Tuesday, March 9, 2010

For A Song: Next Best Western

Richard Shindell: Next Best Western


This week, the album review is taking longer than I expected. That will appear later this week. So here, out of order, is this week’s For a Song.

When I first got involved with Star Maker Machine, the theme was Songwriting. Next Best Western would have been a fine choice. Richard Shindell’s career was still young at this point, but songs like this had already established him as one of the best songwriters out there. Next Best Western has for a narrator a long-haul trucker, weary from the road and seeking refuge. Refuge here refers both to the physical and the spiritual, and the two blend seamlessly in a character who says, “I wish I could believe.” I have no idea if Shindell was ever a trucker himself, but I would believe it after hearing this.

Incidentally, the background vocals are by Lucy Kaplansky. She worked with Shindell in Cry Cry Cry, and has also made quite a name for herself as a solo artist.