Richard Shindel lives as both an immigrant and emigrant, crossing thresholds that inform his illumination of the human experience through narrative song. Shindell has inhabited a Zen Buddhist monastery, busked in the streets of Paris, opened for Joan Baez (who covered several of his songs), and collaborated with Grammy winner Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, Elvis Costello). Originally from New York, now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Shindell is a writer whose songs paint pictures, tell stories, juxtapose ideas and images, inhabit characters, vividly evoking entire worlds along the way and expanding our sense of just what it is a song may be.
Meticulously recorded over three years in New York and Buenos Aires, his most recent release, Careless, offers an ambitious, luxurious, full length statement. Shindell immersed himself in the studio, allowing the time and latitude to explore, experiment, take risks – to play – as each of these eleven songs was given form and substance. While his signature acoustic guitar style is used to good effect, Careless also found Shindell plugging in more. “The wider sonic and dynamic range of the electric has been a real inspiration. Rejuvenating.”
During the pandemic, Shindell stayed in Argentina, out on the wide open Pampa, reading, writing, taking walks, doing a little experimental recording, and tending the garden. He now returns to the road for a limited number of performances. Innovative, original and occasionally spiritual, Shindell’s songs weave tales that interchangeably champion the downtrodden, exalt the disaffected or wax empathetic to those lost to society's fringes. From lighthearted ballads and adulterous love songs, to dirges and diatribes that skillfully skewer politics, prejudice, war and religion, to the comic point-of-view of a cow stuck in a barbed wire fence, he has a unique ability to morph into the soul of the many and varied personalities he casts as narrators in certain songs – veritable novellas framed in haunting acoustic melodies.
“Occasionally an artist has a night that makes even skeptics think, ‘O.K., maybe he is the best.’ Richard Shindell achieved this.” – Ann Powers, New York Times