"Hellwood is Johnny Dowd, Jim White, and Willie B; three distinct songwriter/musicians brought together by years of friendship, mutual respect, and camaraderie.
You wouldn't want to visit Hellwood, a place bereft of hope and spiritual sustenance whose population, the CD cover claims, numbers only three: melancholy observers of the underside of the American Dream Jim White and Johnny Dowd, and the latter's drummer, Willie B. Chainsaw of Life is replete with psycho-tableaux of life's losers - which home territory for White and Dowd, with the latter acknowledging his pessimistic tendencies in "Thomas Dorsey", comparing the gospel songwriter's inspirational work with his own output. "I sing songs of lust and depravity," he apologises, "That's the only kind of song that comes out of me." But there's an abundant musical enthusiasm about their collaboration, ranging from mordant alt.country, punk-blues and Beefheartian marimba-rock to the wan combination of banjo and melodica that underscores White's admission, in the concluding "Dream On", that "I might be a dreamer/But I'm all dreamed out." Though not, on this showing, entirely free of nightmares."
"It’s a weird and wonderful journey the three artists paint with characters and scenarios that stretch the imagination. With every listen, new nuances about these stories reveal themselves."
"Coal-black gothic Americana from Johnny Dowd, Jim White, and Willie B that brings Tom Waits exotica and Vic Chestnutt wit to a sedately rocking David Lynch setting."
"A concept album about God, Satan, death, war and an all-American, fucked-up family man, by Johnny Dowd and Jim White with Willie B: this marvelous mess of beat, punk, and country noir makes you worry more than usual about the U.S."
"Cheer up. No matter how bad it gets, you can be pretty sure life will never plumb the depths depicted in Hellwood. The love child of Jim White and Johnny Dowd, the Burke and Hare of alt Americana, Hellwood begins with 'Thank You, Lord,' possibly the most sarcastic prayer ever uttered, and ends with the end-of-the-rope lullaby 'Dream On.' The fast food thumper 'Chicken Shack' and the battered relationship in 'A Man Loves His Wife' describe unremitting misery, but tenderness and beauty save the day."
01. Thank You Lord
02. Fireworks Factory
03. A Man Loves His Wife
04. Alien Tongue
05. God's Back Pocket
06. Chicken Shack
07. Spider In The Bed
08. Thomas Dorsey
09. The Good Die Young
10. Man In A Plaid Suit
11. Ten Commandments
12. Dream On