No need for a CD release of this one; it was recorded on a Sony Walkman at the Kerrville, Texas Folk Festival in 1986. Aside from Shocked’s voice and guitar, the only sounds on The Texas Campfire Tapes are the constantly chirping crickets and occasional roar of passing traffic.
While this is an utterly charming atmosphere for a major label release in 1988, the album is ultimately more of a successful curiosity piece than a strong musical statement. Around a campfire, many of Shocked’s songs may indeed be worthy of applause: turntable scrutiny simply reveals routine blues and folk workouts on too many occasions.
There are a few notable exceptions. Songs such as “The Ballad of Patch Eye and Meg” and “The Secret to a Long Life (Is Knowing When It’s Time to Go)” [sic] suggest that Shocked has a keen sense of the classic folk tradition.
Added to Library on February 13, 2023. (17)
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