Jersey Beat Columns


Reviews by Rich Quinlan



GHOSTWRITER - Wreck The City/Simplify Your Life


Steve Schecter, henceforth known as Ghostwriter, takes the attitude of punk, the beer-soaked grime of classic honky-tonk country, and the isolation of the Oregon woods and constructs an intriguing collection of heartfelt Americana. Wreck The City/Simplify Your Life is a record with banjo, slide guitar, and fiddles with an intimacy that sounds as if Schecter is sitting in room with you. There are a number of wonderfully self-deprecating tracks here, with “Idle Hands” and “Breaking Point” as two of the best. The former is a rambling tale of frustrations of life told with a blunt honesty and a slight smirk. (“Well, I was coming home from a gig and I hit a damn deer/wished to god he hadn’t been right there/Throw a new bumper on my truck and wonderin’ about my luck”). “Blue Eyed Girl” is a warm yet gut-wrenching track of heartache that is greatly enhanced by the playing of Ralph White, while “These Old Songs” emits a sentiment of frustration that is almost palpable, with this confession: “I could hang on to my dream instead of knowin’ it ain’t worth a thing/ What’s this whole thing really worth I’m barely kickin’ up dirt”. Regardless of how despondent Ghostwriter may be, he is a skilled songwriter akin to the work of Steve Wynn. This speaks to the heart of listener and comes across as fully candid and sincere. This is a record worth seeking; it may not cheer you up, but it will certainly leave you impressed.

Back to press page