If You Like Bob Dylan, You Will Like the Tallest Man of Earth
The Tallest Man on Earth is 5' 7" tall, from Sweden, and sounds a little like Bob Dylan. I'm talking a sound reminiscent of pre-1966.
I often categorize music as being headphone worthy, worth the trouble of getting out the big noise reducing headphones. You don't get the same effect from listening in the car and ear buds won't work either when it comes to The Tallest Man on Earth.
The Tallest Man on Earth, a.k.a. Kristian Matsson, was born in Dalarna, Sweden in 1983. It was a big surprise to me when I found out he was from Sweden, because he has such a Midwestern sound. Kristian, former front man for the Montezumas is married to singer/songwriter Amanda Bergman who plays in the band Idiot Wind (ironic name, huh?). The two have toured together and have often played on stage together.
Being a huge Dylan fan myself, I couldn't help but be immediately drawn to his music when I first heard it. My first introduction to The Tallest Man on Earth was the song "1904," off his album There's No Leaving Now. I am not sure if this song is about an earthquake that hit Sweden at that time, or the famous Swedish poet, Harry Martinson, who was born in 1904. There's No Leaving Now is the most recent TTMOE album, though he has four others, starting with a self-titled EP released in 2006.
TTMOE and his guitar (and sometimes a piano) have a folksy sound with a unique finger-picking style that you can tell was influenced by the great, late Nick Drake. And you gotta love someone who can write a song specifically about something and accurately elicit a feeling about it, but never really mention it. It's difficult to uncover the hidden meaning behind many of TTMOE's songs, and maybe some of them don't even have one. Listen for yourself here.
7. "The Gardener"
6. "The King of Spain"
5. "The Wild Hunt"
4. "Pistol Dreams"
3. "The Dreamer"
2. "Weather of a Killing Kind"
The Tallest Man on Earth, with Strand of Oaks, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 12, Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Miami. Visit cultureroom.net.
-- Farmer Jay