Monday, November 9, 2009

CD Review: Sons of Bill - One Town Away

After seeing the Sons of Bill last month, their management sent us a download copy of their latest CD, One Town Away. And after listening to the tracks, it is even more apparent that SOB is the East Coast version of Cross Canadian Ragweed or The Randy Rogers Band or Reckless Kelly. Part alt-country and part southern rock, this CD incorporates tight instrumentals with excellent songwriting. Some of my favorite lyrics are "when you don't fit in at church and bars - you bite your lip and hide your scars" and "Hank Williams may have been a love sick drinker, but being a love sick drunk don't make you Hank". Most of the songs are actually part love songs - or at least describe the consequences that result from broken love. See "Broken Bottles", "One Town Away", "Charleston", "So Much For The Blues". In fact the last may be my favorite - great harmonies - and "throw my ass back at the door" - they're getting closer to Townes - just cut out the GD.

The first track, "Joey's Arm", is an honest look at the South; get your bass and steel guitar on for "Going Home" - on a song that rambles down Route 29. The tragedies at Virgina Tech and perhaps Columbine must have influenced "Never saw It Coming" - which portrays the band's ability to produce a sophisticated tale with social implications. This is a powerful song. "Rock and Roll" is self explanatory - with great guitar work - even though they claim not "to play rock and roll" - is this a true story? They slow it down in "Charleston" - love the pedal steel with the soft vocals. You know, this may actually be my favorite song; I want to go to Charleston and to Battery Park. The CD ends with "The Song Is All The Remains" - another song that shows that this band is tight, fast or slow. This is a great country ballad: "think you can find redemption in the highlights of the stage" - "when the show is over and once again you're all alone" - "you hope God is still listening". Another powerful song.

What a great CD - one of the tops of 2009; go out and get One Town Away. Or go see the Sons of Bill live.

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