Sunday, May 20, 2007

The 360 Sounds Of.....D. Charles Speer's "Some Forgotten Country' LP



I don't think I've listened to nothin from the No Neck Blues camp since...whew, hard to say. There's acorns what's growed into oaks in the period of time I'm talkin about. I got so's I didn't yin nor yang w/their.....aura. It weren't nothin personal, just seemed that we owned alot've the same records but they wanted to be'em & I didn't. It's like some of them Civil War buffs. They like to get dressed up, go out & have them reenactments. I'm happy just readin the books. That's the way the boat floats is all. There's been plenty of NNCK spinoffs or "side projects" over the yrs too, some I know, most I (probably) don't. For instance this lp from D. Charles Speer. On any other occasion I might ramble on about how he'd be a descendant of Albert Speer (you know, the great architect) or perhaps the black sheep of them singin christians, The Speer Family. But tucked inside was a letter from a fella named Dave Shuford what's a member of the No Neck's & this here is his (& I quote) "songwriting project". If you's wanna roll your eyes, it's okay. At face value it'd be easy to dismiss it as another hat tossed in the ring of the urban folkie trend & let's face it, it just ain't the same since they outlawed smokin in the coffee houses. But in his own way Shuford (as D. Charles Speer) has trancended what you might usually assume from most contempo stool sitters (Fahey worship, Celtic harmony, Buckley ache, etc.) & offers up a polished effort that's both left of & dead on center. You can tell the guy's been a dutiful student of the genre & there seems to be no one he ain't heard what hasn't seeped into his encyclopedic cranium. Ably separatin the wheat from the chafe, 'Some Forgotten Country' has been nothin short of a Goddamn pleasure to listen to on every spin. For me what seems prominent is a vocal resemblance to David Blue crossed w/the emotive & hypnotic intensity of Michael Chapman's guitar style. You might hear Cohen or Kristofferson, maybe even certain pluckers 'n players what recorded for Takoma, Riverboat or Vanguard. If that's what makes it work you, then so be it. But the main thing is IT WORKS. If you've been jonesin for a shot of Village Rye chased w/a pint of Cornish Ale, D. Charles Speer is a barkeep you need to get to know. Make his acquaintance here; dcharlesspeer@gmail.com

1 comment:

David said...

Hey Tom, who is it that you think we want to dress up as?
(Dave Nuss, NNCK)