There's a virtue to aging. It comes in the form of finally realizing you don't have to follow the bullshit rules society and business have placed on you all your life and thus can finally get down to cases, doing what the hell you wanted to do all along. I suspect that's what Myth America by Walter Egan is indicating, as it's his, as far as I can tell, rawest and rockin'est gig to date. Of course, you have to take into account that I only own Not Shy (1978) and Hi-Fi (1979), LPs that placed him in a category somewhat with Moon Martin, Dwight Twilley, Jules Shear, and other popmeisters—more rockin' than they but still pop, just more in a Raspberries/Sweet kinda way—and thus out of my immediate interests until I got this disc in the mail. I may have 50,000 recordings but there are millions more out there and, living just one life at a time, it's impossible to keep up with everything.
In between Hi-Fi and now, he's appeared as a member of the revived rock band Spirit, became a 4-time winner on the TV game show Catch Phrase, headed up the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull And Tribute Festival, and participated in various other interesting and curious events. At two points, he appeared to have thrown in the towel, 16 years occurring between Wild Exhibitions and Walternative, 7 years between The Meaning of Live and Raw Elegant, but resurfaced after each layback. Myth America, however, shows the rougher grittier side of the guy, and even the song titles (see below) indicate a cynicism previously not all that evident, elbowing the usual rasherful of radio love songs to the side.
Another aspect may well reside in the fact that Egan does everything here except play drums, and is one of the not very many singer-songwriters who can do so in a fashion that seems to be the work of a true band rather than the oft clumsy multi-tracking of just one cat looking to curb expenses. Faith Comes Crashing Down opens the CD in a big way while its follower, Cool Crazy, is a wistful love crooner. More than a few times, very detectable Eagles sounds come across, but there's also a warm garage atmosphere throughout, a larger sense of just setting up the amps and gettin' down to business, of just singing and playing what you mean to, without all the crass commercial considerations. Egan's a child of the 60s and 70s and has shown it no better than in this release. It sheds all the tinsel and glitter previously apparent in his catalogue. And not content with handling 98% of the CD's work, Egan realized he needed another percentage point and even supplied the paintings, the frontispiece a very cool Feininger-esque ranch house or no-tell motel single-shot depiction of 50s America.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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