Music is apart of your life and it is very much apart of mine. Perhaps music plays a larger part in mine than yours or maybe the other way around; doesn’t matter. I’m not here to talk about you or I as much as I am about Bill Callahan. The role music played and currently plays in his life is the most intriguing from any artist I have ever heard.In 2008, I was introduced to Smog with the album A River Ain’t Too Much To Love (2005) through a fairly off-handed recommendation. This happened to be the last album Bill Callahan made under the Smog moniker, which intrigued me; I needed to hear his beginnings. Not necessarily getting to that goal immediately, I lept to the typical go-to albums like Red Apple Falls and Knock Knock and I realized that this guy used to have some kick. In the midst of listening, I was reading mutters of him previously being a lo-fi, experimental rock musician. I dismissed these statements, as I have heard plenty of artists come from a lo-fi background so I didn’t bother with the rest of his music before 1996. It wasn’t until last year that I told myself “I am going to listen to every Smog record.” The way I thought about this miniature quest was about as casual as the recommendation for A River Ain’t Too Much To Love. I tracked down all the albums by Smog that were readily available and began with Sewn To The Sky. I was shocked.
Sewn To The Sky essentially had zero grounds to be compared to A River Ain’t Too Much To Love. I was inspired by the twang and inaccessibility, but looking way over on the other spectrum of his career, I realized I didn’t know anything. This idea also brought me to somewhat of a journey to my own music. I experiment here and there and at times I will make a slow, sad folk song and that’s just who I am right now. I figure, to assist me in the creation of my music and to give him the justice he deserves, I am going to chronologically write and delve into every Smog and Bill Callahan album just as it were A River Ain’t Too Much To Love. The road will be interesting, but I plan to feel good about what this man has made and explain and educate to you the most important albums in his over-twenty year presence in music.