Down the Merrimack
Dwight was born in 1950 and grew up in rural New Hampshire when many people still worked in the mills or the logging industry. He caught the tail end of a way of life, spending 8 years in a two-room schoolhouse when the opening day of deer season was a de facto holiday. By the time he had hitchhiked to and from high school and graduated from Dartmouth College, the interstate highway had sliced through, and change was driving north. In the 30 years since college, Dwight has hiked and bicycled across the U.S, gotten married, divorced, and had two daughters. He found his way into teaching High School Biology which is still his means of supporting his songwriting habit. He has remained, however, always firmly rooted in NH. Dwight is a self-taught musician with roots in the traditional bluegrass music of his father's family and the folk music of the 60's. In his thirties, he rediscovered the guitar and began to learn the fingerpicking blues style of John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Roy Bookbinder, et al. Like a whole generation of fingerpickers, he has a dusty pile of Stephan Grossman tab books. Knowledgeable guitarists will hear these influences on this album. Dwight found himself seriously writing songs at around 40 ('fortunate fallout from midlife crisis'), and soon he was performing. By his 50th birthday in 2000, 'Left Shoulder Seam' had earned him a finalist award in the 1999 Prescott Park songwriting competition, and his homemade cassettes were being worn out in the tape decks of a loyal core of fans. Down the Merrimack is a collection of 20 original songs, mostly recorded in live performance. This is grown up stuff for grown up listeners. You will find neither the angst and self-absorbed gravity, nor the showy exploratory guitar, of a young writer on this album. Instead you will hear relaxed, sometimes even funky, fingerpicked guitar and direct articulate lyrics with the understatement, acceptance, and humor of a mature writer.