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Billy T. Band - L.O.V.E.(Just A Silly Notion)

Big H Records


Smooth is the key word for this outing by American Billy T. and his Norwegian compatriots. His smooth vocals and a collection of seamless original and cover songs played by crack players make it hard to believe these guys never stepped on American soil, as they have a real feel for Memphis soul, R & B, swamp rock and rockabilly all injected with blues. The mostly blues infused guitar solos add a freshness to the proceedings. Southern soul music is the predominate sound bolstered by blues. Billy Troiani sure has the mellow pipes to deliver the goods. This music is well suited for a lazy day at the beach or a barbeque.

Low key soul simmering make the title track, "Trying To Live My Life Without You" and a cover of Major Lance's "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" go down easy. The original "You Don't Answer My Letters" is swamp rock with a reggae feel to the backbeat. Rockabilly is visited on Johnny Horton's "I'm Comin' Home" taken at a slower tempo than I'm used to, but Billy's delivery and rockabilly guitar riff's done to a 'T' make this a keeper. I'm still wondering about these guys from Norway....they must of spent many hours soaking up roots music from the states. Nothing seems forced or hesitant. "I Was Born A Loser" a 1966 hit for Memphis native Bobby Lee hits the spot. It's hard to tell the originals from the covers as Billy and crew can come up with a sound on their own that harkens back to old school blues as on the drown-your-sorrows lament "That's What The Whiskey's For". The instrumental "Selma" brings up images of Booker T. & The MG's featuring a blues solo interjected midway.

The musician's here don't miss a turn. The only minor quibble I can see is the use of synth-strings on "Um, etc.". But it's hardly noticed. The guitar army of Ian F. Johannessen, Hakon Hoye and guest Sven Zetterberg support each other throughout in fine style. The drumming of Alexander Pettersen and Billy T's rock steady bass playing along with the occassional keyboards add all the right touches. It's pleasant to see such attention to detail given by folks from another land to a music heritage they obviously love. Billy has surely taught and/or learned well from his friends. Music coming from the heart like this deserves wider attention. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

Reviewer Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse at

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