Dirk Hamilton - vocals, guitar; Don Evans - lead guitar; James Rawlinson - bass; Daryl "Big Dog" Verdusco - drums
While Dirk Hamilton's performance at the New York City club, the Bottom Line, only featured five songs, it is still over 45 minutes of country-tinged rock 'n' roll brilliance. The concert, captured on the 16th of May, 1978, features material from each of his first four discs.
Hamilton's confident swagger and powerful voice shine throughout the recording. His prodigious talent is especially visible on the rousing, "How Do You Fight Fire?," which originally appeared on his 1978 Meet Me at the Crux. He keeps a soulful baritone and an emotive tenor in his locker, and he uses both liberally throughout the concert. His backing band is also excellent, especially on the songs where they get to take some extended jams. On "Pavlova Shoes" and the 14-minute "Turn off the T.V.," their technical prowess takes center stage. Lead guitarist Don Evans is as comfortable laying down an understated melody as he is ripping through a virtuosic solo.
When one listens to this show, it becomes clear why Hamilton got his reputation as a tireless performer who wrote great rock songs. However, it also makes one wonder why he did not have more mainstream success. Either way, this recording is another treasure captured for the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
Indiana-born singer-songwriter Dirk Hamilton was raised in Northern California. He started playing guitar as a youngster, and by the time he was in high school, he was writing and performing frequently. In the late '70s, he left Northern California for Los Angeles, attempting to forge a career in rock 'n' roll.
His first album, You Can Sing on the Left or Bark on the Right, was released in 1976. The album was a successful amalgam of blues, country, rock, and folk, and it introduced Hamilton's rich, soulful voice to American music fans. Hamilton released much of his best work at the end of the '70s, especially 1977's Alias I and 1978's Meet Me at the Crux. His introspective, poetic lyrics and strong melodies built Hamilton a solid, national following.
After taking a break from music in the early eighties, Hamilton missed making music and decided to continue his music career at the end of the decade. His first release after the hiatus, Go Down Swingin', was released in 1991 by Appaloosa Records. The record is a guitar-driven affair, with Hamilton's strong voice and defiant lyrics taking center stage. By this writing in 2007 Hamilton has released 16 records, with this year's The Ghost of Van Gogh on his own label, Acoustic Rock Records. He continues to tour worldwide, performing both on his own and with a backing band. Interestingly, he has a large, rabid following in Italy.