Cormac McCarthy | Collateral

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Collateral

by Cormac McCarthy

A modern folk singer-songwriter, great lyrics and music,literate and soulful, "Collateral" is a remarkable achievement in both its simplicity and its solemn lyrical indictment of a society on fumes, the images in the lyrics are too precise to be anything but truth." Portsmouth Herald.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Gotta Keep Movin'
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2. The Working Poor
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3. Cadillac Man
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4:28 $0.99
4. Back When I Worked On the Railroad
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5. The Crossroads
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6. On a Night Like This
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7. You Can't Outrun the Hounds
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8. Walking On Solid Ground
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9. Jailhouse Bound
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10. Doppelganger
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Liner Notes from Collateral:
E.L. Doctorow declared, “A novelist is a person who lives in other people's skins.”
The same may be said for songwriter Cormac McCarthy, because, as the late Bill Morrissey noted in his 1986 notes for McCarthy’s debut release, “McCarthy knows his characters well,” and Collateral is as much a collection of compelling short stories rife with Joycean epiphanies as it is a compilation of compelling, lyrical songs that reflect the depth of his understanding of the contemporary human condition, and evince his innate appreciation for the tradition that his work continues.

Like the restless souls inhabiting Woody Guthrie’s best work, McCarthy’s characters struggle to find a haven in an evermore-fractured society, fighting to retain their decency in an indecent world, and to discover hope and love in the depths of their own courage. As McCarthy has, and does, live among the people populating his songs, he writes about them with an insider’s intuition and understanding. In these beautifully honed lyrics, each as rich in detail and emotion as a short novel, the listener divines the apotheosis of the mundane—that celebration of the common heart of America reminiscent of the work of Hank Williams, Tom Waits, and Bob Dylan.

McCarthy, is, however, never imitative. There is no posturing here, no preaching to the choir, and no tedious explanations for the listener about what he or she has just heard. Instead each song is allowed to reveal itself, which is the difference between art and journalism.

But it is not word alone that propels this collection. McCarthy’s strong, rich, and resonant voice, and long under-appreciated guitar are enhanced by pitch perfect production, lush enough to add grace, yet never intrusive. In short, the musicianship is superb.

In his poem, In My Craft or Sullen Art Dylan Thomas professed that he toiled:

“Not for the towering dead…
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages…”

It is for these people, and all the rest of us, for whom McCarthy has crafted these songs, and this album stands with any in recent memory. It will spend a long time in your CD player.

- Bruce Pratt
Eddington, Maine


Reviews


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Mary K.

Highly Recommended!
I heard the first cut from this record recently when driving in my car listening to my favorite radio station. It made me happy to know the DJ was another Cormac fan like me. The stories the songs tell on Collateral (both musically and lyrically) pull you in and don't let you go. An example of this is the song Back When I Worked on the Railroad. Right from the opening line, I was completely hooked. “I camped with preaching drifters good corn mash I could not refuse. I remember singing Sweet Chariot. I had to walk back into town without my shoes.” I love the whole mood and grove of the song Cadillac Man. The lyrics and sound create a vivid character that stays with you. “The Graceland campground sits in a holler at the bottom of the hill. It's where the hard hit live and one lives in his Coup de Ville.” All of the songs on this album are captivating – with beautiful vocals and instrumentals. Listening makes me feel more connected to the human experience with both its hardships and grace. Highly recommended!