Title - 'Ballads of Captivity and Freedom'
Artist - George St. Clair
Part western balladeer, part borderland chronicler, songwriter George St. Clair is a master of conjuring feelings and images of lives past and present.
Growing up on the high plains of Texas put George in touch with the vastness of the American West, and his songs evoke the dry deserts, rolling grasslands, and high mountains of his West Texas homeland.
Living for the past several years in the UK has given him a renewed perspective on the land where he grew up, and these reflections take shape in Ballads of Captivity and Freedom.
2. 'The Places Where They Prayed'
3. 'Autumn 1889'
5. 'Good Times'
7. 'Up to Fail'
9. 'New Mexico'
10. 'Pedro Páramo'
11. 'Talking Mesquite'
This really lovely new album kicks off in fine style with the countrified bounce of 'Tularosa' ("I know all the right ways to get it wrong"), and backs that up with the evolutionary harken back within 'The Places Where They Prayed' and then the gentle guitar ballad, 'Autumn 1889'. The beat is picked up and becomes a finger-snapping', foot-tappin' affair for 'Corridors' which is followed by the piano-led 'Good Times.'
'Cynthia' is a stunning act of balladry storytelling, and is followed by the jangly guitar work of 'Up to Fail', and then one of my own personal favs, the mid-tempo country pop of 'Lie to Them'. 'Cimarrones' is another beautiful track and is backed by the train-a-rollin' feel of 'New Mexico', and then the album comes to a close with both the in-depth storytelling of 'Pedro Páramo', before rounding out with the live one take, 'Talking Mesquite.'
George St. Clair’s family background of ranching and wildcat oil prospecting spurred him to probe the controversial history of that part of the world in his songwriting.
He grew up in and around places where vicious battles were fought over the possession of land, and where large numbers of indigenous people were corralled into encampments.
George’s bilingual mother made sure to regularly take her children deep into Mexico, where they learned Spanish and acquired a broad view of what it means to be American.
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'Ballads of Captivity and Freedom' CD Purchase Link