‘Balthazar B and the Beatitudes’ is the recording moniker for Paris-based songwriter Alex Dowding. The Beatitudes are assembled from a constantly changing, ramshackle collection of friends, doctors, geeks and religious scholars; but the stable core has always been formed by two of Dowding’s childhood friends: Dan Bush and Tom Kershaw.
Fast forward to the present day, Bush and Kershaw reside in London and Dowding finds himself across La Manche in Paris. Recording and performing is always a challenge, but one that is ideal for this band’s own brand of lo-fi, storytelling folk music. In Paris, Dowding is accompanied by a selection of musicians and also performs as a solo acoustic act. When he travels to England and meets the Beatitudes – after a customary evening of good whiskey in some smoky countryside cottage – the serious fun of recording and performing new material begins.
Having permanently relocated to Paris, where he works at an animation studio, Dowding is beginning to set free the music he has been keeping prisoner for so long, The ‘Like Shrapnel’ EP was released in 2011 to affectionate response amongst the blogosphere. Obscure Sound wrote:
‘‘Music that makes us think and not passively listen is always commendable, and this collective are a studied example of that
‘I am the Tide’ is the full length follow up which takes the folk philosophy of the EP and injects it with a rock n roll aesthetic. Listeners can download the EP for free and buy the album from Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify amongst other digital distributors.