Rees Shad – Six Strings & A Story – An Acoustic Retrospective (1990-2023)
This is a good set of tunes performed with a spare acoustic guitar & the engaging voice of Rees Shad which has a wonderful folky tone. It possesses linkages to John Prine, Guy Clark, Greg Copeland, Jim Lampos & Gene Ryder. The songs themselves, all acoustic, are well-written & could pass as beyond demo quality. They’re showcased too pristinely & with clarity. The songs were dug up between 1990-2023 & are a good reference to how a song starts out with no embellishments, no solos, just the human voice & a well-tuned acoustic guitar.
Rees is an acclaimed artist who has been around for more than 3 decades. Working out of New England with all its acoustic-mannered well-articulated phraseology & somewhat different from the 60s Laurel Canyon songwriters (whose musical archelogy was considerably different). Shad takes a deeper dive. After all those years he seems more relevant as a determinedly individualistic artist.
“Mercy Street Reflections,” is one of the most haunting & this is the best song to single out the style, quality & creativity of Rees Shad. “Fool,” goes full-bore vaudeville in a smoky Leon Redbone tonality. Some may say this a showcase of warts & all – yeah, maybe, but very few warts, very few.
Highlights – “Mustard In the Gravy,” “Isn’t It the Journey,” “Down In the Bedrock,” “Mercy Street Reflections” & “Fool.” Six Strings and a Story was recorded by Paul Antonell & mixed by Doug Ford.
The CD includes a stitched lyric insert. Color image courtesy of Ben Garver. CD @ https://www.reesshadmusic.com/