Bill Lyerly,
Requiem Mess
(Broadcast, 2001)

Bill Lyerly comes with a top-class pedigree of people he has played with, from Eric Burdon through EmmyLou Harris and Tammy Wynette. He has been in the business for a long time and feels a need to get back to basics with what he terms Americana.

"Widow and the Taxman" is an interesting song with a driving beat and a good story. In fact, every track on this CD has a story to tell and tells it well, but I find that none of them grabbed my attention enough to stand out.

A list of track titles will give a flavour of the album -- "Down on My Luck," "Trying to Drink You Off My Mind," "You Can't Teach Lonesome" and "Daddy's Got to Pay." Steve Earle joins him on the track "Hangmen."

As stated earlier, the material is good but sounds more like a soundtrack album. In fact, if some of the songs were heard in a hit movie it would probably take off.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 15 February 2002