Surely a musician would not leave Austin, Texas, to move to Hartsville, S.C.?
But that’s what singer-songwriter Dylan Sneed did three years ago. And he has already moved on to Brooklyn, N.Y.
“When you grow up in Austin, a lot of folks don’t think about leaving,” Sneed says. “We kind of like our state, you might have heard that.
“But I think it’s valuable to leave for a while, so I did.”
Actually, Sneed - described as being “like a sober Townes Van Zandt” by a South Carolina newspaper - had left Austin for Dallas, prior to moving to the Palmetto State in August 2008. In Dallas, he had been a part of “corporate America,” which he prefers not to further define.
“I was there to make money, and I did that,” he says with a laugh. “I was getting rid of some debt, and I got that done. But then I got laid off, thank God! Everybody in the office was happy for me, because they knew what I really wanted to do was get back to doing music. And at least I got to spend my last month there, booking shows, before I left.”
As to why Sneed, whose influences include Paul Simon, Joe Henry, Patty Griffin, Miles Davis and John Scofield, would choose a town in South Carolina with fewer than 9,000 population, he says it was due to an offer he could not refuse: free rent in the home of a fellow Texan who had moved there. It allowed Sneed to pursue his musical dreams, which oddly enough, took a strange turn.
“I started an organization, and named it ‘Artville,’ while I was in Hartsville,” he says, laughing, “and I started a house concert series, as sort of an organic kind of thing, and people from all over the world were wanting to get booked at our house concert. And I’m still involved in that, even though I’m now in Brooklyn.”
Sneed recalls having performed in several Arkansas locations, including the White Water Tavern and clubs in Fayetteville and Hot Springs. He will be playing his acoustic guitar and a bit of harmonica, and focusing on his debut full-length CD, Texodus, which he concedes refers to his “exodus” from Texas.
Among fans of the Americana, roots rock genre of music, Sneed is compared to Guy Clark, Steve Earle and Malcolm Holcombe.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Little Rock Folk Club, Thomson Hall, Unitarian Universalist Church, 1818 Reservoir Road, Little Rock Admission: $15; $8 for students with IDs; free for accompanied children 12 and under (501) 663-0634 littlerockfolkclub.org
Weekend, Pages 34 on 01/30/2014
Print Headline: Sneed to sing about Texodus