It’s rare to find a musician that is so vocally moving and lyrically affecting, yet so humble and reserved about that very fact. Case and point, Dylan Pratt. An Arizona native who “makes coffee for people” has been opening up for JD McPherson on his national tour, heading back to the desert on March 13th. Playing his first New York show at Bowery Ballroom last Wednesday (a sold-out one at that), Dylan was quietly nervous, yet modestly excited when we spoke with him on a shady staircase backstage just an hour before he hit the stage.
With Seattle and sorrow behind him, Dylan moved back to Arizona to put all his energy into his music. Playing consistently in Phoenix at venues like theCrescent Ballroom, and cold calling his way outside state lines, he has been playing in support of Beg For Fire, as well lots of new stuff he’s been working on since then. “I’m trying not to have to be miserable to write…I just hope people like it.”, and after witnessing the reception of a hard-to-please NYC crowd, it was obvious that they definitely do.Dylan’s latest project, Beg For Fire, was released in 2013, with Lifters & Leanersand Four Songs before that. An 11-track story chronicling his time spent in Seattle following love, but inevitably falling into heartbreak, Beg For Fireis raw, truthful, and emotive. The connection between Dylan’s own subjectivity within his songs, and the objective realities of relationships in life, is unwavering. The success of songs like “Honest Kind of Luck” and “Poisoned Fruit” showcase Dylan as a uniquely voiced talent that should not be overlooked in the growing realm of indie/folk singer/songwriters.
The inspiration now, Dylan says, is living in a sort of state of “limbo”. “It’s just not knowing what the right move is, or when something’s gonna work out.” That fear of the unknown fueled the recording of six new songs that were recorded this past September in Chicago, in which Dylan hopes to be released as an EP sometime this year, leading to another full-length album following. Those new songs, intertwined with some old ones, made up his goosebump inducing, hair rising 40-minute set at Bowery.
Trusting Joonbug to watch his set, and jacket, stage left, a darkened ballroom focused their attention and the spotlights on Dylan and his guitar. Although he kept his eyes closed for most of the set, there wasn’t a lack of immediate connection that wooed sea of show goers. The strength in his sound, completely opposite to his almost too-indoor speaking voice, engulfed the room. Alongside his new tracks, Dylan’s set included “Honest Kind of Luck”, “Poisoned Fruit”, “Cripple’s Con”, and “Somewhere to Run”, all captivating the audience to the point of yelling “Do more!”, “I love you!”, and “Dylan Pratt, you’re OK!”.
Nonchalantly walking off stage with beer in tow, it was obvious with a high-five, a huge grin on his face, and a well-deserved lasting applause that Dylan’s first New York show was a success, and so will his future projects. With enchanting lyrics, an incomparable voice, and a charming demeanor you can’t help but swoon over, Dylan Pratt is meant to be making music and not latte art.
“I feel very lucky, extremely lucky, that I know, or think I know, that this is what I want to do. It’s all I know how to do.”