- 15 Oct 18
I Am Just A Cowboy...
Hailing from Saskatchewan, Canada rather than the American South that his music might suggest, Colter Wall’s voice will be familiar to you if you were listening closely during the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri or Hell Or High Water. Both movies featured ‘Sleeping On The Blacktop’ from his debut release, 2015’s Imaginary Appalachia.
It was a welcome surprise to see Wall featured on the line up of this years usually fairly country-shy Electric Picnic, and it was a proper shit-kicking, full band show too. This deliberately old fashioned album is a different cup of meat though, with the cover art offering the first hint. Songs Of the Plains is exactly what you get, a collection that could just as easily been released in 1968, or 1918.
The constituent ingredients are Wall’s rich baritone voice – think Johnny Cash or Don Williams, after a long cattle drive – acoustic guitar, harmonica, some bass and the merest echo of a brushed snare drum and pedal steel. The lyrics tell of homestead struggles (‘Saskatchewan In 1881’), hunting to survive (‘Wild Dogs’), and hard-working cowboys (‘Calgary Round Up’, ‘Night Herding Song’). Familiar names from the old west turn up too – Wild Bill Hickok, who takes out a bear with his knife and little fuss, Billy The Kid, and those bastards John Chisum and Pat Garrett.