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When we first heard Portland, Oregon's The Dimes' splendid album, The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry, in December (after the band sent us some tracks), we were quickly head-over-heels, and since that time, the LP has become one of our favorite releases of 2009.

The album serves as a history lesson (or "musical Cliff Notes") of early Boston, and the people and events that shaped American history. There are songs about the Great Boston Fire of 1872 ("Damrell's Fire"); Clara Barton ("Save Me, Clara"), the Civil War nurse who founded the American Red Cross; Abigail Adams ("Abigail, Don't Be Long"), the wife - and woman's rights advocate - of the second U.S. president, John Adams; the prolific Concord born writer, philosopher and historian, Henry David Thoreau ("Walden and the Willow"), to name just a few.

"Damrell's Fire" - The Dimes from The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (2009)

The Dimes' lush harmonies and unforgettable melodies are heavily influenced by the band's musical mentors, including Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles. The Dimes' first LP, The Silent Generation, was released in 2007, and received national and international acclaim, with enthusiastic reviews from SPIN, NPR, Under the Radar, The BBC, The Oregonian, and many others. Similar positive reviews for The King have also brought the attention of The Dimes to a growing number of music lovers, bloggers and mainstream art critics.

The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (album cover above) showcases singer-songwriter Johnny Clay's, and the band's, incredible talents, featuring a baroque assortment of instruments, sixties pop sensibilities, and delightfully simple arrangements that solicit repeated listening.

"Abigail, Don't Be Long" - The Dimes from The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (2009)

For their sophomore release, the band turned again to the genius of engineer Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Death Cab For Cutie, The Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney), and a continuing appreciation for uniquely American historical themes that began with The Silent Generation.

If you like the songs featured in this post, we strongly recommend visiting The Dimes' store. A purchase of The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry also comes with a free copy of the EP, William Dawes and Other Forgotten Jems.

"Celia's Garden" - The Dimes from The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (2009)

"Walden and the Willow" - The Dimes from The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry (2009)

Bonus: "Catch Me Jumping" - The Dimes from The Silent Generation (2007)

Check out the accompanying interactive Flash map of colonial Boston that ties in nicely with the release of their latest album. This is a band that really understands how to use the opportunities presented by interactive media to engage with their fans and market their remarkable music to a wider audience. We can only hope that the band's popularity will continue to grow so that they will embark on a national tour, and give more of you a chance to see them perform live.

The Dimes on Twitter

The Dimes on MySpace

The Dimes on Facebook

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   February 15, 2010   


At 2:06 PM , Blogger Ashlee said...

Great pick!

At 1:31 PM , Anonymous Babycakes said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff! Thanks for posting. I'm a lifetime fan - instantly.

At 4:33 PM , Anonymous BPSmith said...

I knew it would only be a matter of time. These guys are brilliant. Give a listen to their cover of Lennon's "Watching the Wheels".

At 10:39 AM , Blogger Michelle said...

IRC--you are great. Thanks for turning me on to the Dimes. Woohoo!


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