Richard Shindell

Newsletter #7

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Newsletter #7

This is just to inform you that preorders are now being accepted for the new record, which I shall henceforth cease to refer to as "the new record," opting instead to call it by its name: South of Delia=2E Please go to

http://www=2Erichardshindell=2Ecom and click on "online store" in the menu=2E

We're looking at an estimated ship date of March 15=2E Don't kill me if it's a few days later=2E This will be an website-only release at this point=2E Those of you who would rather wait until it becomes available in stores (or as a digital download) will have to wait a bit longer (like the middle of May)=2E

At this point, I should really go into a long rant about how great the record is and why you should buy one copy for yourself and one each for everyone in your address book=2E However, I'm a lousy salesman=2E If I were to write such a blurb myself, you probably wouldn't buy the record - not because I think it's a bad record (au contraire!), but because it's unbecoming (not to mention unseemly) for me to be engaging base autopromotion, and because modesty (false, mind you), would dictate that I write something like: "It's a pretty good record=2E As the french say, Il y a plus nul (translation: there's worse)=2E I hope you buy it=2E"

So, rather than shooting myself in the foot, I'm going to post here someone else's blurb - that of Neil Pearson at Fish Records in the UK=2E [And by the way, if you're receiving this in the UK - go to http://www=2Efishrecords=2Eco=2Euk to order yours]=2E So without further backpedaling or apology, I give you Neil Pearson:

While Richard Shindell is rightly considered one of the finest singer/songwriters of his generation, he's always had an eye (and ear) for great songs by other writers and has included songs in his live shows, placed the occasional cover on his albums and recorded the Cry Cry Cry disc with Lucy Kaplansky and Dar Williams which celebrated the songs of contemporary writers=2E

South of Delia's 12 songs are drawn from a good mixture of sources including bona-fide legends (Dylan & Guthrie), excellent contemporary writers (Josh Ritter & Jeffrey Foucault) and there are a couple of trad arrs present to complete a thoughtful selection of tracks=2E

His own songs may be missing, but his superb guitar playing, strong vocals and musicality' is very much present his ear for an arrangement has always been very strong but Delia' represents a high watermark=2E The construction of the songs feels natural but it's obvious much love, time and effort has been put into the arrangements and production to achieve this balance=2E

Richard's smooth and effortless guitar obviously dominates the disc, but there's a wide variety of instrumentation including electric guitar, strings, bass and percussion, plus there's some memorable backing vocals on many tracks=2E The list of musicians and guests is full of exceptional talent and includes Richard Thompson, Eliza Gilkyson, Larry Campbell, Lucy Kaplansky, Viktor Krauss and Tony Trischka=2E

The choice of material is superb with a good mix of well known and more niche' songs, and there are many memorable tracks including AP Carters beautifully simple melody onThe Storms are on the Ocean' and his reading of Springsteen's Born in the USA' which is anything but anthemic and really highlights the bitter and stinging hardship contained in the lyrics=2E For all the excellent songs, there are three real standouts; The Band's Acadian Driftwood' is a great piece of writing of the Great Expulsion of Acadia by the British Army in 1755, Shindell's reading is moving and full of feeling=2E

' Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)' is a Guthrie protest poem dealing with the crash of a plane carrying 28 illegal immigrants who were being deported back to Mexico, and the subsequent media coverage that referred to the dead workers only as deportees, it's a powerful and moving song and the addition of Eliza Gilkyson on backing vocals really adds to the impact=2E

The third of the three standouts is Scottish/Australian Harry Robertson's The Humpback Whale', although Richard's reading owes much to Nic Jones' version of the track from his Penguin Eggs' disc=2E It's a song about the thankfully almost eradicated practice of whale hunting and as a piece of social history songwriting it's a real tour de force; Richard's nylon strung guitar and the electric guitar of Richard Thompson create the drama the song deserves=2E

South of Delia' is a superb disc; great songs and musicians and some of the classiest, most restrained and appropriate production you could wish for=2E Essential and not to be missed=2E

Track listing

1 Acadian Driftwood (Robbie Robertson)

2 Seor (Tales of Yankee Power) (Bob Dylan)

3 The Humpback Whale (Harry Robertson)

4 Born in the USA (Bruce Springsteen)

5 Mercy Street (Peter Gabriel)

6 The Storms are On the Ocean (A=2EP=2E Carter)

7 Northbound 35 (Jeffrey Foucault)

8 Sitting On Top of the World (trad arr Shindell)

9 Texas Rangers (trad arr Shindell)

10 Deportee (Woody Guthrie)

11 Solo le Pido a Dios (Leon Gieco)

12 Lawrence, KS (Josh Ritter)


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