"Long ago I left my home in a yellow Rambler American
Following the footsteps of Woody and Jack Keroauc."
- From "No Goodbyes" - © 2006 Nancy K. Dillon
Nancy K. Dillon is an emerging Roots/Americana artist who is making a name for herself. Hailed by respected UK country music journalist, Alan Cackett (Maverick-UK) as an “original new talent” mining a musical vein akin to Lucinda Williams or Kasey Chambers, Nancy is a gifted singer, award-winning songwriter and recording artist. She masterfully weaves the textures and rhythms of American folk and country music into mythic road stories of the “small town claustrophobia and surreal euphoria” of traveling America’s byways. Her songs evoke the vistas and horizons of the sprawling American West.
Descended from an Irish Mason employed by the Missouri Pacific Railroad, Indian Territory evangelists and circuit-riding preachers, Dillon was born on the plains of Oklahoma during the second Dust Bowl less than a half-century after Oklahoma became the 46th State of the Union. Immediately upon acquiring a formal education, she hit the road without so much a plan as a desire to accumulate as many varied experiences and memories as possible. These included a 1980 circumnavigation of the globe, crisscrossing the western United States in a 1966 yellow Rambler American and jobs as a computer operator of IBM dinosaurs, a University of Oklahoma Indian Housing research project administrator, a photographer’s model and a keypuncher for a Seattle race-car parts company. All the while she pursued her musical dreams quietly performing in bands and on others' recordings until at last, having overcome persistent stage fright and a lengthy illness (CFIDS) she began writing and performing her own original songs releasing her debut solo CD Just Let Me Dream on June 8, 2004.
Since its release, Just Let Me Dream has generated a continuing buzz receiving international radio airplay, song contest honors and landing on several “Best of…” lists. Hailed as “accomplished, mature and soulful”, the CD has a sparkling windswept sound captured by Grammy-winning engineer Garey Shelton (The Believers/Danny Barnes/Rachel Harrington). Nancy co-produced the album with Austin, TX-based Michael Hill (Slobberbone/12 Lb Test). The album features virtuoso performances by Hill as well as John Reischman (Tony Rice/Jaybirds), Paul Elliott (Michelle Shocked/Alison Brown) and Grammy-winner Stacy Phillips (Dobro). Brit-folk rocker, Clive Gregson (Any Trouble/Gregson & Collister) makes a stunning cameo appearance on backup vocals and a searing solo at the end of the title track. John Conquest (Third Coast Music) observes, “Hints of honky tonk, Tex-Mex and cowboy music, intertwined with bluegrass, country, gospel and traditional folk, make this a true Americana album that could easily have come out of Austin.”
Nancy sings about escaping her native red dirt Oklahoma on the opening track of Just Let Me Dream. She may have left town but she is still the girl who grew up in Oklahoma City six blocks from Route 66. “You can leave Oklahoma” she says, “but Oklahoma never leaves you. I go there as often as I can. The land and the people deeply inspire me. My hope is to infuse my songs and sound with a feeling of that red dirt, spaciousness and the simplicity and drama of the elements." A subtle sweetness inhabits Nancy's voice that makes it instantly appealing. You can hear the wind in her voice. Sometimes you can taste the dust, too, and feel the hot summer sun. "I grew up in an extraordinary musical environment,” Dillon says. “My dad is a composer of modern classical music who played in a big band jazz orchestra on weekends. In between all of that he was a Professor of Music at the University of Central Oklahoma and directed the church choir. My mother sang her favorite hymns around the house and taught vocal music in Arkansas before I was born."
Dillon tours nationally in the US and is based in the Pacific NW. A former folk radio programmer at KBCS/Bellevue-Seattle, Nancy was also a founding member of the renowned cowgirl band Ranch Romance and performed as a duo with Rounder recording artist, John Miller. It is her Southwestern roots that continue to nurture her though—and her soulful voice polishes the music until it gleams and sparkles like fire in fine jewelry. Listen to her perform sometime and see if you don't agree.
Just Let Me Dream CD:
Release Date: June 8, 2004
"Just Let Me Dream" was recorded & mixed between June 2003 and January 2004 at Garey Shelton Studios in Seattle, Washington. Co-produced by Michael Hill & Nancy K. Dillon, many of the songs were written between the summer of 2000 and early 2003 when Nancy turned to realizing her long-time dream of writing & performing her own original songs.
During that time, Dillon & Hill were members of twang-pop band The Nancy Boys with Mike Bristow & Jay Weaver. The Nancy Boys functioned as a fertile songwriting collective with Hill, Dillon & Bristow all contributing original material to the band. Dillon, long a fan of Mike Bristow's colorful & dense found-object folk art began making visual art after Bristow showed her a book of Peter Beard's collage journal art . A frenzy of collaboration & co-inspiration between the two led to Nancy's collages included in the booklet for "Just Let Me Dream".
The songs on "Just Let Me Dream" evoke the youthful desperation of dusty small town America (Crossing 66), the windswept emptiness of the plains (Nothing in Texas), the Saturday night dance floors of southwestern honky-tonks (Play 1-4 Susie and Till The Music Dies) and the Sunday morning gospel of the day after (Revelation and Antioch).
Featuring musical contributions by:
Clive Gregson (vocals & guitar) on "Just Let Me Dream"
Stacy Phillips (Dobro) & John Reischman (Mandolin) on
"O Susanna", "Fire & Soul", "Almost To Idaho" & "Revelation"
Among the honors and recognition accorded Nancy’s songs and debut CD are:
o "Just Let Me Dream" ~ Top 50 on Roots Music Report Folk Chart ~ April 2007
o "O Susanna" ~ Top 20 on Acoustic Pie Radio ~ July & December 2006
o "Almost To Idaho" ~ Richard Gillmann's Favorite Folk Tracks ~ November 2006
o Finalist, 2006 Tumbleweed Song Contest ~ "Good Old Friends"
o Finalist, 2005 Tumbleweed Song Contest ~ "Almost To Idaho"
o Finalist, 2004 Tumbleweed Song Contest ~ "The Ballad of Mabel Dodge"
o "Best NW Artists/Folk CD" ~ July 2004 ~ KBCS 91.3FM Seattle
o Top 10 ~ American ROOTS Radio ~ Boston, MA ~ July 2004
o "2004 Top Albums & Songs ~ Folk Music Radio Airplay Chart
Visit Nancy's MySpace Page @ www.myspace.com/nancykdillon!