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David Shultz and The Skyline – Sinner’s Gold

More country-pop-indie-rock dreamy goodness, this time from Richmond, VA, David Shultz and the Skyline made a record for driving or for sitting on your front porch in a rocking chair. They sound like Bob Dylan meets Tom Petty on the opener, “Free,” which tempts me to sing “falling” after its one-word chorus.


Most of the other songs are more acoustic Dylan but mixed with today’s crop of Americana-styled singer-songwriters. No protest songs, but plenty of breezy and physical, tactile, sensual songs. It’s a spring-flavored record, mostly just a man and his guitar, but backed up when you least expect it by perfect country-twangy instrumentation, though on a song or two the background threatens to take over his vocals. “Wooden Floors” descends into a crashing mess at the end, with fuzz and thrash that just don’t jibe with the feel of the rest of the song.

Shultz has the charm of the singer who can’t really sing technically but is determined to do it anyway. He doesn’t force a twang or a polished pop sound, though at times the sound is glossy enough for pop radio. That honesty that you heard in Dylan and hear now in Conor Oberst and the recently-featured Cory Branan, among others, is in abundance in David Shultz. What it most reminds me of, though, is a band I loved from New Orleans, the Happy Talk Band. He steadfastly avoids melancholy and even when sad, still maintains a sunny feel.

“Do what you wanna do and love everyone as much as you can,” is his sage advice and it sums up the feel of this record.

Lovers of Bright Eyes and lovers of Jack Johnson could probably agree on David Shultz.


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