In February 2003, after 5 albums with the seminal alt country band Dieselhed (Bong Load Records) and one solo album, Quad Cities (Future Farmer Recordings), Virgil is set to release his most accomplished and fully realized collection of songs. With a large palette and a strong eye for detail, Virgil Shaw makes music that rises above current trends while revealing to us its depth and clarity. As an art school grad and part time carpenter, his songs are like paintings and woodwork. Images and themes come from either the smallest or broadest of strokes and the craftsmanship is enviable. With the recording help of Kevin Ink, Sean Coleman and Desmond Shea, as well as the musical accompaniment of his band, The Killer Views: Marc Capelle (Mark Eitzel) -keyboards, piano and flugelhorn, Atom Ellis (Link Wray, Dieselhed) and Jeff Palmer (The Mommyheads) -bass, Matt Hall-guitar, Danny Heifetz (Mr. Bungle) on drums, vibraphone, and trumpet, William Winant (Sonic Youth)?percussion; and guest vocals from the beloved troubadour Mark Eitzel, there was more talent and creative energy to pool from than anyone one could ask for. The result is Still Falling, Virgil’s second album for Future Farmer Recordings.
Still Falling, teeters on a variety of styles; there are tinges of country, folk, Dixie land jazz, and R&B that he effortlessly intertwines making the album impossible to categorize. It?s a sound that feels comfortable, intimate and original. Virgil characterizes it as having A`a sort of secular, gospel, dark, soul, urban, feel?h further obscuring the need for a description. Ultimately, the music speaks for itself.
And that goes for on stage as well on record. Having toured the US and Europe with the likes of Grandaddy, Jay Bennet (Wilco), Cake and Mikeal Gira (Swans), Virgil and his band are road worn but definitely not road weary. This fall has them on the road with label mates David Dondero and Nik Freitas as well an upcoming tour with Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys (Bloodshot Records) and a stop at the CMJ Music Marathon. It?s a busy schedule that he relishes in keeping and those in need of a good carpenter will just have to wait.