Alex Schofield - Songs From The Van

Saginaw Native Releases Debut Album

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, National Music, Artist Feature,   By: Matt deHeus

03rd September, 2019     0

There is an old joke in music in which a man is asked what kind of music he likes.  His reply was “I like both kinds.  Both Country and Western.”

While we lost the “Western” somewhere along the line, Country is still represents a huge portion of the music market.  Unfortunately, when we talk “both kinds” these days, it is segregated into “bad” and “good.”

In the “bad pile” is a stack of current tunes that sound highly processed.  Snap tracks and tight pants, with a little twang in the vocal and a mention of some rural imagery to separate it from similarly dismal material coming out of the urban centers.

Fortunately, there is also a “good pile.”  Songwriters like Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers and Chris Stapleton are keeping alive the traditions start by Waylon, Willie and Merle.  Fortunately for all of us, and more to the point of this article, Saginaw, Michigan native Alex Schofield falls firmly in this

Camp.

On his debut release, Songs From the Van, Schofield offers up five originals and a Dwight Yoakum-like cover of the Dire Straits classic, Walk Of Life.

The album opens with Sail Alone, which is a fine “tone setter” for the recording.  It establishes themes that are common through the album.  First, Schofield is a fine purveyor of the story-song.  He writes in a way that conveys an earnest quest for experience and truth.

You also notice right away this album sounds really good.  With basic tracks completed at Reed Recording Company in Bay City, Michigan and vocals tracked in Nashville, the album stands up well in sonic quality against major releases in the genre.  While you have to start with good songs, rock solid production helps.

The journey continues with Headstone, a grittier number based around the observation that the biggest personalities get the grandest memorials. 

Lonesome State of Mind and Ride With Me both drip with the pure yearning that comes from the quest for a meaningful and lasting relationship.  It’s fertile territory for songwriting and Schofield’s offerings add to the canon in this regard.

Earned is the final original of the set.  The dreamers are by nature a melancholy sort.  Sometimes they write songs about it.  There are risks when you lay yourself out there and go for it.  As the title says, there are some things that simply need to be earned.

There are number of risks that you take when you decide to be a singer, then a songwriter, then try to make it a career.  It takes guts to open your mouth and really sing in your own voice and another level of the same to do it in front of other people.  It takes an acceptance of your own vulnerabilities to take it up another level and write your own songs.  Then there is a final level of … brave, I guess … that makes you take it all to Nashville and see if you can make things real.

With his Songs From The Van, Alex Schofield shows he was built for this road. 

You can find Songs From the Van on Spotify, Amazon Music or any of the other normal digital music platforms.

Listen to Songs From the Van on Spotify.

 

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