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Sons of Bill

One Town Away – 2009 (Thirty Tigers)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Sons of Bill

The Sons of Bill is not a tribute to Bill Monroe band. The "Bill" is the father of band members Sam, James and Abe Wilson, whose second release displays an equal affinity for country ballads and hard edged rockers. The brothers Wilson are involved in the writing of all 12 tracks with singer/guitarist James the most prolific with 9 credits. In one of the stronger tracks, Broken Bottles, he observes that "Hank Williams might have been a love-sick drinker/ But being a love-sick drunk don't make you Hank." With the title track Sam (vocals, guitar, lap steel) pens a Gram Parsons style ballad that also alludes to love-sick drinking ("You put your cash on the barrel/ And drink all your pain away"). The hardest rocker of the set is suitably titled Rock and Roll on which stellar session player Greg Leisz adds some hot guitar licks. Solid backing is provided throughout by keyboardist Abe Wilson, bassist Seth Green and drummer Brian Caputo. Produced by Jim Scott (Wilco, Whiskeytown, Tom Petty), this is an impressive effort.