Dao Strom is the real thing.” - Greg Trout, Magnaphone Music Vietnam-born, California-raised Dao Strom is a truly unique writer. Critically acclaimed as both a folk songwriter and a literary author, this diversely talented artist tells her stories of Americana in gentle, spare, insightful tones. Dao's songs have been praised for their “mountain music” authenticity as well as for their originality, likening her songwriting and vocal delivery to classic songstresses such as Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, and Hazel Dickens. Dao's debut album, Send Me Home, was recorded entirely live on a late-50s era 2-inch analog tape machine by Austin, TX producer Brian Beattie (Okkervill River, Shearwater, Daniel Johnston) and released in 2004. It caught the attention of No Depression publisher Grant Alden out of a pile of CDs for review.
Dao has been featured in No Depression and played at SXSW 2006. In 2008, she released her second solo album, everything that blooms wrecks me. Around that time she left Austin and headed west, spending two winters in Alaska and a long season on the Oregon coast, before moving to Portland, OR in 2010, where she began writing and recording as The Sea and The Mother. In 2013 she released her first project as The Sea and The Mother, an EP titled We Were Meant To Be A Gentle People (EAST EP), in 2013 - a unique song-cycle accompanied by a small book of prose, fragments, and images about Vietnam, as a late-century mythology, a word, a war, an exodus, an inheritance/disinheritance. These albums capture the ongoing evolution and travels of a writer and artist whose work - like her multicultural heritage - is not bound by geography or genres.
About Send Me Home... What kind of music is this? It’s probably more indie than alternative country, it’s dark and melancholy at times but it also has a lot of niceness and hope to it, it has humor but it’s subtle, it strives to be pretty but not too pretty, and it strives to be as simple and honest as it can be. Where is home? I have been asked this question several times, and there have been assumptions that home is Vietnam, where I was born, or that home is some place with pine trees and cold mountain rivers, because of the frequent mention of such places in my songs. The best explanation I can find for the idea of home as it appears in the songs on Send Me Home, and in the song itself, comes from a Buddhist parable I read once about a woman, a Buddhist nun, who is traveling, and she is very tired and hungry when she comes to this town, but when she asks no one there will give her shelter for the night, as they are opposed to her religion or are afraid of being associated with her because of it. So, she finds a place to sleep out in the woods somewhere. It is cold, and she wakes in the middle of the night to see the full moon shining through the tree branches above her.
She realizes that had she been given shelter for the night she would not either have received this vision of the moon, which is very lonely and beautiful. And she is grateful then at having been turned away by the people in the town. Not that I am always gladdened by the prospect of being cast on the outside of things, just that maybe there is a sort of ‘out there’ feeling I’m more familiar with than I am with any defined concept of home. --dao Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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