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Stories of the Knife and the Back

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Album Review

Singer/songwriter Cameron McGill is all heart on his debut album, Stories of the Knife and the Back. While the title might suggest otherwise, McGill learns from those moments of betrayal and dirty tricks for an endearing set of songs. What makes McGill a star among stars is his one-of-a-kind honesty. He's not overly ambitious on Stories of the Knife and the Back; he's not out to prove himself to be more than just a regular guy with his heart on his sleeve. He succeeds in blending threads of roots rock, country-rock and indie rock, and unlike Ryan Adams, Pete Yorn, and whoever else is being touted as the next country boy superstah, McGill's focus on allowing the songs to mesh with simple production speaks for itself. McGill's a poet, one obsessed with the glamour of old Hollywood while living his life according to Literary classics and standard punk rock anthems. Songs like "The Ballad of George Dobbins" and "The Summer Dress Step" showcase McGill's vocal passion á la Adam Duritz while embracing classic country and folk stylings for his own rock & roll signature. Violins and pianos waltz throughout the more sublime reflection of "Coal Miner's Son" for one of McGill's hidden treasures, and if he plays his cards just right, it could become one of those underrated classics in years to come. McGill's earnest attempt in making a solid rock album might make Stories of the Knife and the Back come off a touch manicured, but who cares? It's free of the slickness of a major label release. If anything, McGill will kill you with kindness.

Customer Reviews


Not only do I have respect for Cameron, hailing from his home town-Champaign, IL- but I also highly appreciate his music. Champaign has a plethora of talented musicians, and Cameron is one that truly has made it. If anyone loves this album as much as I do, then you should really buy his recent one- Street Ballads and Murderesques. Very Cameron. Very beautiful. (yes there's more harmonica)

What the hell (I love this girl Danielle)

I have not listened to the rest of the songs on this album but hte song what the hell (I love this girl Danielle) is the coolest song ever!!! because my name is Danielle and there has never been a song about me and this one is really funny and true for a lot of people. If I had a myspace this would totally be my song! If anyone knows a person named Danielle buy this song for them!!!

Great Album!

I saw Cameron open for Butch Walker at The Abbey in Chicago a few years ago. Not only did Cameron rock the house, he was cool enough to meet all who wanted to meet him. I had the pleasure of purchasing this CD from him that night. It truly is amazing. I am glad to see it here on iTunes. It deserves to be in everyone's collection. RJ


Born: August 9, 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...
Full Bio
Stories of the Knife and the Back, Cameron McGill
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Customer Ratings