Freddy Trujillo “I Never Threw A Shadow At It”

Independent, 2024

Richmond Fontaine and The Delines’ bass player explores his Chicano roots on a very personal and musically ambitious new album.

Covert art for Freddy Trujillo album Never Threw A Shadow At ItFreddy Trujillo is the bass player with Richmond Fontaine and The Delines but he’s also a solo artist in his own right. ‘I Never Threw A Shadow At It’ is in fact his fourth solo release. The album is a largely personal affair although his Delines colleagues all appear on it at different stages, one of the songs was written by Willy Vlautin and it’s produced by The Delines’ Cory Gray. However, it is quite emphatically not a Delines record or anything remotely resembling it.

The initial thing that a first listen demonstrates quite clearly is that Trujillo is a very accomplished songwriter. All but two of the songs on the album are written about his personal experiences or those of people close to him. The title track ‘ I Never Threw A Shadow At It’ stems from Trujillo’s experience as a young man in 1992 when he called the Los Angeles Police Department after someone attempted to steal his car only to find himself treated with suspicion and contempt by the police because of his Chicano heritage. Other songs like ‘I Didn’t Cross the Border, the Border Crossed Me’, ‘’Mexican Hearts’, World There Haunting Me’ and ‘Many Years of Minding’ are also tales of a young Chicano growing up in America and conjuring with how he fits in.

The record has been a while in the making, beginning as an idea in lockdown to help fill his time whilst not out on the road. Trujillo has used the time since then very well creating a genuinely thoughtful and moving record, rather than a pandemic time-filler. Musically there is a great diversity on this record as Trujillo demonstrates that he can work effectively in differing styles. There is a kind of Chicano-rock sound underpinning it all, but Trujillo’s willingness to divert from that sound reflects a bold and ambitious approach. Whether it works in every single case is perhaps questionable, but taken as a complete package ‘I Never Threw A Shadow At It’ is a very commendable and worthwhile listen. Whether plans to tour the record will include the UK remains to be seen. The songs are certainly strong enough to support a ‘solo with guitar’ approach and may well excel in that format.

 

7/10
7/10

About Clint West 325 Articles
From buying my first record aged 10 and attending my first gig at 14, music has been a lifelong obsession. A proud native of Suffolk, I have lived in and around Manchester for the best part of 30 years. My idea of a perfect day would be a new record arriving in the post in the morning, watching Ipswich Town win in the afternoon followed by a gig and a pint with my mates at night,
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