Singer/songwriter David Ray Skinner's Big Picture is an interesting cornucopia of eclectic story lines and musical styles, ranging from folk to Americana and country to bluegrass. For example, the first track, "Santa Cruz" is a country rock California soap opera starring a child of the sixties turned suburban housewife. She discovers her whole life comes down to one split-second decision she has to make after receiving a letter from the past. On the other side of reality, in "Saucers in the Valley," we meet a Tennessee farmer who, after reporting a sighting of an alleged UFO on his farm, becomes a victim of the county's corrupt moonshining sheriff (who has a deal with the boys from Venus). Changing gears again, "John Frum" serves as a pseudo big band anthem for a real-life WWII cargo cult. And, "Wild Wild Woman From Borneo" chronicles a boy's life-long love affair with the girl next door, even after she joins the circus and he becomes a senator. On the more serious side, there's the bittersweet sentiments expressed in both "Carolina Bluebird," a song about the love that was not to be, and "Fields of Coal," a ballad about a coal miner who has already grown old by the age of 22. The final song, "Big Picture" is more than the title cut; it wraps the whole album up with a bizarre twist that would amuse both O'Henry and Rod Serling. The end result is a pleasant romp through a field of eccentricities and Southern sensibilities. Initially available only on cassette, the album is now available on Amazon.com, iTunes, and CDBaby.
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