Joseph Allred – The Rambles & Rags of Shiloh

With their latest record for Worried Songs, The Rambles & Rags of Shiloh, Joseph Allred continues to prove themselves to be one of today’s most emotive and virtuosic guitarists.

The album is inspired by the small rural community of Shiloh, Tennessee, which is located in an area where Allred’s family lived for over 200 years. Allred says it’s a valley where strange and desperate characters dwell, and where the past and present blend together. A place where spirits might have a hard time leaving.

You can certainly feel this overlapping of time periods in Allred’s playing, as well as the influence of outsiders who might have come through Shiloh for a spell to seek shelter. For instance, songs like “Dance of the Fair Folk” mix traditional folk song elements with modernist fingerpicking styles. Meanwhile, “The Dervish” conjures images of Sufi spinners twirling like maple seeds caught in a breeze.

Elsewhere on the record, you’ll find plenty of blues slide work, classical banjo flourishes and fingerstyle hymns. The one common thread that links each song together is a feeling of spiritual reverie. Each track carries a sense of exuberance that only comes from when the soul feels truly free.

This is most evident in songs like “The Emerald City.” The dazzling cascade of notes that rains from Allred’s guitar in this track evokes a soulful serenity. It sounds as though Allred is channeling the mood of returning to their ancestral home, while being warmly greeted by its landscape, the rivers and its people.

This is an album that invites you into its world to tell you stories and tall tales, all without even speaking a single word. Click here to order your copy today.


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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