During the summer and fall of 2010 Jim brought his musician friends The Stellanovas, The Cajun Strangers, and Bar-time Lovers to Paradyme Productions’ studios and recorded 14 new songs. Jim is a member of the last two bands. All songs are originals by Jim except two co-written with his wife Flx.
Review of Short Stories
It may be common for Madison musicians to collaborate, but itâ€™s rare that one CD captures the sound of several local influences as clearly as on Jim Schwallâ€™s Short Stories.
Youâ€™ll hear strains of the Cajun Strangers in Brian Oâ€™Donnellâ€™s fiddle, echoes of the Stellanovas in Mary Gainesâ€™ cello and the rhythm of the Bar Time Lovers in Ken Stevenson and Ethan Noordykâ€™s bass and drums. At the center of it all is Schwallâ€™s priceless wit and wisdom.
The country-folk of â€œSunday-Go-To-Cheatinâ€™â€ lends a down-home feeling to a wifeâ€™s infidelity. She schedules her indiscretions between cooking omelets and taking the kids to soccer and ballet, during the weekly time she says sheâ€™s going to church.
â€œAgainâ€ is a sad love song grounded in gentle guitar. The verses pine for a romantic escape from too much work, too many bills and too many lonely nights at the bar. Itâ€™s a sonic wish for companionship that never comes to pass.
The album concludes with a resounding memorial for a â€œJersey Boy,â€ a charismatic beloved man known for his resourcefulness. â€œHe could cut marble, He could weld, He could edit a book,â€ sings Schwall. The songâ€™s pathos is carried by Schwallâ€™s delicate guitar work.
Short Stories captures everyday boredom, joy and heartache with the richness youâ€™d expect from one of Madisonâ€™s best songwriters.
Rich Albertoni, Isthmus, Madison WI