Black Swans
Photo: Lydia Deakin

Black Swans – “Rooster”

The unabridged book of American songwriters would include pages on Bob Martin and Larry Jon Wilson. But not that many pages. In order to understand their contributions one would need to push past the Haggards and Hardins, the Goffins and Kings, the Everlys and Earles, and dive headlong into the footnotes and sidebars. It is in this historical underbrush that Jerry DiCicca operates. The impresario, producer, and yes songwriter (nom de plume: The Black Swans) has spent the good part of four years stoking a rediscovery of these two diamonds-in-the-rough, culminating with the release of Larry Jon Wilson (Drag City) in June of 2009, which DiCicca co-produced. Wilson had appeared in “Heartworn Highways,” the 1981 film that also featured Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and a young Steve Earle. But in spite of this and a run of four albums on Monument Records (home to Roy Orbison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton and others) he sunk below the commercial radar, appearing only sporadically over the next 30 years. After his unexpected death in 2010 DiCicca’s The Black Swans and Bonnie “Prince” Billy released a split-45 paying tribute to the honest-voiced Georgian.

It would seem that DiCicca gathers no moss. Between making records with Wilson and Bob Martin he was wracking up critical acclaim for his own; the next, Don’t Blame the Stars, is slated to appear via Misra Records this spring. Meanwhile, the “Satisfied Mind Tour” carried The Black Swans through fifty shows in final two months of 2010 and after a holiday break the band has picked back up on the West Coast. Their Bay Area gigs are listed below.

Thursday 1/20 – The Stork Club with Horns of Happiness, TV Mike & the Scarecrowes
Friday 1/21 – The Red Devil Lounge with Passenger & Pilot and Hypnotist Collectors
Saturday 1/22 – The Rite Spot with Lesser Lights
Sunday 1/23 – The Knockout with Pancho-san, Will Sprott (The Mumlers)