Colter Wall, Uniqueness in Songwriter and Singer

| November 14, 2017 | Reply

Colter Wall

Story and photo by Axton Deary

Image it is the 1870s and you are standing at the corner of Commerce Street and Ross Avenue in Dallas, Texas. An incoming train has just arrived from Denison, Texas, on the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad, full of cotton, lumber, and passengers. There is a young, tall, slim, out-of-towner standing by his lonesome. The young man with light red hair, untrimmed mustache, and thick, dark red beard has seen it all on his trek from Canada; drug abuse, finding love, murder – even if by his own hand, contemplation of suicide, and prison.

Fast forward one hundred and forty-some odd years to 2017 – the same young man has reemerged to Howell Street and North Central Expressway at The Rustic. Colter Wall is the twenty-something and he played to a crowd of 100 interested patrons of The Rustic while a hundreds more halfway listed to him. Wall is peculiar in every sense of his existence. Wall, from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, booms a hollow, baritone voice that is strangely attractive (it’s as if Colter was standing on that corner smoking cigarettes since 1870 to 2017), it’s something you rarely hear, especially coming from a twenty year old.

Wall began the show by playing stripped down ballads acoustically before having three others join him on stage. Wall played original ballads and played covers from Marty Robbins to Townes Van Zandt. Many artists claim they are influenced by TVZ, but rarely do they ever capture the essence of bare quality which TVZ embodied – Wall embellishes the same simplistic sound that Townes did years ago. Wall moved in to his own ballads, which had concert-goers tapping to the beat and attempting to go deep with their own voices and match Wall’s depth.

Wall played ‘Kate McCannon’ from his 2017 self-titled album, Colter Wall. “Kate McCannon” is a love ballad gone wrong by the hand of the song’s narrator. The song begins ominous with a raven paying a visit to the narrator’s jail cell. The narrator goes in-depth about how he ended up in a jail. He met the town’s most beautiful young woman and began courting her, he then quits his old ways, straightens up, and begins to save for an engagement ring. One day, he comes home to find his beloved missing and eventually finds her with another man. The song ends with Kate McCannon dead in this dark, gritty ballad.

Wall closed with “Sleeping on the Blacktop,” a tune from his 2015 LP, Imaginary Appalachia and ended with the crowd singing every word to the catchy song.

In review, musicians like Colter Wall rarely come out of nowhere, nor do they exist. Colter Wall goes against the grain when Music Row is still “singing” about riverbeds and trucks – Wall sings about murder. Because of this, Wall drew interested Dallasites looking for something new – something worth listening too and Wall surpassed what they were looking at. Wall encompasses the natural sound production, a great song-writing ability, and a deep, gravelly voice and it makes something new and exciting.

Pick up a copy of Colter Wall today and dwells in old stories told by a young man. Wall continues to play in the United States until the end of the year before he tours in Europe.

Colter Wall’s tour schedule and more information is available on his Website, ColterWall.com

 

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