Trapper Schoepp “Cliffs of Dover” – A Stunning Tribute To Veterans and Others Suffering PTSD
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Trapper Schoepp “Cliffs of Dover” – A Stunning Tribute To Veterans and Others Suffering PTSD

Milwaukee-based singer-songwriter Trapper Schoepp has just released his latest album, Siren Songs, and his new single “Cliffs Of Dover” is receiving widespread critical acclaim. The album was recorded at Johnny Cash’s Cash Cabin in Hendersonville, TN, and Schoepp was aided by producers John Jackson and Patrick Sansone. Schoepp’s sound is heavily influenced by traditional American and Irish folk music, with lyrical themes of the sea, war, and unrequited love.

The album features a range of nautical tales, with “Queen of the Mist” recounting Annie Edson Taylor’s harrowing trip over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel in 1901, while “Secrets of the Breeze” was inspired by Schoepp’s own brushes with danger in Lake Michigan. The album’s title, Siren Songs, is derived from the Greek myth of the enchanting half-bird maidens who sing to entice sailors off their ships and to their doom.

Schoepp notes the influence of Irish music on the album, citing the Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, and Paul Brady as key inspirations. “Irish folk music really helped me during the pandemic,” Schoepp says. “There’s an uplifting quality in this tradition that can break your heart and make you laugh at the same time.”

“Cliffs Of Dover,” the latest single from Siren Songs, showcases Schoepp’s evocative songwriting and his powerful vocals. The song is a driving roots-rock song about an Iraq war veteran struggling with PTSD after returning home.

PTSD has taken hold of an Iraq war veteran on ‘Cliffs of Dover,’” shares Schoepp. “He can’t escape the sounds of bullets and is torn up inside and out, reeling from the trauma of a failed war. I wrote this in response to war stories heard through Milwaukee’s Guitars 4 Vets organization – a non-profit I’ve worked with that provides guitars and lessons to veterans in need. This song lends lines from the World War II anthem ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ by Vera Lynn. With that song and the recent international wars in mind, this song is sung as a call to peace and a remembrance of those we’ve lost.

The historic Cash Cabin proved to be an inspiring and homely environment for Schoepp and his band to record 14 songs in just one week. They recorded the tracks live together, forgoing click track technology to allow the ebb and flow of a live performance. “By the fourth or fifth take, we’d have most of what you hear,” Schoepp says of this approach. “There’s an intensity and joy to being in that shared moment, especially after going through the isolation of the pandemic.”

Schoepp’s sound is characterized by his unique blend of sibling singers with his brother and bassist, Tanner Schoepp. The studio band included drummer Jon Radford, John Jackson on mandolin and violin, Patrick Sansone on keys, Quinn Scharber on Nashville-tuned guitar, and Jim Hoke on tin whistle and accordion.

Trapper Schoepp’s Siren Songs is a triumph of traditional American and Irish folk music, with Schoepp’s powerful lyrics and evocative vocals taking center stage. “Cliffs Of Dover” is a stunning example of Schoepp’s songwriting skills, and this album is sure to be a hit with fans of traditional folk music.