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Labor Against Waste

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Album Review

The sophomore long-player and Anti debut from Brooklyn-based, Florida-bred singer/songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling, Labor Against Waste draws from a wide spectrum of American roots music, from backwoods gospel and blues to bucolic folk and road trip-ready country. A dazzling finger-picker to boot, Stelling cites influences such as John Fahey, Van Morrison, Mississippi John Hurt, Waylon Jennings, Bob Dylan, Roscoe Holcomb, and Skip James, but there's a real Van Morrison/Damien Rice vibe at work here as well, especially on some of the album's less ardent cuts like "Scarecrow" and "Too Far North." Stelling sings and writes with the conviction and sincerity of a road-tested troubadour, and he's at his best and most fevered when the pace goes from a trot to a full-on gallop. There's a nervy energy that runs through the album that belies its more or less spartan arrangements and string band setup. Despite keeping the proceedings completely acoustic, Stelling manages to achieve rock-level decibels on stand-out cuts like the bustling "Hard Work," the rowdy, Led Zeppelin III-inspired "Horse," and the spirited opener "Warm Enemy," the latter of which features enough six-string fireworks to, at the very least, earn the still young virtuoso a temporary seat at the table with the likes of Fahey and company.

Customer Reviews

Labor against Waste--Christopher Paul Stelling

A truly original artist with uniquely well crafted songs, with an intriguing and lush nylon string guitar playing style. He is someone to be listened to and often. With each listen, you get a glimpse of more.

Americana with Passion

I love fingerpicking style guitar, so I was prepared to like this. What sets this a notch above is that Stelling has a powerful voice to contrast and complement the elaborate guitar.

"Work Real Hard" is a beautiful anthem. Enjoy.


Born: February 19, 1982 in Daytona Beach, FL

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '10s

Based out of Brooklyn, New York, born in Daytona Beach, Florida, and raised on a healthy diet of John Fahey, Van Morrison, Mississippi John Hurt, Waylon Jennings, Bob Dylan, Roscoe Holcomb, and Skip James, singer/songwriter and virtuoso finger picker Christopher Paul Stelling crafts timeless-sounding acoustic confections that draw from all corners of the American roots music spectrum. Stelling earned critical accolades for his 2012 debut long-player, Songs of Praise and Scorn, with critics citing...
Full Bio
Labor Against Waste, Christopher Paul Stelling
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Customer Ratings