Domino - 2005 - 50 minutes

Arriving home late and realising you have to be up for work in a few hours, stuck alone on a journey that never seems to end, worrying if a double chin will become a triple sometime soon... Some things in life Bill Callahan's albums just lend themselves to, and 'A River...', his 12th, will guarantee you rack up plenty of headmiles while listening.

Fittingly recorded in Pedernales Studio in Spicewood, Texas, where Willie Nelson made many of his albums, Callahan's outlaw country is dark, wry, sad, funny and unmistakably his.

While Callahan's failing here is that he sometimes relies too much on the same pace, the slow wade upstream is worth it to reach 'Drinking at the Dam' and 'Let Me See the Colts'. The former is a brilliant depiction of teenage life, while the crescendo of the latter says that a visit back to the bigger sounds Callahan employed on 1999's 'Knock Knock' is overdue.

Yet another thing to spend time thinking about.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Palimpsest - Say Valley Maker - The Well - Rock Bottom Riser - I Feel Like the Mother of the World - In the Pines - Drinking in the Dam - Running and Loping - I'm New Here - Let Me See the Colts