Review – “Frederick Squire Sings Shenandoah And Other Popular Hits” – Frederick Squire

reviewed by Laura Stanley 

In a world filled with overproduced, synthesized music, Frederick Squire is helping to keep the folk sensibility alive.

Squire’s previous and exceptional release March 12, mixed together traditional folk ballads and original songs in both an electric and acoustic setting. Similarly, Frederick Squire Sings Shenandoah And Other Popular Hits brings a modern take to the traditional folk style but this time, in only an acoustic space.

Only nine tracks long, Squire is successfully, and with stunning strength, able to convey a variety of complex emotions in his lyrics. Simply recorded with two microphones, a guitar, and a pump organ, the album beautifully progresses as each songs weaves together with ease.

In the title track “Shenandoah,” Squire gives us his take on the original folk ballad and eases you into his musical world filled with hearty descriptions and heartfelt sentiments.

“Home is a real thing. It’s not the best but it will do, for now,” sings Squire in “All Things Past Serve To Guide You On Your Way.” It’s hard to say which song is the standout but the soothing melody and choir-like ending makes this song undeniably powerful.

At just under two minutes, “We Live Beyond,” a song Squire originally wrote for Al Tuck, is just a small example of the brilliance that is Squire’s songwriting. The richness and genuine crack in Squire’s voice as he sings, “Sometimes things in life are hard,” will leave you breathless.

Featuring a beautiful pump organ, “Theme From A Small Towne Movie” ends Shenandoah in the same lyric-less fashion as March 12’s “Theme From A Northern Movie.”

Writing about the songs from Shenandoah does not do any justice. So please, if there’s one new musician you listen to this week or month or year, make it Frederick Squire.

Top Tracks: “Shenandoah,” “All Things Past Serve To Guide You On Your Way,” “We Live Beyond”

Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) + *swoop*

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