Andrew Calhoun | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Andrew Calhoun


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Fifteen years after Goodman, Prine, and the whole rich scene that nurtured them peaked, the very notion of folk music is anathema to most, and a genuine mystery even to those who have been saddled with the designation. And yet, from time to time there arises from the folk-ooze of musical ambivalence and contradiction a voice that is undeniable and unique. Andrew Calhoun has such a voice. Although he's generally thought of as a folk musician or a singer-songwriter, even the most casual listener can tell that he transcends categorization. There is something so nakedly alive about his writing, intensely personal yet utterly universal, that the simple image of a man singing songs with a guitar seems ridiculously inadequate. But that's how it's done. The critical acclaim for his previous two records (I produced the second) was remarkable, and nearly every review noted his subtly powerful use of poetry as the foundation of his songs. The ubiquitous Howard Levy described Andrew as "the James Joyce of folk music." Calhoun compares his songwriting to a harvest of experience! You can taste the fruits of this harvest when Calhoun performs selections from Walk Me to the War, his new album on Flying Fish Records, Sunday, 7:30 PM, Holsteins, 2464 N. Lincoln; 327-3331.

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