Dave Shiflett
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Dave Shiflett

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"Review of Dave's "Time Goes Rushing By" (Floor Creak)"

Soundcheck – Nashville, TN.
Bill Littleton, reviewer
Floor Creak, Time Goes Rushing By; Truthface Records
Well, the folks who are overwhelmed with the pop/rock syndrome of the past decade can consider this album a harbinger of better days. Those who need a name to call everything might have a problem, but, when the music is this good, that's not a bad problem to have. We can safely call it "acoustic music" (even with the presence at times of an electric guitar, played with a very acoustic attitude), while the considerable country, jazz, and folk influences shift and sashay amongst each other in a celebration of playing music from the heart. Floor Creak is guitarist/songwriter Dave Shiflett, bassist (mostly on upright) Joseph "joebass" DeJarnette, and vocalist Kathie Thomas. Five guest performers are used sparingly throughout, but the sense of guitar, bass, and voice never gets bogged down in "clever things we can do with multiple tracking." It's all good, but moments of splendor lie in "Voice Of The Night," "Birmingham," and "You Were Always That Way."
- Soundcheck, Nashville

"Floor Creak review"

The Local Planet/ Spokane, WA

It’s tempting, considering the timing of the release of Time Goes Rushing By, to dismiss the album as yet another attempt to capitalize on the current craze over all things hillbilly. After all, the soundtrack from O Brother, Where Art Thou?, in addition to winning the Grammy for Album of the Year, has sold somewhere in the neighborhood of six million copies. Given that the Silent Majority has gone from voting Republican to buying Bluegrass, who wouldn’t want to grab a cousin or two and bang out one more version of “Wildwood Flower” or “Orange Blossom Special?”

But dismiss Floor Creak at your peril, for this is a very talented trio: singer Kathie Thomas; Dave Shiflett, guitarist and songwriter; and Joe “Joebass” DeJarnette on, naturally, bass. “Trio” is the operative word here. Obviously, there’s three of them (with assorted guests on mandolin, fiddle, et al.), but that’s not the point—Floor Creak is the sum of its parts. You see, it’s hard to imagine this music without Thomas’s voice, without DeJarnette’s huge sound and subtle phrasing, and without, well…the music itself, nearly all of which was penned by Shiflett (who’s not a bad guitar player, either).

And it’s that—the music—that really makes this album. A blend of bluegrass, folk, country, and even a hint of jazz (check out DeJarnette’s work on “Moonshine”), Shiflett has managed to craft something old, something new without compromising his art. And Thomas? One comes away with the sense that Shiflett had her in mind for these songs all along. Her voice is at once plaintive, soulful, and expressive, with just the right amount of unaffected twang. CDBaby claims that her voice literally stops traffic at music festivals. I believe it. Time Goes Rushing By carries about it that which Dave Alvin points to as perhaps the most important characteristic of traditional American music: sincerity. And sincerity doesn’t need a movie.

- Local Planet, Spokane

"Floor Creak"

Floor Creak - Time Goes Rushing By
Truthface Recordings
Released: 2002
By Joseph Taylor

