Dillingham

Blaine Todd

Rounding out our September batch of tapes, we present Blaine Todd’s Dillingham.​ A longtime member of Andrew Weathers and the Real Life Rock & Roll Band, Ecstatic Music Band and Common Eider, King Eider, this marks his premier solo release and the third installment in our Editions Littlefield series.

Recorded primarily in Oakland, California and Blaine’s home in San Francisco, D​illingham​ offers ten meditations on death, broken friendships and notions of home. Indeed, despite its origins in sunny California, D​illingham​ takes its name from a small town on Alaska's Bristol Bay – a town disconnected from the state road system and accessible only by plane or boat.

In 2011, Blaine helped a friend build a small cabin 20 miles or so from town. There, Common Eider, King Eider documented the creation of their album S​ense of Place.​ A formative experience for Blaine, he learned much about the deeper meaning of “community” in that short time.

Channeling early Americana and Primitive Folk aesthetics while tying them to a decidedly more mystical tradition, Dillingham​ presents a significant departure from Blaine’s previous ensemble works. Intended as a means for Blaine to combine his love of experimental and more traditional, song-based musical forms, the album deftly moves between blown out psychedelic drone, hushed Appalachian song craft and shadowy blues zones without feeling forced or contrived. To the contrary, this is a young songwriter presented as his most true self.

The production is as much a part of the sound as the music itself, another subtle element that keeps Dillingham from sounding like some lost Folkways 78, lending some tracks a worn patina of faded haze, and others with a brittle immediacy, in both cases, the music glows warmly, a weary yet hauntingly hopeful modern blues balladry grounded in the storied history of the folk and folks that came before. Aquarius Records