Edition of 300 copies w/ printed inners
»This River Only Brings Poison« was released in 2002 as the sixth full-length album of Chris Hooson’s Dakota Suite project. This first-ever vinyl edition of the record includes four bonus pieces and makes it possible for fans to re-evaluate one of the most crucial Dakota Suite albums in the project’s vast discography while also providing new listeners with an entry point into its intricate musical cosmos. With contributions by artists as diverse as steel guitarist Bruce Kaphan and drummer Tim Mooney from American Music Club, Derald Daugherty, and Laura and Chris Donohue as well as long-time collaborators such as David Buxton, Colin Dunkley or Ed Collins, »This River Only Brings Poison« turned out as a sonically rich and stylistically versatile as it is emotionally multi-layered.
»Writing music for me has always been a cathartic exercise,« explains Hooson. While the instrumental pieces generally serve to express a raw sense of his internal struggles, his vocal-led songs communicate them more directly. »Those are the words I cannot say openly. It’s not that I cannot voice them in a conversation, it’s just that they only seem half-formed and not ›true‹ unless they are located within a song,« he says. What makes Dakota Suite unique is that throughout the project’s history, the music and lyrics have always had a single addressee: Hooson’s wife Johanna, whose photographs were used for the album artwork and who is featured on clarinet on »sand fools the shoreline.«
»The title of the record was something that I had said when Johanna and I first met to make her see that the journey she was considering taking would be full of love, but also come at a cost,« explains Hooson. »The songs were written at a time when I was really struggling to think I could be the person that she deserved.« In the end however, »This River Only Brings Poison« marked a turning point in Hooson’s oeuvre after highly productive time with Dakota Suite: it would take another five years until he returned with a new album. »The reason for that was that I needed to accept that she had made her choice to be with me and that was a big thing for me to get my head around,« he says.