Like k.d. lang and Laurie Anderson, singer/songwriter Dudley Saunders began his music career as a critically-acclaimed performance artist, only to find the 'anti-folk' music he wrote for his pieces began to take over. The white-hot intensity of his frightening, emotion-charged pieces had, as The New York Times put it, 'a kind of hallucinatory power so forceful that one admires him for surviving them,' but the tight-vibratoed, Jeff Buckley-like voice with which he hypnotized his audiences brought a wide variety of New York's avant-garde musicians calling. Not only did he record obvious folk-based work like Brian Woodbury's bizarre arrangement of 'Shenandoah' for ReR Quarterly Records, but also songs with the Indian-Rock fusion band, Church Of Betty and Knitting Factory Records' Art-Funk artist Chris Cochrane, with whom Dudley recorded an entire album as the band SUCK PRETTY in 1997. Most importantly, Cochrane also produced Dudley's debut on Fang Records, Restore, released in 1997. Restore was critically acclaimed for it's unsettling songs, which mixed the traditional country-folk of his Kentucky childhood with decidedly UNtraditional avant-garde dissonances. Ranging from the country-pop of his radio-friendly Breath, to the Biblical, fuzz-box crash of 'Lebanon,' to the strangely structured, Brian Eno-style 'Down By The Bus Station I Lay Down My Sword And Wept,' the songs told modern folk tales of conversations with corpses, of crazed women in rain-swept truck stops of men calmly waiting on riverboats to be shot.
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