Mishka Shubaly will be the first to tell you that he’s lucky to be alive. The singer/songwriter’s life began to unravel in 2008 after his sophomore album “How to Make a Bad Situation Worse, despite critical acclaim, failed to register with the record-buying public. Shubaly descended into drug and alcohol abuse before eventually bottoming out in 2009.
“My life fell apart and it took me a couple of years to put it back together,” Shubaly says. “Once I was no longer out of my head, well, I was sober and I wasn’t sure what my relationship was to these songs. So they just sat on tape. After four years sober, I knew I was proud of the writing and that the songs didn’t have the power to derail me.”
With the help of longtime friend and producer/engineer Erik Nickerson, those songs were fully realized and became “Coward’s Path.” The vocals are rough around the edges in the best possible way, but there are painful truths oozing out of keepers “New Jersey Valentine’s Day Orphan Blues,” “Frankenstein Heart,” “I Can’t Remember When You Were Mine,” “Alcholison” and “Your Plus One at My Funeral.” This one is worth seeking out, folks. (Jeffrey Sisk)