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Alt Reviews

To Catch the Truth: Whispers of the Dragon and Ed Snodderly

Whispers of the Dragon and Ed Snodderly

Ed Snodderly – Chimney Smoke

Similar artists: Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, John Prine, John Hiatt, Jerry Douglas

Genre: Folk, Americana

Ed Snodderly, like all great artists, can get rid of his past, and we’re all the better for how heavy it all weighs. 

Whenever a documentary about events that occurred in the past decades is on, the producers try to soundtrack it with the music that defined that era. It’s an attempt to say that the artists back then were a product of their time and representatives of it. 

But while the really good ones may have been forced, like the rest of us, to live within these constraints, their art didn’t. The greatest songwriters rarely write about the news, as P&R statements and Joe Strummer would have you believe. They write about their past and about everybody else’s past. They write the kinds of stories that need to be true now, then, and in the future. 

Ed Snodderly’s “Chimney Smoke” is a sketch of the artist’s life as a young man. It’s a folk song powered by strong bonds and deep feelings but one that steers clear of nostalgia. 

Snodderly sings “What’s it worth to sing this song/Can’t let it get lost, can’t let it get gone.” And in this simple statement, he comes to the crux of the issue. Artists are just folks who won’t let the past get away from them. 


Whispers of the dragon – Asension

Similar artists: Lisa Gerrard, Vas

Genre: Electronica

Whispers of the Dragon sounds like a band trying to start a modern, pagan religion. But they’re not willing to make it easy on future followers. 

You can depend on authority figures to tell you that things are messed up and will never improve. Politicians may tell you that there are no resources to improve education or the health system. Teachers will tell students that there’s no option to study anything besides what’s printed in their textbooks. 

And, of course, music producers and record execs will say that a modern song must be loved or hated within 10 seconds of hearing it. How else will it be successful on TikTok? How else will soundtrack a car commercial? 

Whispers of the dragon’s “Asension” does not reveal itself in 10 seconds flat, and that’s its greatest strength. The Mexican musicians sound like they’re also discovering the song while it is happening. “Asension” uses Latin jazz motifs and mysterious chanting to create an atmosphere more at home in a pagan summary. But can this be pop music? If you found yourself being surprised by its direction, yes, it can be pop music. 

Ed Snodderly - Chimney Smoke

7.5

Whispers of the dragon - Asension

8.5

Pros

Cons

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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