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‘Bare it all’: Dean Alexander digs into ‘personal things’ for songs on first album

Dean Alexander is touring in support of his first album, “Devil Man’s Blues.” (Courtesy of Stacie Huckeba)

Time off the road doesn’t guarantee some rest.

In Dean Alexander’s case, a few days off the road is enough time to get everything organized again.

“I’m packing again, getting my merchandise back in order,” he says. “I have guitar strings laying around the house. It’s a mess. A controlled one, at that.”

Alexander is gearing up for another outing to support his first album, ” Devil Man’s Blues,” released on Oct. 18.

He will stop in Albuquerque at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Friday, Nov. 1, opening for singer-songwriter Todd Snider.

“It’s exciting to have the album out finally,” he says. “I spent yesterday at home and kind of cruised through Spotify to make sure all the songs were there. It’s all up. I’ve been getting texts from friends and family about the album.”

Alexander jokes that it took 35 years for him to experience enough in life for an album.

Writing began in October 2018, when he went to visit a friend in Healdsburg, California.

“I was working in the vineyard and donated my time for three or four days during harvest,” he says. “This record just fell out over the course of the next three or four months. It was a couple days of recording.”

Joining Alexander on some tracks are Snider, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Lillie Mae.

Alexander reached into his past on this album.

He wrote about the loss of his parents, who passed away when he was a child, and about being raised by his deeply religious grandparents, who prized faith over freedom.

In the title track, Alexander writes about his nightly escapes from his bedroom window, guitar in hand, to play songs at Oscar’s Bar and Grill in Virginia.

“There were moments in the recording process that I wanted to pull back,” he says. “I wrote about the last time I spoke to my father; my words to him were, ‘I hate you.’ Writing about things like this in my life has saved me thousands of dollars of therapy. When you are trying to bare it all, there is never too much.”

Alexander hopes the album moves people.

“I’ve fought with a lot of depression and just really beating on myself for personal things,” he says. “I just want people to know that there are avenues to tell your story. My avenue is songwriting, and it’s what has helped me heal. I feel like a brand-new human through this process.”

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