Post-SXSW: Collin Gilmore Shining Through the Blur @ Threadgills
South by Southwest
Missive 8… lost in transmission/the bur/the onslaught
Music Fog Colin Gilmore, Threadgill’s, March 19
Collin Gilmore has the same high tenor that his father Jimmie Dale Gilmore is possessed of. But where Gilmore is a zen honky tonk proposition, a mystical cowboy who finds metaphor and poetry in his songs, the younger Gilmore – at least during his 6 song MusicFog set at the back room at Threadgill’s on Congress – is more bright pop hooks, smart wordplay, direct melodies and a straightforward kind of songwriterly approach to love, girls, life and the occasional disappointment.
Having started playing – post-harcore punk bands – at the storied eatery at 23, returning to Threadgill’s offers a full circle for the man recently hailed by no less than legendary British rock critic Sylvie Simmons in Mojo. With just an acoustic guitar and a warm likability, Gilmore found the winsome in the shining title track to his recently released project.
Drawing on a lyrical nod to Townes Van Zandt – “she placed her lily hand in mine: — on “Good Nite Lane,” demonstrating how easily he can meld pop, Texas songwriter, punk and his own organic take on contemporary music. It is the punk that inserts a certain vibrant energy into songs that might be cloying in their sweetness, yet something more with his deft touch.
“The You That I Knew,” a post-romantic reflection, offers the pensive “Your heart is a threat to your head/ and your head is a threat to your soul” over a high-tempo’ed major key almost Everly/Rockpile-ish bit of happy shiny exuberance. Setting it up with the observation that Llano Texas is mostly just “on your way to Lubbock or California or just way the wrong way,” wide open spaces offer plenty of room for Gilmore to ply his kind of roots-pop.
Obviously, music is in his veins. But what makes Colin Gilmore’s music so pleasing is he opted to use those roots to create something more. Maintaining the obvious high standards of songcraft, he creates a hybrid all his own – something that blurs easy adjuectives and offers much pleasure to people who lean to true pop, singer/songwriters, post-punks and other lovers of songs that feel good.