RUN SKELETON RUN
Remarkable Collection of Folk Tinged Americana Tales and Stories .
Within days of each other two ‘musicians in America got in touch to say that their friend David Childers had a new album coming out and they both thought I (the website) could like it and be interested in reviewing it. Intrigued that they would go out of their way to contact me; I still did nothing about it; but a week later an envelope from a trusted PR Company arrived with a handwritten letter saying much the same thing; and enclosed RUN SKELETON RUN.
I’ve now listened to it several times; first in snatches but when heard from start to finish ‘I get it.’
At face value David Childers is a Folk Singer with a warm voice in the style of someone like Burl Ives or Tom Paxton; but so are a million others. So what makes him so different three people have gone out of their way to promote him to me?
The album opens with the sound of an old radio broadcast that leads into the title track RUN SKELETON RUN; a punchy Country Rocker with a fiery fiddle and tsch-tsch drum back-beat that takes you on a fast car chase between bank robber ‘Skeleton’ and the poh-lise.
I didn’t have to hear another song to see why my friends rate Childers so highly. The story is exceptional and had me gripping the edge of my seat hoping ‘he would make it.’
Collar and Bell is a wonderful alliance between what I know as Bluegrass and what I was brought up to think of as traditional Folk music. While both genres can be as boring as wood; Childers has a twinkle in his eye and a smile in his voice on this lovely toe-tapper.
Belmont Ford is a fascinating song; based on a poem by Mary Struble Deery about a train disaster during the Great Flood of 1916 in Chicago. The way Childers holds your attention from start to finish shows not just what a great songwriter he is; but the way he interprates his own words, taking a sad tale from regional history and making it accessible. Not many can do that.
Although I’d not heard of him before this is David Childers’ sixth album in 20 years and you can tell that from the quality of his writing on the well crafted Promise to the Wind and mid paced rocker Hermit; both entirely different in style but fit together perfectly well.
The easy option for title of RMHQ ‘Favourite song’ would be Goodbye to Growing Old; another beautiful Folk-Bluegrass hybrid on a subject very close to my heart; but I’m going for Radio Moscow. An odd subject for a Folk Song you may think; but much like my own teenage self David Childers sounds like he spent a lot of time listening to crackly radio stations in his bedroom dreaming about a world far beyond those four walls in a claustrophobic small town or village.
Discovering the likes of David Childers and sharing their talents is the reason I first started writing reviews many years ago, and keeps me going today.
Trust me, if you like a good old fashioned Folk Singer whether that’s Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt or Billy Bragg I think you will love David Childers just as much.
Released May 5th 2017