Stripmall Ballads – Distant

Album Review | Freeloader Free Press | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Maryland-based Phillips Saylor Wisor (The Shiftless Rounders/King Wilkie) takes us on a journey through the backroads of America under the guise of Stripmall Ballads, his now familiar Woody Guthrie-influences pseudonym.  Like Guthrie, a troubadour in search of a crossroads, Wisor inhabits the role well, with a weary gruff voice and lonesome guitar that sounds like a freight train.  With a voice that is reminiscent of a mixture of Bonnie Prince Billy and Austin-based Danny Schmidt, there’s a fragility matched equally with its strength.  With such songs as “Susan at the Crossroads”, “Don’t Mind Me” and  “Pull Over Johnny”, Stripmall Ballads leaves a taste of dusty roads in our mouths.  

Choice Track: Don’t Mind Me (NSV 503)