Over the years I’ve seen Richard Shindell perform on several occasions, and in several different formats. The last time I saw him at the Narrows it was a solo show. This time around he appeared with percussionist Joe Bonadio, and guitar player Marc Schulman.
Shindell, who resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina these days, switched between acoustic and electric guitars throughout the show. He opened with his epic narrative “Transit,” which traces the pell mell journey of Friday evening commuters on Route 80 in New Jersey as they head irrevocably toward the Delaware Water Gap, and their ultimate demise.
Other well known Shindell songs included aspiring trucker’s paean “The Kenworth of My Dreams,” the bitter kiss off of “Are You Happy Now,” the dark romance of “Fenario,” and my personal favorite, the heartbreaking Civil War ballad “Reunion Hill.” Covers were also part of Shindell’s set, and they included takes on the Robert Johnson classic “Love In Vain,” Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street,” and the traditional blues “I Know You Rider.”
The combination of one of my favorite songwriters and one of my favorite venues is irresistible to me. The Narrows is the perfect place to see an artist like Shindell. The space, on the third floor of an old mill building in Fall River, Massachusetts, features excellent sound, and appreciative and respectful audiences. I’m already looking forward to my next trip there, and Shindell’s next appearance.