Bill Callahan

Bill Callahan Releases New Album Gold Record

 

“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” is as startling to read here as it is to hear on the opening of Bill Callahan’s Gold Record. Sparse guitar riffs and faint trumpet notes guide the listener through the Tejano lullaby “Pigeons.” Calahan’s description of the romantic saga is as elusive as his voice:

“Deep in the heart of Texas, life and love go sleepily on,” Callahan writes on his Bandcamp page. “From the wheel of his long white limousine, a man witnesses scenes from many lives. Musically commencing with Cash and rambling to Cohen suggests that whether the wedding rice explodes in your belly or you end up married to the whole wide world, there’s a place for you on this Earth.”

For the past seven weeks, Drag City has released a different single from the album, offering a preview and pre-order for the September release. Callahan offers Gold Record in multiple formats including cassette, compact disc, vinyl and digital. The current releases are as dense as a novel, allowing the listener to pick up on different insights of the characters with each listen.

It’s hard to know how many personal anecdotes Callahan includes with his work, as fictional characters take the place of himself. “Let’s Move to the Country” describes a blossoming relationship, the character leaving traveling behind to settle down and start a family. This may provide a link from Callahan’s characters into his personal life, as he married Hanly Banks in 2014 and became a father, and took a significant break in recording.

The seven released tracks are held together with a cohesive sound, forcing the listener to observe the lyrics. In an interview with Texas Monthly earlier this year, Callahan cited Willie Nelson as an influence for visual storytelling. Though Callahan was describing a line from his previous release Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest, the material on Gold Record feels connected to the writing style of Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger.

Follow the release of Callahan’s Gold Recordhere: https://billcallahan.bandcamp.com/album/gold-record

 

-Andrew Blanton