Mike Viola • Dusk
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Mike Viola is a producer, musician, songwriter and singer. Viola may be best known for his work with Panic! at the Disco, Andrew Bird, Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis, Fall Out Boy and Mandy Moore, but his solo career stands on its own starting with a number of acclaimed records as the leader of New York based cult favorite Candy Butchers and 7 critically adored Mike Viola records. His original music has been featured on soundtracks for movies such as That Thing You Do!, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Get Him to the Greek.
Decades into his career, his music continues to resonate with and inspire new generations of musicians and music lovers. Viola is cranking out more music than ever, notably the recent fan- favorites, 2019’s “The American Egypt” and 2021’s “Godmuffin.
A new Mike Viola album, “Paul McCarthy”, will be released on April 14, 2023 via Good Morning Monkey/Grand Phony in the US, Lojinx in Europe and Sony in Japan.
Paul McCarthy was recorded over the summer of 2022 on 1/2” tape at “Barebones”, Viola’s home studio in Los Angeles. Joined by his friends Jake Sinclair on bass and Brendon Urie on drums. Viola says, “I set out to make a sonic monster using the legs of ‘James Gang Rides Again,’ the heart of Black Sabbath ‘Paranoid,’ with my kid brain inside my greying middle-aged head on top. I’ve hit a point in my life where instinct has taken the reins fully, logic now waits in the wings to sweep up the stage and pay the taxi fare home. This album is the result of committing to this path fully and laughing all the way.”
Dusk is a group that walks the shadowed path. It’s well known in the rural pastures of Wisconsin, where all of the members of this group were raised, that the traditional music of the common people is Polka, but the most respected form of musical expression is Country and Western. Dusk walks cleanly between these two worlds; pulling influence from both but most strongly associating with Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues. They bring with them a strong, informed, melodic statement that draws a line between themselves and the trend of bubble gum pop and country-influenced mall schlock.
The group consists of vocalist Julia Blair on Wurlitzer electric piano, Colin “Wild Man” Wilde on drums and percussion, Amos Pitsch on bass guitar and vocals, Tyler Ditter on lead guitar, and Ryley Crowe on rhythm guitar, pedal steel, and vocals. Amos also doubles as a member of Appleton, Wisconsin punk band Tenement. The group is often compared to 60’s garage and R&B groups like NRBQ and THE LOVIN SPOONFUL, early 70’s country rock pioneers THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS, and at times the primitive rock and roll sound of a group like THE VELVET UNDERGROUND.
They hint at all these things, even as something in their music seems to breathe modern air. It’s a feeling that few musicians that attempt to nod to prior generations can capture without bastardising the very music that they intended to salute. Dusk have done it well, and in their music, you’ll find this plain truth among many exciting secrets.