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The Texas Campfire Tapes

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iTunes Review

As lo-fi as you can go, Michelle Shocked’s “debut album” The Texas Campfire Tapes was recorded at the 1986 Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas on a Sony Walkman for showbiz impresario Pete Lawrence. The impromptu performance benefits from the no-budget production as it highlights Shocked’s young yet experienced delivery, her agile folk guitar pickings, and a sense for mood, an ability to create a feeling that she’s reaching beyond the here and now. Therefore, “5 A.M. in Amsterdam” feels as if it’s transmitting from a distant land. “The Incomplete Image” sounds like a talking blues from a lost field recording. “Who Cares?” and “Down on Thomas St.” reflect her interest in conjuring up the spirits of Woody Guthrie and the lonesome bluesmen who rambled from town to town, making little more than enough for bus fare to the next town. Shocked would end up signed to a major label deal and record in proper studios where her talents were fleshed out. But this rudimentary collection may be the most charming in her catalog, as its aura is all encompassing.

Customer Reviews

Most unique album ever

The music on this album is incredible, considering it was recorded around a campfire at a folk festival. I love the fact that you can hear the crickets and trucks passing in the background. It feels like you have spent some time with Michelle.

Mac badger hates her

Horrible person and singer!

Biography

Born: February 24, 1962 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Rock

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

Michelle Shocked was born Michelle Johnston in Dallas, TX, in 1962, where she spent her early childhood traveling around army bases. In 1977, she ran away from her Mormon fundamentalist mother to live with her father, who introduced her to country bluesmen Big Bill Broonzy and Leadbelly, as well as contemporary songwriters Guy Clark and Randy Newman. She spent the next several years exploring the folk underground, spending the early '80s in Austin, where she began honing her own songwriting skills....
Full Bio