Pearl & the Swine
2006's The Pearl and the Swine is the first studio recording of Van Nuys, California's hard-scrabble, road-obsessed folk duo Fur Dixon and Steve Werner. Recorded by Charlie McGovern, (Mike Stinson, Victoria Williams, Tony Gilkyson) the disc features the guest talents of some of L.A's finest, including Mike Stinson, Paul Marshall, John 'Groover' McDuffy, Cliff Wagner and Scarlett Rivera. This is road music, friends. Traveling music written by two who know it well. The road is the common thread running through all the songs on the CD. It's the music of dusty highways, county lines, death, life and blue skies. Their songs speak in the language of long miles, written on dashboards and motel rooms with the wisdom that can only be gained in those big spaces between the towns. Fur and Steve seemed to have been moving on parallel courses until they bumped smack-dab into each other onstage in Los Angeles in 2003. Their lives before then had led each around the world playing music. That rainy night the two travelers met, and kindred spirits now connected, they have been performing together ever since. Fur is a hand-crafted songwriter and angel-voiced cowgirl. She gathers her musical influences from June and Mother Maybelle Carter, Hazel Dickens, and Johnny Cash. As a teen, she cut her teeth singing in church and winning musical contests. Fur has played rockabilly and hard driving country music with Los Angeles bands the Hollywood Hillbilly's and the Screamin' Sirens. She's lived and played in Austin, New York, and has toured Europe on bass with Psycho-punk legends the Cramps. Fur's songs come straight out of her heart. Her voice is playful, melodious and seductive. When she sings you a story of hope and heartache you know she has traveled every mile of that journey. Fur is the voice of an old friend, heard across a campfire on a starry night, a voice that calls upon ghosts of another time, when the Carters and the Stanleys sang those same truths around the home fires of their beloved hills. Steve is an unrepentant motorcycle-riding, hard-traveling folksinger. He is a Flat-pickin', Travis-pickin' son of a gun and his original songs have the timeless quality of classic folk songs. Steve made his name as guitarist and bandleader for original fifties rockabilly singers like Glen Glenn, Ray Campi, Johnny Legend, Tony 'Wildman' Conn, Sonny Burgess and Tommy Sands. He's played Lollapalooza and opened for Bob Dylan. His first album, Biker Campfire, has become a staple in the motorcycle world. The songs he wrote for expatriot American rocker John Whiteleather, in Sweden, scored on the charts all over Europe, where he travels frequently. Yet, for all that rockin, folk music has always been his first love, his heart and his home. With his trusty Martin HD-28 He's played all over the world from Japan to Europe and all across the USA. An old-school troubadour trained in the ways of his heroes Woody Guthrie and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Steve keeps that grand tradition alive in fine rough and rowdy style. Together, Fur and Steve are a combination that can't be beat. In their guitars there's the smoke of a thousand campfires. When they sing harmony it'll raise the hair on your arms. Listen to their words and you'll want to pack up, climb into the back of their pickup truck and head out for a musical joyride down the dusty highways and backroads of the American west.