Man o man, do I ever remember them thar school-zone bomb shelter bunker buildings shown on the cover shot to John Zipperer's Full Circle. Ugh! Functional though. Or, hm, maybe that's a cheap-ass no-tell hotel/motel. Could be. Regardless, the photo of Zipperer in dirt-road cowboy attire is a tad deceptive. This ain't no North 40, rodeo, wheatstraw, cow palace jamboree by any means but instead a folk / country-folk CD with a lot of markers coming in from Brewer & Shipley, Seals and Crofts, Ian Tyson, Ricky Nelson, David Bromberg, a bit of Buffett, some Arlo Guthrie, Tom Snow, and Ty Weatherford, that cat Kinky Friedman discovered (here). Start with the Zipperer cover of Van Morrison's Brown-Eyed Girl (the remainder of the disc is all his own work) to get an initial idea of what I'm writing about here.
And that Augie Meyer organ in Like Being with You backed into a Sir Douglas Quintet-ish vibe? Both help bring the old days back again as well. Zipperer used to be an actor and stuntman but, one day, just fixing a danged flat tire at the side of the road, an oil truck 10-wheeler smacked him down the highway 40 feet and, when he woke up in the hospital to the amazement of the docs who weren't sure he'd live, he decided "Hmmmm, maybe it's time for a change in life!" Now he roams the L.A. countryside with his band, singin' 'n playin'.
Good thing, too, 'cause this SoCal concrete hell needs some down-home people to remind 'em what's what as they zip from yuppie enclave to hedge-fund hideaway to counting house. My favorite cut is The Ballad of Micah McDowde, a track that seems as though taken from Civil War days with a bit of Harry Chapin in it. Zipperer and compadre Nick Kirgo man almost all the strings, and Kirgo's talented and then some, pealing off impressive strums, riffs, and lead lines with John on acoustic behind him. The two form the rock solid fundament of this enterprise, the rest of the ensemble falls in behind, and what emerges is breezy, folksy, and invigorating even to the extent of the Dan Hicksy Here by Me, and we can never get enough of that.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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