In "The Next Best Western," the opening track of this terrific collection of tunes, life on the road takes its toll both literally and figuratively. The narrator goes so far as to question God's motives as he rolls along the turnpike: "Did he who made the lamb/Put the tremble in the hand/That reaches out to take my quarter?" Indeed, Shindell works in landscapes of desperation and longing throughout the album, with fugitives ("May"), absent fathers ("I Saw My Youth Today") and other assorted average Joes that you pass on the street every day. Producer Larry Campbell places these stories in spare and beautiful surroundings, never overwhelming the sentiment. This is songcraft at its finest.
Performance CreditsRichard Shindell Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Lucy Kaplansky Vocal Harmony
Larry Campbell Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Fiddle,Mandolin,Percussion,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Dave Richards Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Frank Vilardi Percussion,Drums
Radoslav Lorkovic Piano,Accordion,Harmonium,Hammond Organ
Teresa Williams Vocal Harmony
Technical CreditsLarry Campbell Producer
Tim Conklin Engineer
Matt Baxter Engineer
Roy Matthews Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reunion Hill based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Beginning the quirky lyrics and heartfelt longing of the opening track, on Reunion Hill, Richard Shindell takes us on quite a ride and, in the process, proves himself to be a master songwriter. Most of these songs are miniature dramas that evoke all sorts of landscapes, from the evocative world of "May" to the melancholy morality of "Money for Floods" to the unbridled hopefulness of "Smiling" to the incredible dramatic sweep of the title track. Shindell introduces us to realistic, imperfect characters and explores a wide range of human emotions. Isn't that exactly what good folk music is supposed to do--explore and speak to PEOPLE? Musically, the tunes are very satisfying, there is excellent playing from a cast of solid accompanying musicians, and the production enhances the songs without excess. Simply put, this is a great bunch of songs, and Shindell's raw, slightly nasal voice is an ideal vehicle for them. Highly recommended.