Siren Songs

Trapper Schoepp

Grand Phony Records, 2023

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A Wisconsin singer-songwriter who already had a pair of albums under his belt while in his teens, Trapper Schoepp returns with a sixth record, where his timeless folklore was fleshed out at Johnny Cash's historic Cash Cabin with help on production from John Jackson (The Jayhawks) and Patrick Sansone (Wilco). my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The energetic and breezy “Cliffs Of Dover” starts the listen, where Schoepp's smooth vocals come with some grit and crisp drums that don't disappoint in the folk-rock climate. The very pretty and rootsy “Secrets Of The Breeze” follows, which showcases vivid natural imagery amid some Celtic influences, too.

Deeper into the 12 songs, “Eliza” uses graceful piano and stirring strings to its advantage in the intimate delivery, while the darker, soulful swagger of “Devil's Kettle” illustrates Schoepp's adaptable pipes. “Anna Lee,” the album's best, then emits much beauty in its soft singing and dreamy melodies.

The last two tracks are excellent, also, where “Queen Of The Mist” opens with powerful harmonica to complement the cozy rhythm section and Schoepp's expressive singing that's got some ruggedness to it. “In Returning” then exits with eloquent piano playing and poetic vocals that are quite thoughtful, stirring even.

Schoepp has enjoyed an impressive career that includes being the youngest person to share a co-writing credit with Bob Dylan (“On Wisconsin”), and this career highlight listen (so far, anyway), brings his brother, Tanner, on board for the occasion. Interestingly enough, the cover photo has Schoepp posing in the same pond where Cash would read and dispose of letters that Dylan sent to him.

Something tells me that both Dylan and Cash would find much to enjoy with Siren Songs, as Schoepp's version of modern folk music is easily among the best being made today.

Rating: A-

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© 2023 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Grand Phony Records, and is used for informational purposes only.