Chris Beall, The Gin Mill Hymns


I’m not a huge fan of country music, I’ll be dead honest. But in this day and age, occasionally our ears are graced with a second thought. This one being an obvious mistake because first of all Austin Native Chris Beall does not write for the country music genre, but rather bills himself as an American/Roots singer-songwriter. Which, depending on which critic you ask may or may not sound like a heap of nonsense if they’ve ever heard a Garth Brooks record a day in their lives.

Chris Beall has vocal mannerisms on a planet that is not unlike the one sitting in between Sir Paul MccArtney ,Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan…that’s not a lie. Seriously America if you plan on signing outfits that insist on no knowing they sound like other bands you could at least credit them as influence when you market these people. But that’s not always the case. Even though Sir Paul’s got one of the most recognizable voices in all of Rock, unfortunately a lion’s share of the radio play would rather leave its spine at the bank than say, swear on the bible somewhere. Well.

This album has 9 tracks of happy-go-lucky cover rock. “Make a Livin” , Spike Hammer Blues”: All second rate cans of sound a likes. Its bitchery at cheap neurosis written in the key of Alcohol for those of us who fall into this looking to watch a Lord of the Rings music video. In fact Beall seems to do a good job of misleading the listening, running through a gamut of the greatest hits of other people’s greatest hits. Tom Heartbreakers, The Beatles, Late Dyland…Beall seems to delight in running hot one minute and then cold the next in record time also, leaving you scratching your head as to why exactly he goes from Paul MccArtney to Tom Petty is two tracks flat without a 1000th of the royalties. It’s a sad irony kind of a thing that leaves you in knots…in a recycle bin kind of way. Approach this only for the novelty. Good luck.

Robin Kale –

Leave a Reply