Michael Lohr reviews Simeon Peebler's CD, Missing Anchor.

Chicago native Simeon Peebler’s second album, “Missing Anchor” is a wonderful cascade of singer-songwriter Americana with a direct lineage back to 60s protest music. He is certainly not shy about speaking his mind.

Falling somewhere between Jim Croce’s “Life and Times,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “Summertime Dream,” and Bruce Springsteen’s stark masterpiece, “Nebraska,” “”Missing Anchor” is a powerful statement on the condition of modern life.

Equal parts heartfelt and somber, melancholy and moving, he uses a broad brushstroke to paint these aural landscapes. He confronts many troubling topics from today’s headlines such as racism, corporate welfare, crooked politicians, plight of the poor and gun control. The song “Bullets,” which tackles head-on the Trayvon Martin murder in Florida, as well as “Stack The Gold,” about corporate greed and trickster banking, both give further due to headline grabbing stories. The haunting echoes of the Pete Seeger-esque track “I Will Not Leave” is a celebration of the Occupy movement. While the piano-based, title track is reminiscent of early Billy Joel.

These are personal songs about love (both lost and found), life, freedom and the struggle to find one’s piece of mind in an ever more chaotic world. Woody Guthrie once said that he “was not a songwriter, but a journalist.” I think Simeon Peebler has just earned his journalism credentials.

You can pick up a copy of “Missing Anchor” from CD Baby, iTunes or his Bandcamp page and while you’re there I would highly recommend getting a copy of Simeon Peebler’s excellent debut album, “Follow the River Bend.”

~ Michael Lohr