Produced by Riley McMahon
“This is our folksy acoustic spiritual Americana record,” says Spottiswoode incoherently. “With a little bit of soul and retro rock’n’roll thrown in. Songs about children, parents and the weather… that kind of thing.”
Another Enemies seventeen song epic!
Why so many songs?
“You can always press STOP,” responds the Englishman defensively. “Okay, put me in prison, why don’t you! And no, it’s not ‘Christian rock’.”
Salvation is the companion piece to That’s What I Like, the Enemies’ madcap Mediterranean pop adventure. Both were recorded at the same time and produced by Riley McMahon (enemy #5).
Combined they capture the band’s rare combination of soul and playfulness.
While That’s What I Like features electric guitars and Tony Lauria’s accordion,
Salvation boasts more of Riley’s mandolin and banjo, Spott’s acoustic guitar and Tony’s piano.
John Young and Tim Vaill provide the trademark rhythmic foundation - alternately transparent, melodic and explosive.
Candace De Bartolo and Kevin Cordt once again add their majestic horn arrangements.
Still, there are fewer songs with horns on this CD than on previous Enemies collections. So, Candace & Kevin add to the folksiness with clarinet, fiddle and plenty of backing vocals.
Several songs feature the additional backing vocals of Martha Redbone, Alexis England and Renee Cologne.
“We worked with Alexis and Renee before on Building A Road,” says Spott. “They are fab. And it was a treat to have Martha as part of the choir this time around. She’s one of my favorite performers.”
Indeed, with the combination of folksiness and occasional gospel vocals, Salvation does bear similarities to the band’s earlier Building A Road (High Wire 2005). But the new CD sustains a deeper and darker tone.
The title track, a song obliquely about Spottiswoode’s father, establishes the mood early on. “Daddy Knows, “Blinded” and “Someone Else’s Scheme” pick up the motif later on.
Meanwhile, “Let The Cold Wind Blow,” “In The Pouring Rain” and “The Setting Sun” capture Spottiswoode’s continuing English preoccupation with the weather.
(Notice a more stripped down version of “In The Pouring Rain” here than on That’s What I Like. “It’s a sweet song and it fits in both worlds,” says Spott.)
Songs like “Muscle Man,” “My Own Ayatollah” and “At Last” tie the collection together as some kind of elemental struggle against….well, what exactly?
“God, the Devil, the Man… you know. If Building A Road played out like a quest for redemption, Salvation is more a struggle for release. Or you can ignore all that and just listen to Riley’s glockenspiel.”
Only two of the seventeen songs are at all humorous: “Chelsea Boys,” a gay Christmas carol; and “Gettin’ Realistic” a rag about selling out and going into the internet porn business. But Spottiswoode takes exception. “Chelsea Boys is one of the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever written! Gettin’ Realistic is social commentary.”
released March 23, 2008
Produced by Riley McMahon
All Songs by Sottiswoode
Spottiswoode: Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
John Young: Bass
Tim Vaill: Drums
Candace DeBartolo: Sax, Clarinet, Backing Vocals
Kevin Cordt: Trumpet, Violin, Backing Vocals
Riley McMahon: Guitars, Mandolin, Glockenspiel
Tony Lauria: Piano, Keyboards, Accordion
Rene Cologne, Alexis England, Martha Redbone: Backing Vocals
Axel Schwendt: Backing Vocals
Cabot Bartlett:Jew's Harp
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