Richard Shindell | South of Delia

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Folk: Modern Folk Rock: Americana Moods: Type: Acoustic
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South of Delia

by Richard Shindell

One of modern folk/Americana's most influential and respected songwriters turns out a stunning collection of intelligently chosen covers (with guest appearances by: Eliza Gilkyson, Richard Thompson, Viktor Krauss, Tony Trischka, Larry Campbell
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
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1. Acadian Driftwood
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5:34 $0.99
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2. Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)
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4:53 $0.99
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3. The Humpback Whale
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4:56 $0.99
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4. Born in the U.S.A.
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3:06 $0.99
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5. Mercy Street
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4:18 $0.99
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6. The Storms are on the Ocean
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3:19 $0.99
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7. Northbound 35
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5:18 $0.99
8. Sitting on Top of the World
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3:05 $0.99
9. Texas Rangers
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4:09 $0.99
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10. Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)
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5:07 $0.99
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11. Solo le Pido a Dios
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4:40 $0.99
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12. Lawrence, KS
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
An expatriate New Yorker now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Richard Shindell is a meticulous craftsman of song whose six studio albums and one live recording have been revered by critics and fans alike. Innovative, original and occasionally spiritual, Shindell’s songs weave tales that interchangeably champion the downtrodden, exalt the disaffected or wax empathetic to those lost to society’s fringes. From his first record, Sparrow’s Point (1992) to the newest album South of Delia (2007), Shindell has demonstrated a penchant for songwriting at once passionate and profound.

Shindell’s songwriting is truly eclectic, ranging from lighthearted ballads and adulterous love songs, to dirges and diatribes that skillfully skewer politics, prejudice, war, and religion. He has a unique ability to morph into the soul of the many and varied personalities he casts as narrators in certain songs — songs that are veritable novellas framed in haunting acoustic melodies.

Born in New Jersey, Mr. Shindell grew up in Port Washington, Long Island where he began to take guitar lessons. He spent the last of his teenage years in Baltimore, then attended Hobart College in upstate New York where he continued to pursue his musical interests. During an earlier stint at Moravian College, Shindell teamed up with John Gorka in the short-lived Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band.

Upon graduation, Shindell moved into a Zen Buddhist monastery for a while, leaving to explore Europe, and ending up the proverbial struggling musician in Paris playing for coins in underground Metro stations.

Leaving the city of light, Shindell found himself in New York, where he took a hiatus from music. Long fascinated by philosophy and religion, he enrolled in Union Theological Seminary. Between classes, he began to write songs and finished what he calls his first “keeper song,” a melodic if cryptic ode to the Virgin Mary composed on the mountain dulcimer called “On A Sea Of Fleur de Lis,” which appeared on his first record, Sparrows Point.

Fortunately, it didn’t take much to convince the New Jersey-based independent record label, Shanachie, that Mr. Shindell was a songwriter worth signing. Shindell produced three records under the Shanachie label, including Sparrow’s Point, Blue Divide (1994) and Reunion Hill (1997), which won the AFIM “Best Contemporary Folk Album” in 1998.

With each successive record, Shindell toured relentlessly and built a solid following of loyal fans. In 1997, he was invited to join Joan Baez on her European and American tour and opened the eyes and ears of a new segment of folk music enthusiasts to his talents as a songwriter and performer.

In 1998, Shindell formed the acoustic trio, Cry Cry Cry, with Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky. Along with a little help from their friends, Cry Cry Cry produced an eponymously titled album (Razor & Tie Records, 1998) comprised largely of cover songs of lesser-known artists. The trio toured from 1998 until 2000, leaving audiences spellbound with their unique three-part harmonies.

In 2000, Shindell released Somewhere Near Patterson (Signature Sounds, 2000), which quickly became his most successful release to date. Produced by Larry Campbell, longtime member of the Bob Dylan Band, its release was followed by a comprehensive tour that played to sold-out shows across the country and established Shindell as one of the premier performing songwriters in popular music. Somewhere Near Patterson was followed by Courier (Signature Sounds, 2002), the live reprise of many of Shindell’s best-loved songs.

Also in 2000, Shindell and his family moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he recorded Vuelta (Koch Records, 2004). For this project he joined up with Puente Celeste, a distinctly Argentine group of virtuoso musicians.

Now, Shindell returns north with a stunning collection of covers called South of Delia. To say that South of Delia is a record of covers, however, does not do justice to the spirit of this project. It is a deeply personal choice of songs that Shindell offers up here — that of an expatriate looking back at the country he left. With guest appearances by Lucy Kaplansky, Viktor Krauss, Richard Thompson, Tony Trischka, Greg Anderson, Eliza Gilkyson and others, South of Delia offers up new interpretations of songs such as “Acadian Driftwood” (Robbie Robertson), “Señor” (Bob Dylan), and “Deportee” (Woody Guthrie). Shindell also thoroughly rehabilitates Springsteen’s often misunderstood “Born in the USA”.

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Reviews


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Colin Spence

Outstanding compilation of folk-Americana
Richard Shindell is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and, above all, a gifted song-writer. However for a change, this album is comprised entirely of songs by other writers, some well-known - including Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Jeffrey Foucault, Woody Guthrie and Josh Ritter, and some less so; also, there are a couple of traditional songs including (unusually for Richard) a slow blues number.

The album's overall sound is semi-acoustic with some slight instrumental layering - over 20 different instruments are played by no less than 15 musicians. The roster reads like a who's who of musician's musicians - these include : Richard himself (acoustic/electric guitars, bouzouki, electric slide, cajon and more!), Larry Campbell (pedal steel), Viktor Krauss (acoustic bass), David Sancious (keyboards), Sara Milonovich (violin), Dennis McDermott (drums/percussion), plus the irrepressible Richard Thompson (electric lead guitar on two songs). The majority of songs feature smooth and subtle harmonies courtesy of Richard, Lucy Kaplansky, Sara Milonovich, and Eliza Gilkyson, amongst others.
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