White Ash Falls (Andy Bishop) Hits All the Right Notes

Over the Night

I did not like this record immediately.  Midway through the second tune, I was in another place. Wind knotting my hair out the window of my rusted Chevy, a sun dusty day on the back roads of Southern Manitoba, road-tripping with my best pals and the record looping while we sip on road pops. Over the Night is an album you can chain-smoke to, while simultaneously chopping wood, writing poetry, and drinking ashy coffee fresh off a brush fire. This little rock-folk country snack will leave you rubbing your belly and asking for more.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Band, CCR, Patty Griffin, Tom Petty, and a million AM650 bands all mash into this Play-Doh work of art album. This is a weighty and timeless album possessing all the characteristics of greatness. And if you’re getting the psychedelic Joe Cocker at Woodstock vibration, then you’re picking up.

The first three tunes set the stage for the range of musicality on the album. The slick organ solo and sharp transitions on the third track, “That List Is Too Long”, had me repeating the first three and treating them as a novella. Once through the first three tracks, it’s all deep end; feel-good jams, meaty ballads, rock and roll truths.The transitions on this album are so blissfully natural that the tracks unfold with ease and tact – this album slides into repeat real quick.

I pondered for a long time about the song configuration on this album, thinking I had an intelligent critique to quarry. After all this thinking, I concluded that Bishop thought about this before (and more) than I did; the track list is a well-laid plan. The songs are well shuffled and situated in a manner that emphasizes that a story is being told. A classic rock tune followed by a toe-tapping hook, remedied by a slow, hearty drawl. This album was meant to be heard start to finish, in a particular order.

“Running Scared” was the song that sold me on the guy, sounds like Neil Young cradled in the loving arms of melodic grace. “I Have Been Received” is a ballad that would please Peter Gabriel. “Tonight I’ll Be Here With You” reminded me that Heartbreaker was an excellent Ryan Adams record. This song leaves you with the lingering sensation of the last time you were tangled with a lover you were losing. All the courses are present at this musical meal.

White Ash Falls is Andy Bishop. Andy Bishop is a warm and mellow dude. Ruggedly handsome and 30% beard, he quit smoking but still takes ‘air’ breaks at work. He wears cowboy boots and rock and roll t-shirts. Bishop had a leather hat handmade for him. An honest man dripped some honest sweat into this beautiful record.

If you’re looking for new wave folk-classic rock inspiration, then look no further. This is a record for your dad, your dad’s brother, your brother, and your girlfriend.