Artist: Trapper Schoepp
Song: “Cliffs of Dover”
Album: Siren Songs (April 21, 2023)
Label: Grand Phony / Rootsy
Genre: Folk, Folk Rock
Songwriter Trapper Schoepp has been deemed a “master storyteller”, and is even the youngest musician to ever share a co-writing credit with Bob Dylan. The Milwaukee-based artist is getting ready to release his latest album, Siren Songs, this April. The collection was recorded in Johnny Cash‘s Cash Cabin, and used many instruments belonging to the late Country legend when recording the new album. Staying true to his storytelling roots, Schoepp first single from tells the story of an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD. About the song, Schoepp has said:
“PTSD has taken hold of an Iraq war veteran on ‘Cliffs of Dover. He can’t escape the sounds of bullets and is torn up inside and out, reeling from the trauma of a failed war. I wrote this in response to war stories heard through Milwaukee’s Guitars 4 Vets organization – a non-profit I’ve worked with that provides guitars and lessons to veterans in need. This song lends lines from the World War II anthem ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ by Vera Lynn. With that song and the recent international wars in mind, this song is sung as a call to peace and a remembrance of those we’ve lost.”
“You’re too scared of dying to ever be living” Schoepp sings over upbeat acoustic guitar strums and mandolin. It’s almost surprising how energized and engaging the track is with such dark subject matter (“we lost him to their dirty little war. Turn off the television, wonder what twenty years were for?), but Schoepp makes the balance work.