Shulman Smith


Haven’t heard too much about this album, but that seems a damn shame given the depth and drive of the Western aura emanating from Shulman Smith’s debut. The Los Angeles via Colorado songwriter has put together an album of Cosmic Americana that’s been lost in the crush of year-end lists at the end of 2021. With members of The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Punch Brothers, and few studio ringers on board Shulman’s Way Out West is a weathered, tender, ramble through dusted roots. With the well-oiled band behind him, Smith works through themes of self-doubt, dreams deferred, pulling up roots, and being honest with oneself.

There’s been no drought of Canyon country and folk of late, but Smith seems to eschew a bit of the ‘70s lean that others have embraced, finding a perch between the lap steel lilt of The Court & Spark and MC Taylor’s successive progression into Hiss Golden Messanger and the alt-country sighs of My Morning Jacket or The Cave Singers. The record has a looseness to it that transcends its studio sheen. Shulman’s confessional nature and slightly rumbled demeanor shines through — a songwriter coming to grips with how to contextualize oneself in the new ‘20s. With no shortage of hooks and auburn shading, the record is a gem that’s bound to spend some time on the speakers around here.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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