Review: Trapper Schoepp – Primetime Illusion

Primetime Illusion is the new LP from Wisconsin, US singer-songwriter Trapper Schoepp. The easy alternative Trapper has teamed up with Bob Dylan on the song-writing in this album meaning it’s a really enticing proposition.

By Graeme Smith

Though it’s not until album closer On Wisconsin where you get to hear Dylan’s contribution to the album, his influence is there all the way through. From the first few bars from album opener Shakedown, fans of Dylan’s Americana folk will be hooked.

Primetime Illusion is where easy-listening rock meets political zeitgeist. Schoepp’s story of America unfolds delicately through thought-provoking yet accessible lyrics and honeyed vocals. To say the album is incredibly listenable understates it somewhat because there is nothing adequate about the music, it’s more than that yet it’s bound to pick up a broad spectrum of fans.

As well as the Dylan collaboration, the album also features a joint track with singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins in a stonking, honkey-tonk number called What You Do To Her. Beneath the up-tempo arrangement is a serious message, calling out the unacceptable behaviour of men who don’t respect women and get away with it. It’s another voice is a growing clamour that is slowly shifting society’s attitudes.

Primetime Illusion has the makings of a being a classic. Fans of folk, country and rock will eat this up but there is definitely a broader appeal. The song-writing is a breath of fresh air and it’s easy to stick this LP on repeat. Released last Friday, it’s available now via iTunes and Google Play.