If you’re like me, folk music can conjure up thoughts of very earnest people in Birkenstocks holding placards in protest of, well, of something. Time Goes Rushing By contains elements of blues and country music -- even an occasional dash of jazz -- but overall, it's folk music.
Don’t let that scare you away. Floor Creak doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but they clearly take great care in playing and singing their music. All the songs but one on Time Goes Rushing By were written by Dave Shiflett, and for most of the songs, Shiflett and bassist Joseph DeJarnette are Kathie Thomas's only accompaniment.. Thomas is the reason to buy this disc -- her voice is clear and strong, and her singing suggests a life filled with experiences that she wants to share with you. Shiflett is lucky to have a singer who’s able to bring so much depth to his songs. They're good, but Thomas brings so much to them that they take on even deeper meanings.
Shiflett doesn’t do anything flashy here, but he’s a solid guitarist with an impressive rhythmic feel. He flatpicks through most of the disc and he plays behind Thomas with a full sound while still managing to give her plenty of room. He clearly intended this disc to showcase her vocals, so he doesn’t allow himself many solos, but those he does take have the same workmanlike feel as his rhythm playing. One’s a real gem, though. The solo on "One of Us is Lying" sounds like an homage to Jerry Garcia -- Shiflett manages to capture perfectly Garcia’s strange, halting vibrato.
DeJarnette engineered Time Goes Rushing By on a Pro Tools digital audio workstation and, perhaps out of modesty, mixed himself a little too low. He plays well and the disc could use a little more bottom end. Otherwise, this is a vivid recording. The guitar rings out brightly (brand new strings, I’ll bet) and Thomas sounds like she’s standing right in front of you. There’s some overdubbing in a couple of spots and a few tunes bring in some additional instrumental support, but most of the songs are presented simply.
Playing this disc is like having three talented musicians perform in your living room. Next time around, I hope Floor Creak will add more instruments to their songs and fill the sound out. But on its own terms -- and for the chance to hear Kathie Thomas -- Time Goes Rushing By is worth your attention.

- Soundstage

"Review of Songs for Aging Cynics"


First off, in all honesty, head Farmer and Richmond guitarist-singer-songwriter Dave Shiflett is a friend of mine. However, I heard most of these tunes before I started hanging out with him and had the same opinion about them then that I have now so I feel there’s no real conflict of interest. That said, Shiflett’s latest project is a finely crafted, intelligently written, precisely played one that charms more with repeated listenings. And, despite its title, and despite all the lyrical barbs in songs such as “Old Man Moan,” this is a package of love songs, singularly conceived and conveyed with a stark, underlying sincerity. Most of the 11 cuts speak of dreams and love with a smart and wry eye and they take a philosophical approach that – may I dare say it – is overall hopeful and humorous. If there’s a negative, it’s that most of the tunes are so peaceful and low-key that the project has a downbeat vibe if you’re not listening to what’s really going on. But beyond that, each tune has funny or heartfelt lyrical nuggets to savor. “Nowhere” is a well-written tune featuring unexpected word usage to express the salvation found in love. “Someplace Fine” is a wonderful bluesy, wistful wish. “Take My Dreams Away” speaks to the curse all dreamers know too well. On themes apart from love, “Virgins in Heaven” finds Shiflett commenting on the state of the world with typical downstream humor and he no doubt will go straight to hell for writing it. In addition to creating an estimable batch of songs for the project, Shiflett has enlisted some of the area’s best musical gunslingers to round out this fine Bill McElroy recording. Jeanine Guidry provides angelic lead vocals on a couple of tunes and her harmonies on others help support Shiflett’s rough-hewn and soft singing style. Bass player Matt Boon stays in the background but adds ever-present underpinning. Tripp Johnson slips in some nifty mandolin fills and Jim Skelding adds to the overall peaceful feel with his graceful fiddle runs. Instrumentally partly jazzy, partly bluesy, partly folkie, the Farmers lyrically are all fun while they discover that special land where dreamers sit back and wonder why. – Ames Arnold
- X-Nine

"Review of Songs for Aging Cynics"

"Dave Shiflett punctures the pompous, unmasks charlatans and laughs at human folly. Plus, he writes a mean love song. If Twain and Mencken were alive today, they'd have ``Songs for Aging Cynics" on their iPods." Rick Warner, Bloomberg News - Rick Warner, Bloomberg News


Dave's bands -- Floor Creak (RIP) and The Karma Farmers -- have released two CDs and one EP, including "Time Goes Rushing By" (2001) -- "Songs for Aging Cynics" (2006) and "Quartet" (2008).



Dave Shiflett is a journalist and author, including a book with Donald Trump -- not your typical songwriter credentials but these are not typical songs. Dave and Tripp Johnson have been the core of the Karma Farmers, whose "Song for Aging Cynics" received wide airplay on NPR affiliates. This Spring, Dave and Tripp are going out to support Dave's solo CD, "Afternoon Lamentations." Dave's music and journalism are posted at www.daveshiflett.com