NEW MUSIC ALBUM REVIEW - BILLY CRAIG - "SONIC TUNESMITH"

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BILLY CRAIG


"SONIC TUNESMITH"

  
By Andrew Goodwin for NEW MUSIC EAR www.newmusicear.com. 

ALBUM SUMMARY - As well as playing shows as lead guitarist with legendary Rock band Brownsville Station, Billy Craig has released three albums before this one.  Building his fan base and honing his storytelling lyrical style while merging influences and genres make this guy a force to be reckoned with.  "Sonic Tunesmith" has a hint of Country twang but will rock your socks off.  There is something for everyone ranging from ZZ Top blues to Bon Jovi style ballads and vocals reminding us of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan.  Throw in some great Rock guitars and good old fashioned Rock N' Roll and you have a fantastic album.

01 FADE AWAY - Opening the album is a Blues Country track with great Slash/Prince like guitars throughout.  Its laid back Bon Jovi style vocals make this sound like a cool Rock ballad.  Great track to ease you in to the set with a positive and optimistic lyric.

02 NOWHERE TO GO - A Rock N' Roll foot stomper similar to rocker Dave Edmunds with the quirkiness of The Cars and Tom Petty.  The familiar Country twang is perfectly intertwined with the Rock sound without overpowering the whole feel of the song.

03 DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME - This could be a song on a ZZ Top album.  That great chug-a-chug Blues sound collaborating with Texan drawl.  Big and bold Country Blues Rock, it is raw, keeps pumping to the end and has a nice Classic Rock music interlude at 2.20.  Add the throaty vocals akin to Billy Gibbons and you have a fabulous track.

04 SUPPOSED TO BE - Slow tempo Pop Rock ballad with a hint of Country Blues.  Think of Jon Bon Jovi, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan and mash them together.  That's Billy Craig's vocals in a nutshell.  He can give them all a good run for their money.  Nice electro guitars on this track, arena style Rock balladry at its best.

05 TURN AWAY - Petty/Dylan-esque vocals on this Electric Rock track, sounding like Country style slide guitar throughout until around the 2 minutes 10 seconds mark where there's another great Slash/Prince influenced solo.  Laid back and wonderful.

06 WITH YOU - Another Tom Petty style rocker, laid back Rock N' Roll, a real feel good song.  Also has a hint of Folk, reminding me of The Travelling Wilburys, the group Petty shared with Orbison, Dylan, Harrison and Lynne.  Tap your feet with glee along with this one!

07 TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL - This track reminds me of Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and Guns N ' Roses' "Patience".  It has that sweet but tough Rock vibe within a very emotive ballad.  Absolutely love this track, the melancholic guitar work and soft vocals and beautiful chorus make this a winner.

08 SOMETHING FOR NOTHING - After the intitial intro that comes through like an REM tune, this could be Dylan at his best.  Classic Folk Rock with a hint of Country Blues, really like this.  A true message too, you don't get something for nothing in this day and age.

09 FROZEN HEART - Atmospheric Acoustic ballad, Country Pop Rock mixed with a little Folk.  A gentle slow burner that's soothing, laid back and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Really nice track to relax by.

10 SUMMERTIME - Kick of your shoes, pull up a chair and chill out to this Acoustic track,  pure unadulterated Country Blues.  Brings up images of sitting on the wood floor outside a barn house and strumming my guitar in the sunshine.  Nicely done Mr Craig.

11 C'MON IN - An emotive Country ballad to finish off a fine album of diverse styles.  A mix of spoken word and singing vocals combine with a soothing, relaxed backing to wind you down after a rollercoaster of an album full of Rock history styles.  













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