Discovery: Cameron McGill and What Army break free on “Houdini”

Ben Mudd

Who knows how I stumbled across boho, neo-folk, semi-popular singer-songwriter Cameron McGill. The song I first heard was “What You Wanted,” from McGill’s 2006 album Street Ballads & Murderesques. As post-Dylan, post-Elliott Smith songwriting goes, it’s a beautiful bummer, with a melody that steps carefully like an alley cat on a fence and a tone that’s as resigned as it is bittersweet. I’ve played the song a few times on Feel Like Going Home; every time I do, I get a phone call: “Who is this guy?”

Well, Cameron McGill now performs with What Army, a young but accomplished rock band that never overwhelms the singer’s sense of wanderlust and occasional piano excursions. The Chicago natives are forever on the road and have made St. Louis a regular stop. Still, they’ve never quite found the audience they deserve. Tonight they’ll be back in the river city, performing songs from a new album, Is a Beast, at the Old Rock House. If you’re looking to discover a new favorite songwriter, this show has my highest recommendation. Listen to and download a new song — with a finely textured, free-spirited indie rock sound — below.

“Houdini” – Cameron McGill and What Army

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