One of the great pleasures of covering the Columbus music scene for the better part of a decade was frequently running into Jerry David DeCicca, who at the time was living in Columbus and fronting the rewarding experimental folk project the Black Swans. DeCicca is a true character, an old soul with exceptional sideburns who’s always been a voracious consumer of his fellow iconoclastic singer-singwriters. He’s the kind of guy who can expound for hours about legends like Bob Dylan and more obscure treasures such as Jeb Loy Nichols and Jerry Jeff Walker with a contagious passion that always expanded my own musical horizons. Interviewing him was almost as much fun as listening to his records.
These days DeCicca is based in a small town near Austin and recording under his own name, like so many of the artists he has produced and evangelized for. His latest collection of music, Time The Teacher, is out early next year, and we’re premiering its title track today. Riding a loose piano groove buoyed by formidable acoustic bass, DeCicca’s weathered moan strikes an intriguing contrast with the gospel choir that serves as his foil. It sounds both beaten-down and easygoing, as if DeCicca has learned some significant lessons from his tenure on this Earth. Some words from the man himself:
When I moved to Texas a few years ago, I got a job teaching mental health awareness classes to middle school and high school teachers in the Hill Country. I’d drive between San Marcos, Wimberley, Kerrville, New Braunfels, and Blanco. The hills and rivers and rock formations I passed looked new each time I saw them. I fell in love with the beauty and the language of the landscape. My new terrain reminded me how change inches along, how you barely notice it ticking till you’ve arrived some other place. One night, alone in a hotel room with my guitar, I wrote “Time the Teacher”. I sent it to my friend, Jeb Loy Nichols, and Benedic Lamdin, the album’s producers. They heard it as a soft-spoken gospel song, a secular hymn in a world so loud and fast that it’s often difficult to hear your own GPS.
01 “Time The Teacher”
03 “Lazy River”
04 “Grandma’s Tattoo”
05 “Kiss A Love Goodbye”
06 “Mustang Island”
07 “Walls Of My Heart”
09 “I Didn’t Go Outside Today”
10 “The Other Side”
Time The Teacher is out 2/9 on Impossible Ark. Pre-order it here.