Drag City

SMOG - A River Ain't Too Much to Love LP

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Bill Callahan is one of a number of performers who present their work under the banner of a band name. It's generally just him, other times with various cohorts along. This set is given added punch and sparkle by the quietly incessant rhythms of drummer Jim White (his rolling foundation for "The Well" sounds like a cowboy gallop across the prairie). Also, it's great to hear acoustic guitars being utilized for music not tied to just folk traditions. Callahan's songs are slices of Americana at its finest--from the Yankee transcendentalism of New England forefathers to the sweep of westward expansion and the chokehold of loss and longing. The first song's opening words are "winter weather" and the closing number's final phrase is "thinking of the future." In between lies just about anything you need. --David Greenberger