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Street Ballads & Murderesques

Cameron McGill

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Album Review

Cameron McGill's heart is in his hands on Street Ballads & Murderesques, his second album. Even more honest and organic than Stories of the Knife and the Back, McGill's candid songwriting, er, storytelling reminisces about heartache, introspection, and regret. He's an earnest Bob Dylan fan, and a kindred spirit to Ryan Adams' early solo work. McGill's singing about everyday life with an outlook that values the old Hollywood, old postcards and letters, old dreams, old romance, and wars is what makes this particular offering so beautiful. A stripped-down, slow waltz of acoustic guitars, harmonicas, and pianos brings McGill's bittersweet poetry to life. Songs such as "If Darkness Would Rather Come," "We've Been Tryin'," and "Love's Worst Day" are quiet moments of self-reflection. "Birmingham" is a standout folk-inspired moment with autumnal hues of traveled city streets and passersby. Street Ballads & Murderesques isn't daring or dramatic, unlike the sharper scenes in Stories of the Knife and the Back. A slightly ironic, humorous side to McGill is hinted at throughout, adding to the poetic flow of this album. McGill is finely tuned and focused here, though the passion found in his previous work is dearly missed.


Born: 09 August 1977 in Champaign-Urbana, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1977, singer/songwriter Cameron McGill credits his dad's record collection for sparking his musical interest. Childhood years spent listening to the Beach Boys, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash left an impression, and by the time he was in high school, McGill was playing guitar and writing songs. In 1998, he moved to Chicago after graduating from the University of Illinois. After playing the coffeehouse/bar scene for two years, he formed Morris Minors...
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Street Ballads & Murderesques, Cameron McGill
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