REVIEW: Dave Simonett’s “Red Tail” Shines Effortlessly


Best know for his songwriting and vocals with Trampled By Turtles, Dave Simonett has now ventured forth again with his third solo release, Red Tail, which releases via Thirty Tigers Friday March 13th. Now his previous solo projects were released under the name Dead Man Winter, so Red Tail is truly a solo release with no safety net in place. Over the easy pace of the eight songs, Simonett’s focus on the song shines through effortlessly. It’s as if these songs have a life all their own.

Simonett recorded Red Tail both at his own Minneapolis studio as well as Pachyderm Studios nestled in the forests of Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The warmth and richness of the songs seem to reflect the casual nature of the recording process, as well as the comfortable and natural surroundings. As a whole, Red Tail doesn’t venture too far from Simonett’s comfort zone of acoustic roots, though there’s a distinctive atmosphere present, that should not be unfamiliar to fans of Wilco or other similar bands or artists.

The album opens with “Revoked” and quickly becomes infectious as the song progresses. The influence of Simonett’s surroundings is always present, whether it’s the mention of whippoorwills or the emphatic declaration of “ I feel fine now.” The nature aspect is strong throughout the album, especially in songs such as “By the Light of the Moon”, and “In the Western Wind and the Sunrise.” But the songs also center around introspection and self reflection, such as “You Belong Right Here,” a song which was also a quick personal favorite and exceptionally bouncy and catchy.

The album closes with “There’s a Lifeline Deep in the Night Sky”, that actually feels like it was truly the last track recorded, with friends and collaborators laughing, celebrating and honoring the song. It’s a fitting closing track, that could easily be a staple sing-a-long track at live shows. With Red Tail, Dave Simonett has put forth a lush, dream like recording that still manages to remain grounded and authentic to the roots we all seek.



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