator Andrew Marlin, along with perennial bandmates James Wallace and Jeff Crawford, found time to record The Dead Tongues third album, Montana, an exploration into his uniquely new and old approach to songwriting. From the easy psychedelic blues of “Graveyard Fields” to “Empire Builder”–an instantly memorable combination of fleet-fingered picking and vocal melody that could shed a little sunlight on Springsteen’s bleak Nebraska–Ryan wields a diverse palette with a singular voice.
His work hints at the tradition of folk storytelling without succumbing to it’s obvious tropes, chronicling existence as he sees it; a strange and beautiful tale of heartbreak and adventure. In these simple arrangements is a harmonious duality–spectres of the past haunting the struggles of the present, a seamless medley of intimate emotion and boundless landscape, a hard-earned sense of sorrow and hope. The resulting mixture creates a space big enough to roam in. Montana is a document of the present moment and all moments that came before, a tale of the modern world spoken in dead tongues.