‘Til The Blues Have Gone
Laid Back Sunday Blues For The Rest of The Week Too.
By nature I don’t like surprises; but hardly a day goes by when I hear an album that ‘surprises’ me; sometimes negatively (these are the ones that don’t get reviewed) then there are others that just ‘light up my life’ ….. and this is definitely one of those.
What first attracted me to this album was when the opening paragraph likened this duo to a band called The Junco Partners. Now; if you are under 50 and/or have never lived in the NE of England there’s a 99.9% chance you ain’t ever heard of the Juncos; but they are are bonafide Leg-ends in my stoming ground; and in the 1960’s my brother Brian actually occasionally roadied for them and then in the mid 1970’s they were first ‘real band’ I paid to see; and in one format or another they are still there or thereabouts in 2020.
So; that was high praise indeed.
Bill Booth and Bill Troiani are both American but have been maimstays of the Scandi Blues scene for a long long time; and after treading the boards together for 8 years together; this is their debut studio album.
Enough of the waffle!
The title track ‘Til The Blues Have Gone kicks things off with a charming laid back Blues shuffle; and a killer opening pair of lines;
“The lights are on But nobody’s home
I sit alone like some sad song.”
Of course the story is as sad as you’d expect; but the meliflous guitar playing and occasional violin interludes (not a fiddle imho) make for a toetapper that will stick in your craw all day long.
There is certainly a ‘sophisticated’ feel to these songs; with two warm, rich and evocative singing voices interplaying on stories like Driving Rain, Asking For More and Still Might Be Around which will appeal and even resonate with many listeners of a certain vintage.
It’s pretty obvious that The Bills have played together for a long time as they make everything sound so easy and simple on Sun Was Going Down, although we all know that’s never the case.
It’s a Blues album; so traditional Blues themes abound, and The Bills know their history but they aren’t stuck in the past, as they still manage to add a razor sharp edge to the likes of Keeping The Blues Alive, Good Lord Done Gone and Road is Long, which like so many others here benefit from the addition of Booth’s majesty on the fiddle (even though he sounds like a Classically trained violinist to me!).
For My Favourite Song I’m torn between the final two songs here (a case of keeping the very best for last?); with the raw Field-Country Blues of Grinnin’ in Your Face easily being my initial selection; partly because of some saccharine sweet slide guitar; but the more I’ve played it the dark and brooding finale; Didn’t Know What I Had, with its John Lee Hooker undertones has recently drawn me in like a moth to a flame; so there you have it, Didn’t Know What I Had is my Favourite Song.
Do they sound like the Junco Partners; not really but they certainly sound as if they could be from the same Father but a different Mother …… now there’s a Blues Song in the making!
‘TIL THE BLUES HAVE GONE is perfect Summer’s Sunday afternoon listening, so laid back it nearly falls over, and when played on a cold and damp November Tuesday or February Friday you will still feel that warm vibe; and that’s always a good thing.
Released November 16th 2020
BUY DON’T SPOTIFY