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A Dutch poet in an American dream

A song is the perfect way to present poetry to people. Because I write in English and because I make American style music, I am A Dutch poet in an American dream. That is why a book with the same title was published in 2017, containing 30 years worth of Diftong lyrics. It all starts with a feeling, some words surface, a melody follows. It may take ten minutes. It may take a year. But each and every time, a song emerges.

In the summer of 2016, me and a bunch of excellent musicians found sanctuary in the midst of cornfields. I had twelve brand new songs and we recorded a rock album. It has two characteristics: the music is louder and the lyrics are more personal than you would expect from me. The album, A Hell of a Time by Diftong & the shipwrights, was released early 2017.

I recorded my fourth solo album The Rocket Swing in Nova Scotia, with Dale Murray and Christina Martin. With Brian Murray on drums and guests Fleur Mainville and Matt Epp. It was released in February 2015 on the Canadian label Come Undone Records.

Press Quotes The Rocket Swing (2015)

You can hear the influence of Tom Waits, The Gourds, 16 Horsepower and many others. The musician and poet Diftong uses his accumulated passion in songs straight from the heart. - Sandra Zuidema

Melancholic, engaged and a little romantic, it is his best record so far. Heaven magazine Volume 17 Issue 3 - Ruud Heijjer

Diftong's voice was made for the genre. His lyrics are good and sometimes politically committed. The Rocket Swing is a varied and good Americana album. - Jan Marius Franzen

The album is one of those growing pearls. Every time you listen, it absorbs you more. It is a flawless Americana blend of equal parts folk, country and rock. With very good lyrics.

The Rocket Swing contains forty minutes of roots rock, folk rock and acoustic guitar songs. Our favorite song is Heart of the Matter with an excellent harmony vocal by Christina Martin. We wish him lots of success with his excellent new Diftong album The Rocket Swing. - Valsam

The Rocket Swing could be his breakthrough album. We particularly like his unique sound. - René Leverink

Poetic lyrics contained in strong melodies characterize the ten beautiful songs on this album. - Eric Campfens

Sometimes you wonder why a Dutch artist decides to record in a foreign country. In Diftong's case this choice was more than worthwhile. New Folk Sounds - Hans van Deelen

Press quotes Holy Bones (2013)

Krenten uit de Pop, December2012

Diftong's sound on Holy Bones can compete with the sound of his British and American contemporaries and its versatility beats part of the competition.

ROOTSTIME.BE, January 2013

Can we please have your attention for this: Good Americana music does not necessarily come from America. Nice album!

LiveXS Magazine, February 2013

A perfect album for late night contemplation. For both passive listeners and people who like to unravel lyrics., February 2013

...poetic contemplations in generally very beautiful and mostly quiet Americana tunes that would bring a blush to the cheeks of many a foreign comrade-in-arms.

New Folk Sounds, March 2013

Diftong succeeded in creating his own version of semi-acoustic Americana that stands its ground when compared to the artists in that genre across the Atlantic., March 27 2013

Wonderful songs, with sturdy singing, accentuated lyrics and very well played music.

Press quotes on 'Heart in a Jar', October 2010

Diftong has succeeded in demonstrating how versatile traditional American Folk and Country music can be and he proves that fine Americana can be made in the Rhine Delta as well as in Tennessee or The Rocky Mountains., September 2010

An honest recording with high quality music that's pleasant to listen to but never too easy. Heart in a Jar is an intriguingly sounding album […] for people that like to try something different.