Milwaukee singer-songwriter Trapper Schoepp made a pilgrimage to Johnny Cash’s “Cash Cabin” in Tennessee to record his new album. He drew from a bevy of folk instruments – a harmonium, accordion and harmonica, to name a few – to create the tunes on Siren Songs, which drops April 21.
– Erin Wolf
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This feels like a true folk record [for you]. What inspired that shift?
During the pandemic, I got really into Irish music. Paul Brady … has this song called “Arthur McBride.” There’s this amazing video of him playing it. I was watching his fingers move up and down the neck of the guitar and watching his shapes [and I] realized that I can’t make those sounds with standard tuning. So, I detuned my guitar to open D tuning, and it broke open my entire musical universe.
“Cliffs of Dover” is the first song. How does it set up the rest of the record?
A very important part of folk music is standing up for what you believe in. “Cliffs of Dover” came from some of my frustrations watching the way that we treat veterans. You know, it sounds cheesy, but I hear a lot of music today and I don’t hear much rebellion.
Hear the full interview at radiomilwaukee.org.