Thursday 5 September 2013

Great LPs Going For a Song on eBay #3: Walk Me to the War by Andrew Calhoun

I don’t think anyone (not in this country at any rate) knows about this genius Chicago-based songwriter. Calhoun is also the label chief  of Waterbug Records, which specialises in acoustic roots music. But no-one on Waterbug is as talented as its owner. This is his third album (I think), released on Flying Fish in 1986, and dipping into a songbook that was already quite extensive, with some songs from his teens (he scrupulously dates songs with the year of composition). So this swings between innocence (like the title track, a lyrical evocation of a child’s wonder at horror) and existential angst, deploying a songwriting technique open to free association and primal therapy. In short, he can rant with the best. Simple observation is apt to spiral into full-blown neurosis. ‘Jack and Jill’ is as unhinged and idiosyncratic as anything by Mark E Smith. He is also a master of John Cheever-style glumness, and there’s also no-one like Calhoun for mingling the numinous and quotidian, as on ‘Rye, New Hampshire’. Like I say, a genius.
Anyway, no bids at 99p. The auction closes 18:25:41 on Sept 8. 

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