Ever since I got turned on to the music of Chris Whitley so many years ago, I have had a soft spot for any roots track that puts the banjo front and center. The latest release from Charlie Bishop does exactly that, joining a wistful message about honoring love in both the past and present with an acoustic guitar, harmonica, a prominent banjo track, and Bishop's own deep baritone croon.
I wasn't able to get a lot of details about this artist, although I know he's based in the Northeast somewhere between Massachusetts and Vermont, and that he was at least at one point a student at Middlebury College. He certainly has a talent for writing introspective lyrics, which pairs perfectly with the natural gravitas that extends from his vocal tone. The writing and the music here reminds me somehow of a cross between Cat Stevens and Josh Ritter, with elements of outlaw country, roots poetry, and straight-ahead folk pop. "Young Old Man" is the second of three tracks from his 2022 release "Damned or Chosen" and deserves a long look from anyone looking for modern contemporaries of Zach Bryan.