MAG0026/MVD0507CD The Cock Crows At Sunrise
Produced by Bruce Kaphan
Released on February 20, 2007
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
MAG0026/MVD0507CD cover
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I have always loved a story, especially a tragic one. The Cock Crows At Sunrise is a beautiful tragedy about a man arrested for murder and the woman he leaves behind. Unlike the boobytrapped music of Camper and Monks, this disc is straight swamp blues and Memphis soul. (I know, those words don’t mean a thing to me either. It sounds like Dylan’s Nashville Skyline a lot of the time, if that helps.) At first, I wasn’t sure how much interest I had in a “normal” album from an abnormal artist like Victor Krummenacher. But the quality of the songs and the storytelling quickly won me over. Krummenacher is not a very good singer or an exceptional guitarist. He is an excellent songwriter and storyteller, a throwback to the Bob Dylan/Lou Reed days when musicianship and vocals took a back seat to big ideas. With its mixture of light and dark songs, The Cock Crows At Sunrise could be seen as a Berlin Skyline (that’s a combination of Lou Reed’s Berlin and Dylan’s Nashville Skyline in case you’re wondering). “I Have Always Loved A Party” is pure heartache (compare it to Reed’s “The Bed”), “If I Could Ride That Train” is a gilded treat (compare it to “Lay Lady Lay”). The story is divided in two parts by an instrumental “Interlude” (see earlier comment re: not an exceptional guitarist); the first part follows the accused man, the second his fiancee. The emotional peak of the story occurs at the end of side one, “In Queen City The Girls Are Weeping,” where the hero (or anti-hero) is on the run for murder, with the implication that he’ll “get mine in time.” Choosing to follow the rest of the story from his fiancee’s perspective is brilliant. Abandoned, she sinks into morphine (“My Baby’s Brown Hair”) and greets her fate with a sad, philosophical resolve (“Infinitely Empty,” “When It All Comes Around”). As an ending it’s something of a cheat, but musical stories are a difficult challenge that Krummenacher meets in every other aspect (linear timelines, connecting threads, great music that stands on its own irregardless). Approaching this from the perspective of Monks, only the dark “In Queen City...” will be expected. Yet what’s more surprising is how little Victor Krummenacher needs the crutch of strangeness to sell his songwriting. As a songteller, he scripts the essential scenes, chooses the right lighting and delivers a serious work that succeeds where many have failed.

TRACK LISTING

  1. SUNDAY MORNING BLUES
  2. THE SOUTHERN HEIGHTS
  3. IF I COULD RIDE THAT TRAIN
  4. MORPHINE CONCEALS 1,000 SINS
  5. C’MON MISS NANCY
  6. JACK OF DIAMONDS    (traditional arr. by Victor Krummenacher)
  7. IN QUEEN CITY THE GIRLS ARE WEEPING
  8. INTERLUDE
  9. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED A PARTY
  10. MY BABY’S BROWN HAIR
  11. INFINITELY EMPTY
  12. HE GAVE ME A DIAMOND
  13. WHEN IT ALL COMES AROUND

    All songs written by Victor Krummenacher unless noted

CREDITS

VICTOR KRUMMENACHER -- vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, upright bass, percussion, design
JOHN ASHFIELD -- 12-string guitar
DON BECK -- trumpet
JOHN R. BURR -- piano
JEFF ERVIN -- alto and tenor saxophone
JOHN HANES -- drums, percussion
BRENT HERHOLD -- tuba
DOUG HILSINGER -- pedal steel
DAVID IMMERGLÜCK -- electric guitar, mandolin, pedal steel, backing vocals
BRUCE KAPHAN -- Wiesenborn, dobro, pedal steel, guitar, piano, percussion, horn arrangements, engineer
GREG LISHER -- electric guitar
KENNY MARGOLIS -- accordion, B3, piano, Wurlitzer
THE MOORE BROTHERS (GREG AND THOM) -- backing vocals
PAUL OLGUIN -- bass guitar
KEVIN PORTER -- trombone
CHRIS XEFOS -- keyoards
Timothy Cummings -- cover painting
Anne Hamersky -- photograph

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US February 20, 2007 Magnetic/MVD Audio CD MAG0026/MVD0507CD lyric sleeve

 

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