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Two Dollar Guitar

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Biography

Two Dollar Guitar began in 1992 when Tim Foljahn landed in Hoboken, New Jersey after several years spent nomadding about the country, absorbing the cultures of a vivid cross-section of American turfs: New Orleans, Albuquerque, Chicago. Armed with a book full of damned, heavy soul ballads inspired by both his psycho-spiritual and actual physical travels, he recruited his friend Steve Shelley to help animate them for public consumption. The music mines a sound and vision based on “roots” music in the truest sense of the word, building on a tradition found in the work of fellow twisted classicists from Nick Cave to Townes Van Zandt, Serge Gainsbourg to Lee Hazlewood and Leonard Cohen, and transubstantiating these influences into something utterly its own.

The debut single, a skeletal unrosined violin-scrape and harrowing autobiography called “Lost Bird”, was a mostly solo affair by Tim, with Steve percussing and producing. The first full length, Let Me Bring You Down, is a record crammed with squinty biblical allegory, more autobiog and tales of broken noses, buried babies and pussy-whipped philosophers. Around this same time, Tim and Steve were becoming a sort of an indie-rock Sly-and-Robbie for hire, rhythm sectioning in groups like Mosquito (with Jad Fair), Male Slut (with Thurston Moore) and Cat Power (with Chan Marshall).

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