Bob Michel,
The Farther Shore
(self-produced, 2006)

Modern-day troubadour Bob Michel has come up with a fitting followup to his debut album, The Oysterman's Ball.

A singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he is also a fine storyteller in the best sense of the word, and the music assembled for this album is ample demonstration of his talents. He accompanies himself on guitar, electric bass, mandolin, banjo and even whistle on one selection.

Michel began playing music in the late 1960s and honed his style listening and emulating Woody Guthrie, Mississippi John Hurt and other originators of what became known as roots music.

Though he draws on many sources -- Ireland and Appalachia, Delta blues, sea songs and chanteys -- the final product is unique to his own style and reflective of the Delaware Bay where he makes his home.

Some of the 12 tracks on this album may remind the listener of traditional songs, but all were composed and arranged by Michel. They cover a variety of moods, from the sad "To the Glasshouse," which tells how the owners closed it down after 43 years, leaving "but the shell of the dear town that I used to know," to the amusing "County Line" about a hard-working man who, despite his love of dancing and good times, stays faithful to the woman he loves. The title song is a paean to a place where no mansions or highways wall off the waters blue.

by John R. Lindermuth
11 November 2006

[ visit the artist's website ]