Dickie’s 2015 self-titled release was a moody testimonial of singer-songwriter Dick Prall. Prall took a succession of personal losses and nestled them inside a beautifully-layered soundtrack that found Dickie on the top of several “Best of” lists that year. 2019 finds Prall in a nostalgic headspace, partnering with talented drummer/multi-instrumentalist Billy Barton to produce a stripped-back mix of reflective and pulsating sing-alongs in the latest release, Minus Thieves.
Though the common thread of Prall’s past work has showcased liberal production through lush string arrangements and gorgeously-stacked harmonies, Minus Thieves is a practice in restraint led by producers Pat Sansone (Wilco) and Joshua Shapera. The simplified effort was tracked at The Magic Barn, a rural studio located just outside the small town of Solon, Iowa. Its notoriety comes from housing the original recording equipment of New York’s now-defunct The Magic Shop. Artists such David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Ramones, and Blondie have all made records at the famous facility. Sansone and Shapera reached back even further into the archives of recording history by applying a formula of straightforward guitars of all sonic sizes and fusing them seamlessly with Barton’s tight rhythms and Prall’s continuous knack for infectious melody.
Whether a seasoned critic or a casual listener, you’ll find the minimal production of Minus Thieves impeccably highlights the Prall/Barton collaboration, welcoming you to happily ingest the most important parts of any pop-tinged record.