WITH his fine and spontaneously realised album from the end of summer, Gold Record, now back in stock and available again on wax, Bill Callahan has stepped once more to the filmic breach with a brand new record for one of the most nuanced and moving nuggets sifted from that album, “Cowboy”.
The song? Well. As with “The Green, Green Grass Of Home”, you have to climb inside the lyrics for the full force to hit you. A red-eyed (the booze, or tears? Probably both), dusty, horseback shuffle, on which Bill sings “Well I’ve been living like a cowboy / On the late, late movie … All I need is whisky, water, tortillas and maize / Buffalo meat, one time per week”.
The brass laments at a little distance from Bill and the guitar, which are right there with you. Our cowboy has found a little station in life, maybe not where he wanted to be, but he’s found some degree of equanimity, maybe even a contentment, down there. He coulda been somebody. But somebody was maybe a big ask.
Visually it now comes accompanied with a video that’s as once hazy and colourful and sharp-focused on Bill and those six strings, courtesy directors Anthony Gasparro and Mikey Kampmann.
If you didn’t get yourself down with Gold Record yet – an album of which we said last year contains ” … tracks that beat with the blood-red heart of the true life lived,” and of the man himself: “He’s a musician and an observer of the highest aptitude, an eye for experience like a bird of prey. And oh, his voice. Like a fine whisky, he’s laid it down to mature and those rounded, peaty tones warm and intoxicate so. It’d fetch an absolute fortune at some Japanese spirits market” (read our full review here) – then compadre, now would be a very good time.
Bill Callahan’s Gold Record is out now on Drag City on mp3, FLAC, CD, cassette and LP. Ladies and gentlemen: place your orders here.