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Billy Talbot Band

Billy Talbot Band- Alive in the Spirit World

Alive in the Spirit World opens strong with “The Way Life Is,” a roots rock song in the tradition of singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and the man Billy Talbot has played with, Neil Young.  “The Way Life Is” is the most upbeat song on the disc and probably the easiest to fit into a category.

The rest of the album is composed of songs very similar to Joe Henry, vocally and musically.    The songs also remind me of Joe Henry because they have a sort of somber tone and they are very spare. Billy Talbot definitely does not subscribe to the “wall of sound” philosophy.  I think that’s a good thing, because it gets you to think about what he’s singing.  

There is something else at work on this album.  The songs remind me of Joe Henry but the songwriting reminds me of Townes Van Zandt.  Each song is a sweeping story.  Imagine John Steinbeck’s work put to music and you have a pretty good idea of what Billy Talbot is all about. 

Billy Talbot is a talented songwriter, but he is hard to peg.  After listening to this album three or four times, I have decided that Talbot defies genre.  It’s hard to categorize this album other than to say it’s good, especially for a rainy day.  One thing I’ll say for certain is that this is a heavy album.  It contains ten songs and weighs in at sixty-seven minutes.  The shortest song is 4:45 and tracks five and six are each longer than ten minutes.  I think it’s safe to say that Talbot wanted to do this his way, without pressure from a label about how long the songs should be.  This is a solid, albeit long album that will fit right in with the other singer-songwriters in your collection.

CD Info 

Billy Talbot Band- Alive in the Spirit World
Label: Sanctuary
Way Life Is, The
Painting of a Man
On the Horizon
His Song
Security Girl
Rainy Days
Stress Release
Living in the Spirit World
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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