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Dream River

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Editors’ Notes

Dream River is Bill Callahan’s 16th (or so) release, including those he recorded as Smog. His music is mysterious and intense. Even after 25 years, it remains filled with surprises. Where in the past Callahan has thrived on repetition, here nothing is static. Dream River is sublime in its subtlety; each word and pause feels essential. The instruments are in sync with Callahan’s drowsy and understated baritone, and the arrangements fully support the freeform lyrics and open song structures. The music is lush and the backing band inspired, particularly the remarkable guitar work of Matt Kinsey. His guitar tones play off Callahan’s vocals beautifully as keyboards, flute, congas, and percussion add texture and motion on standouts like “Javelin Unlanding” and “Spring.” Another highlight is the opening “The Sing,” a Callahan classic featuring pedal steel, electric guitar, country fiddle, and a hint of mariachi rhythm. Dream River is an affecting album that ranks among Callahan’s best work.

Customer Reviews

Slithering Into my Brain

The musical colors that bill uses in this album are more varied and vibrant then his previous few albums. ANd of course Bill Callahan's lyrics are strange pictures of the things that we all hide but nonetheless are still revealed. The music and his lyrics capture the spirit, the feeling that inhabits these strange but commonplace moments in a very enjoyable way. This album is fun to listen, it is enjoyable.

Buy it!

Great album from start to finish. If you've liked anything Bill Callahan has done in the past, this will be extremely satisfying.

Flute

I've been a fan of Callahan's since Smog's beginnings. This new record was a surprising disappointment. It's dripping in flute and I need flute like a hole in the head.

Biography

Born: 1966 in Silver Spring, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After almost 20 years of using the alias Smog for his music, Bill Callahan switched to his given name for his releases after 2005's A River Ain't Too Much to Love. The 2007 EP Diamond Dancer and full-length Woke on a Whaleheart both mixed the intimate, reflective, largely acoustic sound of later Smog albums like Supper and A River with gospel, soul, and pop elements, and boasted arrangements by former Royal Trux mastermind Neil Hagerty. For 2009's Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle, Callahan returned...
Full Bio