Trough Records is proud to announce the release of TRAIL (Catalogue No. TRCP 1326), the fourth solo album from Southern California singer-songwriter DAVID PIPER .
Piper’s first solo effort in 14 years, Trail is at once a meditation on, and celebration of, the journey that a life, fully lived, inevitably shows itself to be. In these 13 glorious new songs, Piper assesses the world around him and his own path through it with honesty, humor and reflective grace.
Sometimes soft, sometimes raucous, often terrifyingly blunt (musically and lyrically), Piper and his band of outstanding players paint a colorful portrait of an artist at peace with never being at peace – and simultaneously satisfied and fulfilled enough to rest.
“Birds of a Feather,” the album’s freewheeling opening track, is a sort of inventory – of mistakes, flaws, and ultimately blessings viewed from the perspective of many years of struggling. I’m turning every single negative moment into positive stew, Piper sings, almost giddy with the realization that happiness is actually in his grasp.
In “Joseph Campbell Said” (co-written with Earl Grey Anderson), the powerful message of finding the courage to live life exactly according to one’s dreams is ensconced in a beautifully simple and elegantly played arrangement featuring Piper’s signature guitar, Greg Krueger’s tasteful mandolin and violin and elegant backing vocals by Robin Jung Brown. “Hold It Like a Baby,” Piper reminds himself – and us – that paying attention to the brightest moments is the most precious gift we can give ourselves: You gotta swaddle it, coddle it/Smother it with love, he sings, Hold it like a baby in your hands.
Piper’s distinctive, sometimes sweet, sometimes growling vocals also punctuate songs with keen cultural (“All American Dichotomy”) and political (“Crook in the White House”) observation. And not since the glory days of Guy Clark has any songwriter gloried in the delights of good food (the whimsical – and delicious! – “Pecan Pie” and “Last Batch of Molé”) the way it’s honored on Trail.
But it’s the sweeping, grand-scale eloquence of the album’s title track that truly captures the spirit of this captivating work. Set to an arrangement as wide and open as its metaphorical setting, with magnificent supporting instrumental performances from Krueger, Chad Watson, Keith Wyatt and Vic Barrientos, “Trail” celebrates and acknowledges that life’s rough-hewn road , filled with people and experiences that shape who we are, is not just something to be observed but to be part of: Has it been this easy all along/Just keep my feet on the path and I can’t go wrong...Come a sign post, made of wood and nail/A simple irony against the grandest of scales/Through all this wilderness travelled, challenges prevailed/And all the sign says is TRAIL.
From laid-back to sweet to down and dirty rock ‘n’ roll, TRAIL is DAVID PIPER’s most diverse collection of his unique songs and songwriting to date. We are thrilled to hit that trail with him – you will be too!
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