Music Review – Songs From the Bicycle Club by Dave Schultz and Purple Hank

“Songs from The Bicycle Club” is a CD that accompanies Dave Schultz’ book, “The Bicycle Club”. This music is gritty Americana at its core. It is mostly about booze, love, one night stands and the blurry lines between those elements that exist in dark taverns and roadhouses.

Dave is unapologetic for the material. It is a style of music that began perhaps with Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash but continued with songwriters like Bob Dylan and Steve Earle reels song download. Clearly, it is the edge of society that draws the attention of Dave Schultz.

For me, listening to this style of music is a lot like reading history or fiction. That is, we can listen to songs and experience a culture that is not our own.

For others, the reality of their own existence may resonate through the words and melodies of this music. I choose to offer only my judgment of the music in this context and leave moral judgments of my fellow man to those who are comfortable in such matters.

Similarly, the Blues is a very good example of understanding a part of culture through music, I think. When I started my retrospective into the Blues, I began to appreciate more than the music, I began to appreciate the culture from which it was drawn. I dare say that most folks would not want to live the life of a sharecropper, but many of the early blues were derived from the experience of farm workers in rural America during difficult times. But, this is not a purist form of blues and it is not about sharecroppers.

These are drinking songs. Drinking songs have existed for many centuries. The Irish, English and the Germans have long traditions of drinking songs that are generally festive. Americans also have drinking songs that are festive and light.

However, these songs are a bit darker at times. Some of these songs are about the counter culture of drugs and alcohol. We may debate whether it romanticizes the serious problem of substance abuse. However, the stories are based on cold hard facts that are difficult to ignore. Personally, I can appreciate the music as an art form without the need to experience it first hand. I have lost a lot of friends and relatives to substance abuse over the years, so I do not take the subject lightly. However, it is not for children. This music is entertainment for adults who are able to make decisions for themselves.

Now that I have exhausted all of my conservative caveats and disclaimers, I would like to say that I really like the songs on this CD. They are all well written and produced. Dave Schultz has a very nice way of putting interesting thoughts into simplistic terms that are universal in nature. In my opinion, it is the mark of a truly talented lyricist to create images that we are able to see in our minds. While his songs have great lyrics, they also have memorable melodies and Dave has a great singing voice! So, I believe Dave Schultz deserves a spot among the lofty ranks of great singer songwriters. Furthermore, I believe the members of Purple Hank are all very well suited for this variety of music, offering nice textures and demonstrating great skill as veteran performers.

January has a nice shuffle rhythm that creates some interesting images with a fantastic arrangement of instruments. The song ends with a refrain that is actually quite interesting. It starts with a nice change into a minor with added strings that are very appropriate. This moves into a major for the last two refrains. In short, January is a beautifully written song with a lasting effect.

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