CD (deluxe digipack) / LP (incl. CD)
come with a download for a live album recorded in 2015.
With this, his 14th album in 20 years, Hank Shizzoe comes full circle and finds his way back to what made him want to become a musician in the first place: acoustic guitars and the depth and truth that we love about folk music. This Place Belongs To The Birds is a light and swinging album about inner journeys and The Great Outdoors. It presents ten songs, performed and recorded in an athmosphere that provides ample space for music and lyrics and gives the listener time to discover and enjoy it. These are simple, warm and honest songs by an artist who says of himself that he has trained for 25 years to finally make this album.
Those who have seen and heard Hank Shizzoe on stage in the past two decades know that he is no stranger to hard, raw and driving rock’n’roll music. And yet his deep love for folk, country blues and all kinds of world music always showed. While his trademark (slide) guitar style may nod to such varied influences as Ry Cooder, Billy F. Gibbons, David Hidalgo, Ali Farka Touré or Mark Knopfler – all players with deep connections to roots music – his songwriting always oriented itself on the folk tradition. Never has this been more evident in his illustrious career than here, on the new album This Place Belongs To The Birds.
What’s with the title? Hanks says, “considering that there are over 10’000 species of birds with a total population of 300 billion on Earth I think it explains itself. They are descendants of dinosaurs, they sing really well, travel in style and we are their guests.” Elsewhere on the album we meet “The Abominable Snowman”, learn how easy it is to “Miss The Plains”, and why we climb the mountain. “Because It’s There”. Along with two covers (“I Wanna Be Loved By You”, made famous by Marilyn Monroe and “End Of The Line” by The Traveling Wilburys) there is also an adaption of Stephan Eicher’s “Weiss nid was es isch” (“Don’t Know What It Is”), a hymn to the the journey into the unknown (“Away I Go”), we are invited to listen to the “Ballad Of The Warm Bed” and get treated to a very elegant piece of ornithology with the title track.
This album is also a pleasure to listen to because great care was taken in the production. The sure-footed arrangements provide ample space for intricately woven acoustic guitars, marimbas, strings, french horn and steel guitar with the occasional sprinkle of electric slide. Guests include drummer Simon Baumann, french hornist Baptiste Germser and old friend Michel Poffet on upright bass. In the centre of it all resides a deep baritone voice that means every word it is singing. These songs are not vignettes about lifestyle, they revolve around life itself. Human craftsmanship meets nature, a fascinating murmuration of sounds and words. Yes, This Place Belongs To The Birds.