Whatever the Jungle
Shall I Take Your Boots Off
Play a Dance Song
Throw Me In
I Do Mine
Wrong Side of Town
Season of Drought
Dance on Water
Whatever the Jungle, his second CD, came out two years after he moved from Seattle to Austin and while he was performing and writing in both cities. It includes down-to-earth songs about people and situations in the Pacific Northwest and in Central Texas. The performances include his west coast bandmates John Hawk (guitar) and Terry Martin (vocals) as well as Ernie Durawa, Monte Mann, and Larry Eisenberg from his Austin band, with guest appearances by Austin greats Joel Guzman (accordion) and Mark Kazanoff (sax). The CD is a hybrid of musical talent and storytelling from two very different music scenes, resulting in a song collection of unusual variety and originality.
The title song (Whatever the Jungle) describes a powerful storm and the electricity in the air afterwards as Sixth Street erupted into an exhilarating outdoor dance scene—a sidewalk dance hall. The emotions of other songs range from a somber account of the impacts of an extended drought in Central Texas (Season of Drought) to the aftermath of a bar fight (Wrong Side of Town) to the playfulness of someone mixing drinks for his entire neighborhood (Dr. Margarita).
Dahl’s 14 songs range from pretty damn good to absolutely terrific, but the music doesn’t just do what backing is supposed to do, frame and complement those songs. It goes a step further. You could block out the words and it would still sound good, its musical aesthetic is so strong.
John Conquest, Third Coast Music