Warren Byrom - Dreaming the Sun

LP Drowned Lands Series No.06


Newest entry in the Jason Meagher’s great Drowned Land series is the long playing vinyl debut by Lexington, KY’s Warren Byrom.

Recorded back before the Plague, the idea for Dreaming the Sun emerged when Jason caught a show by Warren and Philly-based pianist Hans Chew, who’d already been involved in lots of bands and recordings with Meagher. The sweet depth of Warren’s songs and guitar playing resonated with Jason, and Warren soon found himself in Black Dirt Studios with Nashville bassist Steve Poulton (whose work stretches back to Louisville’s legendary Paul K & the Weathermen) and drummer Ryan Jewell (who has played with half the musicians you can name). Other lovely bits were added by Wednesday Knudsen, Ma Turner, Hans Chew and Chris Sullivan, with some additional seasoning done later in Nashville.

The three days of recording at Black Dirt resulted in a classic set of material. Byrom writes and sings tunes that have their base in the rural songwriter tradition, but which are infused with tendrils of knowledge gained through pursuing more avant garde interests. I would compare his work to the Ranaldo/Gunn/Brokaw wing of musicians. Players whose vision of “inside” music follows their mastery of a more “outside” aesthetic. This may be a projection, but it’s what I hear in Warren’s tunes. And I know that Jason Meagher is attracted to music that has followed this trajectory. So sue me!

Regardless, Dreaming the Sun is a beautiful album that should wiggle the spines of everyone who hears it. The relative straightness (or not) of Warren’s approach is entirely in the ear of the be hearer. What you bring to the album as listener may shape the details of your experience, but its quality is undeniable.

Nice damn stuff.

-Byron Coley, 2023