Brian Baker of Cincinnati CityBeat
“Dave Purcell’s music has ranged from the sturdy Americana of Pike 27 to the gauzier after hours ephemera of Ghost Man on Second, but at its molten core, where the magnetic gravity is created, it’s been a rootsy Midwestern romp through a soundscape peppered with sonic references to the likes of the Jayhawks, Soul Asylum and Bottlerockets with a dash of badass Detroit bluster, boiled down to a purified essence and filtered through Purcell’s singular songwriting perspective.
The breaking news is that a recent move to the Southwest has unlocked all sorts of new compartments in Purcell’s creative treasure chest. Imagine the mariachi band on Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” after an ayahuasca and cranberry juice cleanse sitting in with a Los Lobos side project. Imagine Joe Strummer collaborating with Spoon in studio on Stan Ridgway’s Mexican radio while Elvis Costello watches detectives digging for evidence in the desert heat. Imagine 21st century Howe Gelb time travelling back to 1980s Howe Gelb for a Giant Sand jam session with himself. Imagine this is all a shared hallucinatory fever dream between Joey Burns and John Convertino and they turn it into a Calexico rock opera.
Genres orbit around Purcell’s dome like rogue satellites transmitting galactic signals directly into his main frame. His influences aren’t chiseled in stone, they are as malleable as sculptor’s clay and he molds his songs in a similarly flexible manner, reflecting his creative soul’s prismatic response to his musical inspirations as well as his own estimable accomplishments. You can attempt to attribute a specific sonic qualifier to his work but, at the end of a long, hot, beautiful day, Dave Purcell don’t need no stinking badges.”