Outside the little home studio that Billy Shaddox had built in the mountains above Lyons, the singer/songwriter suffered a terrifying bouldering accident, falling more than 70 feet. That jolt compelled the multi-instrumentalist to “dig deeper into my creative self.” “I wanted to extract the most personal and intimate songs that I possibly could for this recording,” Shaddox explained. Although he has some accompaniment by other musicians, Shaddox handles most of the playing himself, from guitars, to steel guitar to drums and organ. The Record Keeper was recorded at his home studio “The Gulch,” but was mastered by Anna Frick at Airshow Mastering. The album, both in title and with the artwork, is an homage to the Humpback whale, which Shaddox says is a “watchful eye in a chaotic world.” From the ethereal, post-rock opening of the title track to the ’70’s psych-folk tinges of “The Hours,” to the wavering Americana-tremolo and Leslie speaker organ of “St. Vrain,” Shaddox explores vast folk landscapes with the same fervor as rock-climbing explorers, enticed by each canyon and summit.
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