|Callahan, Bill / Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest|
|Add Date:||2019-08-21|| ||Pull Date:||2019-10-23|| |
|Week Ending:||20 Oct||13 Oct||6 Oct||29 Sep||22 Sep||15 Sep||8 Sep||1 Sep|
“Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest” Bill Callahan|
Bill Callahan is a 50-something indie folk, Americana and roots singer-songwriter/guitarist with a baritone voice like Leonard Cohen and a style like no one else. Based in Austin, he has released a total of 17 albums since 1990 — recording under the name Smog until 2005, and since then under his own name. “Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest” is his first album of new material since 2013’s acclaimed “Dream River,” and this double album is even more popular with critics and listeners alike. His music is high on originality with exceptional honesty in the lyrics, but very low in the emotion and dryness of his delivery. Take a listen and choose your favorites out of the 20 tracks!
Recommended: 7, 3, 18, 11, 14, 19, 4, 2, 16. FCC on Track 10.
1. (2:23) Shepherd’s Welcome – Slow tempo. Soft, sustained tone in the background. Strummed and fingerpicked guitar. Pensive, expressive vocals.
2. (2:31) Black Dog On The Beach – Leisurely pace. Sorrowful pedal steel guitar whines in the distance. Builds a bit near the end. ***
3. (2:48) Angela – Forlorn tune. Bell-like guitar. Stand-up bass. Keys. Brushes on drums and rim shots. Lyrics: “Like motel curtains, we never really met/And cutting our losses is our best bet.” ****
4. (4:05) The Ballad Of The Hulk – Strummed and fingerpicked guitar. Intersperses between spoken and sung vocals. Tapping high hat. Some fiddle. ***
5. (3:07) Writing – Rambling mountain music tune. Whimsical and thought provoking. Picked guitar. Fiddle. Some bongos for rhythm.
6. (2:11) Morning Is My Godmother – Reflective ballad. Almost flamenco-like guitar in places.
7. (3:27) 747 – Watch false start. Melodic and rolling, with loftier vocals and a steady backbeat in places. Fingerpicked guitar. Shakers. Contemplation of how life unfolds at the start and how it ends. Beautiful poetry in this one. ****
8. (3:11) Watch Me Get Married – Alt-country feeling. Like a song sung around a campfire in the desert. A little bounce and a bit of pedal steel.
9. (2:49) Young Icarus – Mellow. Strummed guitar. A little mandolin maybe? Whimsical, rambling vocals.
10. (2:23) Released – Gentle folk. Musing vocals. Fragile and spare. Cacophonous in the middle. FCC: “F-cked”
11. (3:43) What Comes After Certainty – Pristine, fingerpicked love song — examining what comes next in life after one achieves bliss. ****
12. (3:41) Confederate Jasmine – Strummed Americana. Some fingerpicked guitar as well. Bell-like keys. Simple rhythm.
13. (2:27) Call Me Anything – Mid-tempo, bouncy. Layered guitars. Rapidly plucked stand-up bass.
14. (4:14) Son Of The Sea – Watch false start. Rolling folk, with some Americana trappings. Fiddle. Steel guitar. Thoughts about how responsibilities change in life once one has a family. ****
15. (3:00) Camels – Stop-and-go pacing. Lots of riffing with guitars and bass. Raw, bluesy feeling.
16. (2:29) Circles – Prayer-like feeling. Ruminating about the circle of life. Delicately picked guitar and flute maybe? ***
17. (2:18) When We Let Go – Lightly tripping folk. Guitar, bass, keys, brushes on drums.
18. (4:17) Lonesome Valley – Nice cover of the Carter Family tune. Calm, yet uplifting. Fingerpicked guitar. Piano. Slapping drums. Female harmonies by Bill’s wife, Hanly Banks Callahan. Personalized lyrics, as Callahan mentions various members of his family. ****
19. (4:13) Tugboats And Tumbleweeds – Americana at a walking pace. Strummed and picked guitar. Mandolin? Strolling pace and rhythm. ***
20. (4:38) The Beast – Melancholy folk-rock. Meandering thoughts, almost spoken vocals. Noisy toward the end.