Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA. This eloquent US folk songwriter, practising Buddhist and self-confessed couch potato can trace his original musical inspiration to a Christmas gift, a copy of Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison, when he was nine years old. After leaving seminary college Shindell spent nine months at a Buddhist monastery in New York. This gave him the inspiration to write songs for the first time, and he subsequently joined John Gorka in the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band. He was still terrified of performance when he went solo after leaving the band, armed with a set of songs he described as ranging from the merely depressing to the truly bleak. This description does him small justice. Accompanied by acoustic guitar, his songs display a number of distinctive traits - the subject matter varying from religious imagery to personal relationships, trash television to historical biographies. Many are also starkly political, though he steers away...